As the legendary former national team trainer once said: “Nach dem Spiel ist vor dem Spiel” (after the game is before the game). One game finishes, and another arrives hot on its heels. Matchday 5 is here, and the Bundesliga coaches have been giving their pre-match thoughts.
Borussia Dortmund v Hoffenheim
Edin Terzic: “They’ve made a very decent start to the season. They’re very versatile offensively and consistently switch positions. They try to draw their opponents apart and create large pockets of space. It’ll be a good challenge against a strong team.
Andre Breitenreiter: “It is of course a special occasion to play under the floodlights in Dortmund. The favourites tag lies with BVB, but we’re going there to produce a good performance and come away with something tangible. We’ve prepared very well for the game and are looking forward to it.
“The team has performed very well in recent matches and won in different ways. We turned the game around against Bochum, won very clearly and convincingly against Leverkusen and ground out a hard-fought win against Augsburg. That makes us strong. Regardless of our opponent, we want to bring our principles onto the pitch and show our conviction that we can be successful this way.”
Bayer Leverkusen v Freiburg
Gerardo Seoane: “I see Freiburg as a team with many sides and strengths. They are – similar to Mainz – very determined in challenges, have a strong mentality they can call on in every match and their game has developed in the past few years so you have to take them seriously as the league table reflects at the moment. They will pose us a lot of questions so we need that same team spirit again to come out on top.”
Christian Streich: “Before they (Leverkusen) always played a back four, now they have decided to play 3-5-2. That worked in Mainz. They’ve scored two goals where it’s totally about transition. I’m curious if they stick with it.
“At the moment it’s football, football, eat, sleep. Football, football. But we find that an absolute joy! We just need to learn what it means to have three competitions on the go at the same time.”
Union Berlin v Bayern Munich
Urs Fischer: “What does it take (to beat Bayern)? Courage, courage, a lot of courage. If you’re just chasing the ball, just defending against them, then that becomes a task that’s almost impossible to solve.
“I’m really looking forward to the game because it’s really a great challenge. Bayern are the best team in Germany, if not in Europe or in the world. It will take an absolute top performance from us and also a bit of luck.”
Julian Nagelsmann: “Union Berlin has developed well. They don’t play complicated football, they play very straight-forward football, which is extremely geared towards transition. They often defend deep, very compact. They have good pace with the two forwards and good physicality up front. It’s a great stadium with great fans. It’s difficult to play there, but doable. We’ll try our best.”
VfL Wolfsburg v Köln
Nico Kovac: “FC are doing a really good job. They have a team that is very solid. Here the team together with the coaching team is the star. It will be a tough task for us tomorrow to beat Cologne. We will have to invest a lot because they are physically fit, play very aggressively and defend up front. The Cologne team try to put the opponent under pressure early on in order to win the ball and switch quickly.
“We have to free ourselves from this pressure and take the chances that we will get. Then we have a better starting position. My wish is that we can break the mold and be successful with the support of our fans.”
Steffen Baumgart: “VfL is better than the two points they have. They have high individual class. They lost to strong opponents like Leipzig and Bayern, but other teams will lose to them as well. They probably hoped for more in the draws against Schalke and Bremen. We’ve prepared for our opponent, Wolfsburg have played in a back four so far, but they can also play in a back three. We know the quality of their team, but we should use our unity as a team to defend against it.
“We want to create more chances to score again. Steffen Tigges is coming back from a long injury, but is getting better and better. Flo Dietz has done very well so far, but you can’t expect him to score all the time. We have to come up with something against deep opponents, be creative.”
VfL Bochum v Werder Bremen
Thomas Reis: “We finally want to get our first points. The team makes a very good impression. We now want to tackle Saturday’s game together and show what we can do. I’m not interested yet in what will be after that. SV Werder Bremen play with great passion, they’ve been promoted and score a lot of goals.
“We have to counter that. We have a solution on how we want to approach the game, there should not be an exchange of blows. We want to continue as we did in Freiburg and force our luck. The balls that hit the inside post in Freiburg should go in this time.”
Ole Werner: “Bochum are a team that tries to find success through speed. They have a goalkeeper who initiates many things. It doesn’t matter who people on the outside make the favourite. We deal with the things that we can influence.
“Boring victories with a one-goal difference are rare, it always stays hot until the end. But I don’t care if the result is right. But we have the task of conceding fewer goals, there’s no question about that.”
VfB Stuttgart v Schalke
Pellegrino Matatazzo: “Union were incredibly clinical against Schalke. Those who saw it will know it wasn’t a 6-1 game. We’re expecting to face a side who will try to find a way to goal by keeping possession. I have complete confidence that my coaching team will handle things magnificently. We’ve prepared together for various scenarios. Everyone has their role and area of responsibility in order to maximise their strengths.”
Frank Kramer: “In Stuttgart, we want to show ourselves differently and do everything we can to take points. The most important is that everyone works together, has the success of the team and the club in mind, and are always keeping each other on their toes. We have to find a good balance between keeping their defence busy and away from our goal. We do not want to let VfB get into their stride.”
Eintracht Frankfurt v RB Leipzig
Oliver Glasner: “It’ll be a difficult task because Leipzig have a great coach, a very good team and a super system of play. They’ve also strengthened with the return of Timo Werner.
“They have a lot of pace, a lot of link-up players and power out wide. They’re very versatile and they’ve got an incredible squad with players like Christopher Nkunku, Timo Werner and Dani Olmo. We need a top performance in every area if we’re to come away as winners. We want to neutralise the qualities and strengths of the opponents and find spaces that we can exploit. Leipzig have just as much respect for us as we do for them.”
Domenico Tedesco: “We’ve never won away at Eintracht Frankfurt. It’s not going to be easy for us – Eintracht did not win the Europa League for nothing. They have a great starting XI and a lot of pacey options off the bench. They have shown that they can be dangerous against any opponent – I mean, they won in Barcelona, which itself speaks volumes.
“But our current mood makes me feel very positive that we can get our first away win on Saturday. The boys have really shown they’re in the mood to train and play, especially in the last two or three weeks. We are looking forward to Frankfurt – it’s going to be a tense game.
“I’m not feeling any pressure. The table is decided after matchday 34. Of course, you start to get an idea of what’s what by maybe matchday 9 or 10, but there’s still four games to be played until that point.
“For me as a coach it’s important to get the season off to a good start, and we absolutely did that in the way we played, and we then managed to get that first win of the season against Wolfsburg. That was important and it’s how we want to carry on!”
Augsburg v Hertha Berlin
Enrico Maaβen: “We have to create more danger in front of goal and be more ambitious. We want to give our fans the first home win,”
Sandro Schwarz: ““I am happy that we finally have clarity over the squad. The positive feedback about our style of play that we have got recently has been good for us. But, it is important for us to use these performances to get some points on the board and then also to win games. If the boys do their jobs and put in performances like they have recently, they will be rewarded and the self-confidence of the group will come back. In this way the team can keep growing.
“The positive feedback about our style of play that we have got recently has been good for us, but it is important for us to use these performances to get some points on the board and then also to win games.”
Borussia Mönchengladbach v Mainz
Daniel Farke: “It will certainly be a much different game to the last one in Munich. We are happy that we are still undefeated, that gives us a lot of confidence and momentum. But Mainz have started just as well, and they could have taken points off Bayer Leverkusen in their last game. They play with a high intensity and readiness to work, and they’re also very strong in tackles. We will require a top performance.
“We are always happy when the BORUSSIA-PARK is full, so my full praise to the fans and everyone who brings the energy and vibe. We have some difficult months behind us now, and we’re now looking forward. We don’t want to dampen the current excitement, but we can’t let ourselves get affected too much by emotions. We have to give 100% every week. With our fans behind us, we can have a good performance and continue to improve.
Bo Svensson: “Gladbach have played slightly differently compared to last season. They have a clear emphasis on possession-based football with good positional play. They have lots of good players and want to control the game across every phase, both with and without the ball. Especially with the ball, they make it difficult for their opponents. They are a team that have a clear DNA, which also fits with the very high quality of their individual players,
“We got results from our football for about 18 months now and I have always seen our identity coming out on the pitch, but that was missing against Leverkusen. It’s all about how we are going to impose our style of play on the game, how we can apply the Mainz virtues, especially when our opponents provide a different sort of challenge than we are used to, just like Leverkusen did. We will have to show that, perhaps at Gladbach, but definitely at some point later in the season.”