The obvious loser of last week’s developments at RB Leipzig was Domenico Tedesco- fired just a couple of months after leading the club to an historic first DFB Pokal triumph. The obvious winner of the sacking was Marco Rose, who found himself back in gainful Bundesliga employment after being sacked by Borussia Dortmund. But perhaps the real winner will be midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai, who could be about to find a new lease of life at the Red Bull Arena.
Having been largely a bit part player so far this season under Domenico Tedesco, Hungarian Dominik Szoboszlai produced a Man of the Match performance with a stunning goal and a key involvement in the other two goals that downed Dortmund. It was his corner that was headed home by Willi Orban. He then fired in the rocket before half-time to double the lead before winning possession from Thomas Meunier and starting off the move that saw Amadou Haidara add a third.
Last season the 21-year-old made 31 appearances, but only 15 of those were from the start. He scored six goals and provided eight assists. He was however not a key man under Domenico Tedesco and started this season on the bench. He started on matchday 2 against Köln, but in an unusual defensive midfield position alongside Benjamin Henrichs. The experiment backfired with a red card following a clash with Florian Kainz.
The installation of Marco Rose as the new RB Leipzig coach came as a positive development for Szoboszlai as it was Rose, who gave the youngster his start at Salzburg handing him his debut in 2018. The two didn’t always have the smoothest relationship, but the midfielder is glad of the education he received. “Marco talked about the fact that I have to work more, run more. I can’t be one of the last to arrive at training and I want to be one of the first to leave. I took his advice. I really owe him a lot of thanks, because without his words I wouldn’t be where I am now.”
It looks at first glance that Marco Rose is going to go back to the ‘RB way’ of doing things with high pressure, counter-attacking football the order of the day, rather than the possession-based football preferred by Tedesco. This should benefit the likes of Szoboszlai, Konrad Laimer, Amadou Haidara and Xaver Schlager who enjoyed success at Salzburg.
Playing a 4-2-3-1 with Szoboszlai and Christopher Nkunku wide behind Timo Werner with either Emil Forsberg or Dani Olmo in the middle could provide a recipe for success for Leipzig. Speaking after the Dortmund win Szoboszlai made it clear he was happy to have Rose back as his boss. “Today was similar to Salzburg. Although we played diamonds back then, today we play 4-2-3-1, but in terms of mentality it was comparable. It was amazing. When you work as a team in a collective, everything becomes easier. You saw that today. I think every individual really wanted to win and fight for the team. We should bring that to the pitch, for that we need the coach.”
Rose was equally pleased with his former player’s performance and development. “Dommi has always been an outstanding footballer. the 46-year-old coach explained. “He is now at a physical level that is exceptional. If you work against the ball with your technical skills, then it makes for a good overall package.”
One man’s loss is another man’s gain as they say. Dominik Szoboszlai could be set to gain big time.