Football is a funny old game- just ask Domenico Tedesco. Sacked by RB Leipzig in September mere months after leading the club to their first-ever DFB Pokal, but having taken just five points from the opening five games of the new Bundesliga season. He is now the Belgian national team boss and has just masterminded an impressive win over Germany.
His replacement at the Red Bull Arena, turned the Leipzig ship around, but is himself now coming under pressure following three successive defeats without a goal being scored and with a top four finish this season seemingly slipping away. The honeymoon for Marco Rose is definitely over. Football is a funny old game.
If one match is ever going to potentially define a season, then Leipzig’s 7-0 thrashing at the hands of Manchester City in the Champions League round of 16 could be it. Since the Erling Haaland-inspired trouncing, die Roten Bullen have lost away at VfL Bochum (1-0) and at home to Mainz (3-0) meaning for the first time in the club’s history, they have gone three games without a goal.
The players were booed off at half-time against Mainz and rightly so as they had no answer to a side much more up for the fight. They now face Borussia Dortmund in the DFB Pokal with the prospect of another defeat unthinkable for the Saxony faithful.
Rose’s first game in charge back in September saw him defeat BVB 3-0 and the future looked bright. The clouds are now gathering on the horizon as the prospect of Champions League football next season dwindles. The prospect of having to oversee a major squad overhaul is also on the cards with Konrad Laimer leaving and Josko Gvardiol, Dani Olmo, Yussuf Poulsen and Kevin Kampl tipped to follow suit.
“We had high expectations today, but didn’t bring that onto the pitch” Rose said following the Mainz defeat on Saturday. “I would never accuse my team of lacking desire and carrying out their tasks well. But Mainz were better than us in every area today. I think the statistics will also show that.
“It means that we’re in a spell where mental factors start to play a role. You can’t pretend otherwise. Therefore, we have some things that we need to improve and work on together.”
With eight games left this season, a turnaround in fortunes needs to be quick as Union Berlin and Freiburg look set to fight hard to defend their current top four positions. RB face Hertha Berlin next weekend but also have tough encounters with Bayer Leverkusen, Freiburg and Bayern before the end of the season. The club have only finished out of the top four in one of their six seasons in the top flight (their second second season when they were 6th). Marco Rose is now under real pressure to maintain that record.