They say that success breeds success and in the case of RB Leipzig it certainly looks like the Roten Bullen are getting a taste for silverware with two successive DFB Pokal wins and then their recent Supercup triumph over Bayern in this season’s curtain-raiser. Dortmund pushed the Bavarians agonisingly close in the Bundesliga title race last season- could Leipzig be the ones to challenge the Rekordmeister this season?
They also say that you can roll a turd in glitter and tie a bow around it, but it still remains a turd. It’s fair to say that the RB Leipzig ‘project’ still rankles with a huge number of German fans, who despise the club’s methods and whole ethos seeing them as far away from being a Traditionsverein as it could be possible to be. In the ‘love them or hate them’ balance, the vast majority of fans fall in the hate camp.
However much animosity is directed towards Leipzig by opposition supporters and however many disparaging banners appear deriding them as a club, they do have to be taken seriously as their football does the talking on the pitch with increasing levels of success. The first Pokal win in 2022 was a watershed, while last season’s 3-1 win at the Allianz Arena also laid down a marker. Taking Bayern apart for a second time in the recent Supercup has stirred the ambition even further.
Despite losing five key players in the summer, Leipzig’s transfer dealings this summer have put them in a position where they are being talked about as title contenders. The loss of Josko Gvardiol, Marcel Halstenberg, Konrad Laimer, Domonik Szoboszlai and Christopher Nkunku would handicap a lot of teams, but Leipzig have signed enough exciting talent this summer to still be considered contenders.
The arrival of Marco Rose last season to steady the ship following Domenico Tedesco’s poor start to the season was a masterstroke and no Bundesliga coach won more points than Rose from the point he took over. Leipzig were the form team of the Rückrunde and had the season been extended, they would have looked good for a tilt at the title.
A lot has been said about the players who have left, but there is plenty of quality still at the club- chief amongst which is Dani Olmo, who was persuaded to stay and was the match-winner in the Supercup with his outstanding hat trick.
“I feel important” Olmo said last week. “We lost many important players but the players who came are really good, young and experienced with an ambition to win. That is very important for us. That is why I stayed. To keep winning. It will be important to start good. You have to be consistent the whole year.”
RB Leipzig have already upstaged Bayern Munich once this season and the long-term plan is to upstage come the end of the season by doing what Borussia Dortmund failed to do- prise the Meisterschale away from the Allianz Arena. The new players at the club have been hand-picked to slot effortlessly into Marco Rose’s pressing team and as the Supercup showed, the machine looks like it is purring already at the start of the season.
Bayern winning the Bundesliga every year is getting boring to many, but the thought of Rasen Ballsport Leipzig or FC Dosenverkauf (can-sellers) being the ones to usurp the Bavarians would be even harder to endure for the majority of fans.