ECHO BUNDESLIGY: Alonso showed character, Tuchel’s congratulations on the title surprised

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“Good Friday brought one big news for football Leverkusen. Xabi Alonso put an end to all the speculation and surprised the German and possibly the English public with his announcement that he remains the coach of Bayer. Hats off to such a decision, it shows his huge character.

When he arrived at Leverkusen in October 2022, he said he was grateful for the big chance. And he behaved exactly accordingly now, despite the fact that there was interest in him from several famous addresses. Bayer became the first in Europe to secure a place in the Champions League, which is a great calling card, and if they can keep their successful squad together, they can aim for more extra goals.

Leverkusen exudes tremendous power, which was also seen in Saturday’s match with Hoffeheim. The Klassiker was being played, the closely watched battle between Bayern and Dortmund, but the talk was still about the incredible turnaround of Alonso’s boys. They showed great morale again: even if the opponent leads over Leverkusen, they cannot be sure that they will not lose until the end.

Patrik Schick rounded off a successful March with another crucial last minute goal. He belongs to the key faces for Leverkusen and collects praise after praise. The Euro is approaching and the Czech fans logically want Patrik to last in this form. In addition, the championship will be played in Germany, where he knows it well.

The math is clear: Leverkusen need three wins to win the title. It can be done in two or three weeks, as Thomas Tuchel, the outgoing coach of Bayern, knows well. His congratulations to Leverkusen on the title seemed sincere to me, it can’t be a psychological game at this point. I feel like he meant it, but it didn’t make a good impression on the public. Dietmar Hamann, Bayern legend and TV pundit, said in fairness that Tuchel should be fired and replaced by the free José Mourinho.

Bayern picked themselves up after a weak start to the spring and managed to advance to the quarter-finals of the Champions League, where they are still playing for the trophy. The recovered wingers Gnabry and Coman returned to him and the team got into some comfort, which is why Tuchel’s defeatist statement was a big disappointment.

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He could not be understood even in the context of the defeat in the match with Dortmund. Borussia went more for the win than Bayern, but Karim Adeyemi’s goal at 0:1 was catchable. It wasn’t a 100% chance. Bayern had a few, but it was a completely emotionless game from their side. As if it was nothing.

Dortmund could have been helped by the fact that only striker Niclas Füllkrug made it to the German national team, coach Edin Terzič had a lot of rested players at his disposal. Borussia looked much fresher compared to Bayern. In the end, it was a fourth win in a row and a move to fourth place, which guarantees promotion to the Champions League. What fascinates me about Dortmund is that even though he was written off several times, he always managed to get back into the game. The same for coach Terzič: he repeatedly had a lot of trouble, but he always escaped the dismissal.

Bayern were very upset that third-placed Stuttgart failed to beat Heidenheim. Thanks to a 3:3 draw, the Munich team has a three-point lead, but there are seven long rounds left until the end of the season, including the expected match between Stuttgart and Bayern (May 4).

The question remains what will happen in Munich after the season and the planned departure of coach Tuchel. The number one candidate was the aforementioned Xabi Alonso, no one was hiding it. Now it’s Julian Nagelsmann’s turn, whose journalists already tapped during the recent nomination press of the German national team. When asked if he was in contact with Bayern, he answered very Solomonically. It was immediately clear that something had happened there. He had previously said that he would accept the club’s offer, even though it would most likely mean leaving the national team. Nagelsmann’s end at Bayern last year was very strange, not only according to club legends, he deserves another chance in Munich.

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On Sunday, an offensive display in Stuttgart’s match with Heidenheim thrilled, the 3-3 scoreline was fair. Even a two-goal lead didn’t help Stuttgart, the hungry rookie scored three times and went on to win. But Deniz Undav equalized in the 98th minute and once again showed that he and his partner Serhou Guirassy are in the same league: they have already scored 38 league goals together this season.

Heidenheim hasn’t won for a long time, the last time was in February in Bremen, but they can excite with interesting football and can play a balanced game with everyone, which they showed in Stuttgart as well. Among other things, this is due to the careful work of coach Frank Schmidt, who has been working with the team since 2007 and is the longest-serving coach in German history.

I would like to stop at three Czech players, I will start by praising the defender David Jurásk: he played the second full game in a row in Hoffenheim. At first he was neglected and the loan from Benfica did not make much sense at the beginning, but now he is getting space and his confidence is increasing. Even if Hoffenheim won’t go to the cups again, it’s a good experience for David. And maybe he will stay in Germany permanently, who knows.

Forward Tomáš Čvančar, who has been struggling with an ankle injury for over three months, but recovered and got half an hour against Freiburg at the weekend, is perhaps looking forward to better times. Mönchengladbach is not yet definitively saved – and Tomas can help him a lot. He scored four times in the autumn, and if he adds more goals now, he could talk about being nominated for the Euro. I wonder how he will fare in Mönchengladbach: Borussia are capable of playing solidly against quality opposition and then struggle with someone who is on the wane.

Wolfsburg finally won at the eleventh attempt, only the second time this spring. However, it was again without midfielder Václav Černý, who spent the entire match in Bremen among the substitutes. Hopefully new coach Ralph Hasenhüttl will give him a chance soon.”

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The article is in Czech

Tags: ECHO BUNDESLIGY Alonso showed character Tuchels congratulations title surprised

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