By Obiajulu Chiagoziem
Speaking about Bayer Leverkusen’s form this season, sporting director Rolfes told Stats Perform that: “We’re happy with the start of the season because it was a difficult summer for us but also the other teams who have a lot of international players.
“This summer with the Copa America, Euros, Olympic Games… there were a lot of players from us involved. A player from us won the Copa America and Olympics, so only the Euros we missed.
“That’s why the pre-season was really difficult. The players step in, week by week, and I think one week before the start of the season, we had our final squad together. The transfer market due to coronavirus was also very different and late. That’s why I’m very happy. We had good opponents.”
“We were not happy with the last season,” said Rolfes, whose Leverkusen finished sixth in 2020-21 while losing in the DFB-Pokal last 16 and Europa League round of 32. A very good start but the end was difficult.
“We reached international competition okay, but we are ambitious and want more this season. You can imagine the Champions League is a big goal but also the DFB-Pokal and Europa League to go further.
“What’s very important for our club is development. One thing is performance and also the result at the end of the season, but development is very important. Develop the players, make them better.
“Then we have the chance to also perform today in the best way. We have a lot of young players – we want to develop them to their best level. That’s also good for the performance today.”
He further went on to discuss the club’s performance this season and also speaking about the managerial efforts in carrying the club forward while pointing towards their expected goals (xG) tally by almost eight goals in this Bundesliga campaign – 7.7 (16 goals at 8.3 xG), a league best.
“One important point is football knowledge,” Rolfes replied when asked what attracted Leverkusen to 42-year-old Swiss coach Seoane. “Also the leadership, that’s very interesting. The leadership of the group as a head coach is very important. If you’re in training, the assistant coaches can do things. If you don’t feel so comfortable or don’t have so many qualities, you can find the right team.
“The leadership as a head coach, you must have. That’s a big strength, besides the football knowledge he has. He speaks six different languages – very good for an international squad to speak with the players in their language. That helps a lot to get the right connection to take them on their way and development.”he concluded.
Bayer Leverkusen has been on a great form this season, they won their Europa second tier match and are presently sitting second on their league table.