Four games, four wins, nineteen goals scored, and just three allowed, Bayer tactician, Alonso, might be gearing his club to a title charge…
The Bundesliga is just three matchdays into its new season, but a positive aura hangs over the city of Leverkusen, largely due to the brilliant start to the season for Xabi Alonso’s men. Soccernet.ng takes a look at how the tactics of the Spaniard could possibly lead to a Meisterschale triumph.
The Spaniard replaced Gerardo Seoane on matchday nine of last season, which in hindsight, looks to be the right decision, as the team ended last season in sixth place in the Bundesliga, reaching the semi-finals of the Europa League, and despite a better performance over both legs, lost to Jose Mourinho’s Roma.
In his first full season as head coach, Xabi Alonso, alongside the management of Die Werkself, formed a team with the minimum objective of reaching the Champions League, but they are fueling a dream of something greater after a perfect start to the season.
Despite the loss of their talisman, Moussa Diaby who had a hand in seventeen goals last term, scoring nine, and assisting eight, and the departure of team leaders like Karem Demirbay and Mitchell Bakker, Bayer invested ninety million for a team rebuild and offered the Spanish coach a very complete team to shape as he pleases.
In the transfer market, Alonso signed Jonas Hofmann- A specialist at winning against Bayern Munich, and Josip Stanisic to the right-back position. On the other hand, and at no cost, they found the owner of the left wing-back spot, Álex Grimaldo to take over the position, replacing Bakker. Granit Xhaka also returned to the Bay Arena, with Nathan Tella and Victor Boniface also joining the club.
Xabi Alonso started the season with his preferred 3-4-3 or 3-4-2-1, but the pieces roam the board differently. In goal, captain Hrádecký remains, and in front of him is a trio of central defenders – Tapsoba, Tah, and Kossounou – however, when he is available, Hincapié will certainly be a starter in the defensive trio.
On the left side, the technique, passing quality, and mastery of set pieces offered by Grimaldo, which is complemented by the explosiveness, offensive power, and constant threat to opposing defences that Jeremie Frimpong offers on the right side.
In the middle of the field is the team’s engine. Demirbay was sold, and Robert Andrich lost his place, which meant that the new Xhaka-Palacios duo grabbed their place in the starting eleven, and has been, to date, a partnership of huge success.
In the front three, the mobility that was already seen in Alonso’s model is preserved. Florian Wirtz, the club’s star takes on the number ten role, as well as the baton of the team’s offensive organization, but has new partners. The other interior player is Jonas Hofmann, a cerebral player who is quite strong in technical and tactical terms, and in front of the two creative players, there is an intractable Victor Boniface.
The Nigerian is a true panzer in the German attack. With a keen eye for the opponent’s goal, he is an explosive player with above-average decision-making power. There are also Arthur Augusto, Amiri, Hlozek, Amine Adli, and Patrick Schick with enviable offensive power and depth in case of any injuries.
It might be too early to say, but with nineteen goals from four wins, Leverkusen might be the dark horse in the Bundesliga this season.