The schedule is not good for 1. FSV Mainz 05. The upcoming home opponents are Leverkusen and Bayern Munich. But the Zero Fives are far from capitulating – statistics and a special newcomer give hope.
What doesn’t work at 1. FSV Mainz 05: Coach Bo Svensson. IMAGO/Sven Simon
Emotionally, Monday wasn’t easy for Mainz 05 fans. Initially, the mood barometer plummeted after the announcement of Andreas Hanche-Olsen’s long-term absence, and just three hours after the bad news, some people were probably smiling again. With Josuha Guilavogui, the bottom of the Bundesliga landed a prominent replacement.
Coach Bo Svensson couldn’t stop raving about the 33-year-old ex-Wolfsburg player at the press conference on Thursday. “The first thing he asked for was to have our games sent to him by email,” reported Svensson, extremely pleased with the defensive all-rounder’s initiative. “Once you meet him, you quickly get an impression of the kind of person you’re dealing with. It’s not without reason that he was captain at Wolfsburg for a long time. Regardless of football, he’s someone who likes to take on responsibility and has experienced a lot in his footballing life . He will help us with this, no matter the situation.”
Already in the squad against Leverkusen
Guilavogui seems to have kept himself fit since leaving VfL in an exemplary manner. Although his fitness level is not at 100 percent and he would be built up carefully, the coach has already promised him a place in the squad against Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday (3:30 p.m., LIVE! on kicker). “For a player who has not been in team training for a long time, he has a good level of fitness. He is an experienced player who knows his body,” explains Svensson, who expects to be able to bring him into the starting line-up after the international break.
That would be important because the Zero Fives host FC Bayern on October 21st (6:30 p.m.). So first comes second place in the table, then the current leader – the home game program is really anything but grateful in the current situation (18th place after five match days). In order not to be shot out of the stadium by Victor Boniface and Harry Kane, a clear gain in stability is needed in the back line.
Surprising: Mainz allows the third fewest shots
On paper, the path to get there doesn’t seem that far. Because the Mainz team surprises with one statistic: FSV has allowed 51 shots on goal in the five games so far, only their upcoming opponents have fewer; Leverkusen 49, Bayern 40. The other side of this coin: over 27 percent, i.e. more than every fourth opponent’s shot on goal, ends up in the net. No Bundesliga team is in a worse position.
“That means that when the opponent arrives, there are usually very big chances. We don’t need to lie to each other, we make too many individual mistakes. We have to fix them, that’s clear. We make life far too difficult for ourselves,” says Svensson about the weakness, but also sees the positive: “How much did Stuttgart and Augsburg create against us from the game? Very, very little. The defensive performance, if you take away the goals conceded, is not that bad. If we do it well tactically “It’s difficult for the opponent to play through our order.”
Leverkusen only have “two legs”
Getting closer to his comeback: Silvan Widmer. IMAGO/Martin Hoffmann
Now having to play against perhaps the Bundesliga team with the strongest form doesn’t give Svensson any stomach ache: “We can’t choose our opponents, they only have two legs. We’ve been able to play some outstanding games time and again in the history of Mainz 05 to deliver and cause problems for the favorites. We will do everything we can to make it as difficult as possible for Leverkusen.”
There were also pleasing personnel updates apart from the name Guilavogui. Captain Silvan Widmer has been training with the team again this week. “I’m happy to see him on the pitch again, he’s really happy too,” reports Svensson, but he’s putting the brakes on premature expectations for now. “He was away for four months, he’s not a superhuman either. But just his presence on the training ground closer to the troops is doing him and all of us a lot of good.”
#dont #lie #Mainz #mistakes