VfL Bochum has recently been quite stable and improved with three draws in a row in the league. However, a complete failure for Bayern is apparently standard practice every season.
Sobering results: Bochum’s Manuel Riemann had to reach behind himself seven times again against FC Bayern, but still prevented anything worse from happening. IMAGO/Langer
Many things in football change, often quite quickly. What stays the same? Günter Netzer’s hairstyle, for example. And the distance for the penalty kick is still eleven meters. And: Every season there is a very strong clap for VfL Bochum against record champions FC Bayern.
It’s strange: VfL Bochum actually stands for defending itself with passion, even against overpowering opponents – and from Bochum’s perspective there are many of them in the Bundesliga. Recently, VfL has been quite stable in the league, drawing three times in a row and being pretty compact defensively.
So now: another complete failure. “That was pretty painful,” said sports director Marc Lettau afterwards. “We were brought back down to earth.”
For the third time 0:7 against FC Bayern
If Manuel Riemann hadn’t made brilliant saves a few more times, the defeat in Munich would have been double-digit. The Bochum team appeared so sleepy in the duel, as if they were almost willing to give way when Bayern started their quick combinations.
Of course, this opponent plays in a completely different league, that’s top level, but even then you should actually be able to keep a defeat like that within limits. Bochum failed to do that again, and the magnitude of the defeat seems familiar to the VfL supporters.
Immediately after promotion, on the fifth matchday of the 2021/22 season, there was a 7-0 defeat at the same place. A year later there was even a defeat of a similar nature on Castroper Straße, on the third matchday, when there was the well-known 0:7 against Bayern. And now on the fifth matchday, 0:7 again.
Not the first misfire of the season
Thomas Letsch has never experienced such a high score in his coaching career; he has never lost so much. “It hurts everyone. The players, the people around them, the staff, the fans,” says Letsch. “In football, however, it happens from time to time that you really get knocked down. Then you have to get up again.”
It might also be a mystery to him as to why his team allowed themselves to be played completely apart. After all, it wasn’t VfL Bochum’s first failure of the current season. One of the negative highlights is of course the cup exit at third division club Arminia Bielefeld, and on the first match day there was already a 5-0 defeat at VfB Stuttgart, which was hardly thought possible in this form.
This is followed by three draws against Borussia Dortmund, in Augsburg and against Frankfurt. Slightly increasing trend, now the renewed precipitation. So three decent games in between, plus three complete failures: This puts Bochum’s embarrassing performances of the current season at 50 percent. “Even a game like that,” says Letsch, “shouldn’t knock us down. I’m convinced that we’ll perform completely differently against Gladbach in a week’s time.”
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