Gladbach vs Hoffenheim: Match NotesBy: Saurabh | August 25th, 2012
It was a disappointing way to open up the season. Coming away from Borussia-Park with the win was always going to be a tough ask and it looked at one stage like we’d get away with at least one point. After Firmino’s equaliser in the 66th minute, the team seemed a lot more comfortable in possession and could’ve held on or maybe even pushed on for the winner. Instead the defence started to get clumsy, as we’re so used to, and allowed Juan Arango to get himself a freekick in an area we know he’s so dangerous in. Still, it’s just the first match of the season and there’s enough time to work on the way we approach games.
A few match notes:
- Volland started in almost an AM position which seemed like a strange decision given Derdiyok is the quicker and more mobile of the two and could drop deep and link up with the midfield better. Both players had a little impact in their roles but it would be best if the two were swapped.
- The 4-4-2 should be allowing more outlets in attack. It didn’t work in this match due to Gladbach’s aggressive closing down but under normal circumstances it should provide the team with more chances. The formation also means that the wingers play deeper and are able to track back more often. This way the fullbacks are able to drop into the middle and the wingers assume their roles on the flanks, creating a very compact and difficult to break down defence. On the flip side, the wingers can drop into the middle when attacking, allowing the fullbacks to overlap and create more width. We saw this at work on a few occasions but again, it’s something that will take some time to get used to.
- Weis was completely invisible the entire game. He’s a bit more direct than we needed during this match. Once Gladbach’s defence was set they proved near impossible to get through and we were restricted to hopeful long range efforts.
- There were some encouraging performances by Boris Vukcevic and Takashi Usami. Vukcevic was involved in almost everything throughout the day and showed how much he was missed early on last season. He didn’t have the best comeback from his injury but now with a full preseason under his belt he should be able to get back to his old form. Usami put in a decent performance coming off the bench. He showed great pace and was taking on defenders with great confidence for a 20 year old.