Bundesliga: Bochum’s goalkeeper trouble before relegation

Bundesliga: Bochum’s goalkeeper trouble before relegation

In Bochum, the disregard for keeper Riemann overshadowed the preparation for the relegation against Düsseldorf. A relegation would not only have major consequences in terms of sport.

Bochum captain Anthony Losilla tried to brush aside the fuss about goalkeeper Manuel Riemann’s ousting as best he could. “We need peace and quiet to work properly,” said the experienced leader before the relegation match against Fortuna Düsseldorf. “It’s not just about us, it’s about something really big – the whole club, a lot of people who work here. We have to fight for that.”

The message is clear: the focus in the most important games in the club’s recent history should be on football and the crash should somehow be prevented. Relegation to the 2nd Bundesliga would have huge consequences, not just in terms of sport, but also financially. For the second league, VfL says it would have to calculate around 40 percent less TV revenue than for the current Bundesliga season. For Fortuna, promotion would mean additional income of around 30 million euros in various areas.

Fear meets euphoria

On paper, Bochum, as a first division team, is a slight favorite ahead of the first leg this Thursday (8.30 p.m./Sat.1 and Sky). However, the current emotional and mood situation is particularly bad for VfL. The Riemann blow, weak Bochum and strong Düsseldorf performances recently – emotionally, Fortuna, who have not lost in the 2nd Bundesliga since the beginning of February, have a clear advantage.

While there is fear of relegation around the Ruhrstadion, there is tension among the people of Düsseldorf, but above all anticipation of the chance of promotion. “We simply deserve these two wonderful games,” said coach Daniel Thioune. “Now there is only one goal: we want to leave the league next Monday.”

While the Fortuna coach has a “complete buffet” of players at his disposal and can prepare his team in peace, Bochum coach Heiko Butscher has to work on several construction sites at the same time. The recent sporting performances in the 1:4 in Bremen and the 0:5 against Bayer Leverkusen actually demand enough capacity. In addition, Butscher now also has to make up for the absence of his moody regular goalkeeper, who, with his very active style of play and long shots, is also important in addition to his core role between the posts.

Riemann’s sporting value “undisputed”

After all, his sports director Patrick Fabian took over part of the moderation of the exciting topic. “Manu’s sporting value is undisputed, of course we would have preferred things to be different,” said the 36-year-old on Thursday. “I’m not happy about having this situation now. But we have to deal with it, it’s all about VfL now.” In such situations there is “no gray area, just black or white”.

Riemann had repeatedly clashed with his teammates. His outbursts, which were sometimes strange and clearly visible in the stadiums, had repeatedly caused head-shaking over the course of the season. According to the club, “irreconcilable differences of opinion on team issues” led to the radical measure at a very inopportune time.

Despite all his peculiarities, Riemann also has close contacts and advocates in the team. Losilla is seen as someone who has a good rapport with the keeper. And Riemann representative Andreas Luthe said: “Manu is an important part of our team. I think we agree that we would have preferred to see him in goal.”

It will now depend on Luthe. The 37-year-old already played in the relegation round with VfL in 2011. Back then, the club, a second division team, missed out on promotion against Borussia Mönchengladbach. “We have complete confidence in him,” said Losilla.

Source: Stern

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