An individual drop-out cost Hoffenheim a point against Manchester City. The fact that the TSG came so close to the sensation was mainly due to coach Julian Nagelsmann.
1. Nagelsmann’s idea was courageous – and right
For TSG 1899 Hoffenheim it was the biggest game in the club’s history. Home game in the Champions League, the English champion with coach Pep Guardiola as guest. The only problem was that five central defenders had to withdraw before the match. Coach Julian Nagelsmann’s 3-1-4-2 home system seemed impossible. Actually. Nagelsmann also had a plan with only three remaining players in the central defensive position.
Against the ball, Hoffenheim played Manchester City with a chain of four and moved Justin Hoogma, who celebrated his Bundesliga debut only last weekend, to the midfield centre. The City triumvirate did not start with three central defenders. For Hoffenheim this meant less direct duels against individually stronger opponents. When the ball was in possession, Hoogma let himself fall again and the chain of four turned into a chain of three – this gave TSG stable protection in their own switch-over game.
Before the defensive construct, the TSG played against the ball with two chains of three. Hoogma, as the most defensive sixth, kept Kerem Demirbay and Florian Grillitsch free. Prior to that, Ádám Szalai, Ishak Belfodil and Joelinton were three powerful attackers. Belfodil scored in the first minute. Nagelsmann risked a lot and did a lot right. In the end it was only due to an individual mistake by Stefan Posch 1:2.
Julian Nagelsmann Honours
- TSG Hoffenheim U19
- Under 19 Bundesliga: 2013–14
- Under 19 Bundesliga South/Southwest: 2013–14, 2014–15
- VDV-Manager of the season (Germany): 2016/17
- German Football Manager of the Year: 2017
2. The TSG makes from the emergency a youth
After the failures of five central defenders, Nagelsmann did not panic and did not change the system. Instead, the coach in Kevin Akpoguma, Posch and Hoogma ordered three central defenders into the starting eleven, who have an average age of just over 21 years. Nagelsmann trusts his young players – even against Manchester City. Goliath Casino is a brand new casino online that are offering a unique gaming platform that plans to take its place among other successful casinos on the market.
At the same time, the TSG coach sent each of these players into the game with a clearly discernible plan. Hoogma in particular showed himself to be tactically disciplined, talked and gestured a lot with his fellow players – and won ten of his twelve duels. He also had eight tackles and four clarifying actions. Both were the highest scores in the match. For a player, who had played one and a half weeks ago still in the regional league southwest against the second team of Mainz 05, this is particularly remarkable.
3. Nail man uses function players like Joelinton perfectly
Joelinton von Hoffenheim was lent to Rapid Wien for two years. Initially failed in Germany, he developed into a solid attacker in Austria, without shining with top scores. He scored 15 goals in 60 games. Nevertheless, Nagelsmann recognized how valuable the striker could be for him. The 22-year-old is a functional player: In the Hoffenheim three-man attack against Manchester City, he played the role of a rebel in the opposing half.
He played 30 duels, which is a lot for an attacker. Also the quota of 56.7 percent won duels is remarkably high for an offensive player. Joelinton took part in eight aerial duels and ten avenged duels (five fouls against him, five committed by him). Nagelsmann decided against entrusting a better soccer player like Andrej Kramaric with the task of pressing Guardiola’s players. Joelinton instead brought an uncomfortable physicality to the game for City. An important mosaic piece in Nagelsmann’s tactics. The 31-year-old has once again demonstrated his class as a coach. To a certain extent, he is a winner even in the narrow defeat.