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Truth Week for Gerardo Seoane

The three-time YB champion coach led the factory team to third place straight away last season. He seems powerless against the mysterious burglary that has gripped the Leverkusen team.

Gerardo Seoane probably only has two games left to turn things around.

Sascha Steinbach / EPA

Gerardo Seoane was probably no longer particularly surprised when he heard about the appearance of his superior Fernando Carro at the “Doppelpass” football regulars’ table on TV station Sport 1. “We’re not naïve, we’re prepared,” said the managing director of Bayer Leverkusen when it came to a possible change of coach at Bayer Leverkusen, which Seoane could fall victim to.

Every reasonably professional club management maintains permanent contact with interesting executives; introductory talks are also held in phases in which there is no question of changing the coaching position. Of course, those responsible for the fallen Champions League participant are in contact with some candidates, and the fact that Carro speaks about it publicly is threatening for Seoane.

Belief in the turning point is fading

Last season, the Swiss had led the Werkself to third place, and many a Leverkusen supporter believed it was the beginning of a new era of success. Meanwhile, even the realists are amazed at the total collapse this team has suffered.

Leverkusen is penultimate in the table, last Friday the team was almost dismantled in the 4-0 defeat in Munich. Although the managing director Carro also said that he would like to “manage the turnaround” with Seoane, it is clearly noticeable that belief in this is waning. “It can’t go on like it did in Munich,” emphasized the Spanish club boss, who seems to be puzzled about the reasons for the strange collapse of this team just like many outside observers.

Bayer CEO Fernando Carro on the show “Doppelpass”.

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Actually, the Leverkusen are very satisfied with Seoane. If it weren’t for the precarious sporting situation, they would very much like to work with the 43-year-old Swiss on a permanent basis. Seoane moved to the Bundesliga in the summer of 2021 after winning three consecutive Swiss championships with YB. He is regarded as a pleasant employee, appears very level-headed and approachable, speaks six languages, and technically there is not much to complain about either.

Seoane can even count on the backing of the team. But he just doesn’t want to succeed in pulling his team out of the swamp of failure. Sports director Simon Rolfes said on Friday after the defeat in Munich: “We need short-term success, a different appearance in the short term. That’s the important thing.”

Seoane may not even save a win against Schalke

On Tuesday, Leverkusen take on FC Porto in the Champions League before promoted Schalke 04 make a guest appearance in the Bundesliga; that’s how long Seoane can probably continue in any case. After that, however, even a win against Schalke could lead to separation if the team continues to play as lacking in energy as they did in Munich.

“We didn’t do our part, we didn’t get into the duels and we absolutely lacked the bite,” said Seoane after the defeat at the record champions. It is a question of will: “We have to ask ourselves whether we are ready to do the last meter. The table shows the situation and it should be taken very seriously.”

However, some players have probably not yet fully arrived in this reality, in any case Bayer Leverkusen always plays like a top team that wins games without maximum energy input simply because of their footballing quality. That’s not enough in the Bundesliga at the moment. Seoane probably also bears some of the responsibility for this, during the international break he said that although there were “two or three games” in which his team “really underperformed”, most of the performances were decent or even quite good in terms of football been. According to Seoane, there is a lack of “effectiveness” above all, but he did not focus on the many negligence on the defensive in his assessments.

Many players hide behind the stars

Rather, the personal form crisis of Patrik Schick was pondered in detail, Moussa Diaby also missed too many excellent chances. Many players seem to have given in to the feeling that once the stars have overcome their personal weaknesses, things will be fine again.

After all, Leverkusen has the most expensive squad in the club’s history, with wages alone devouring around 100 million euros. The constellation is stressful, Seoane doesn’t even want to deny that. But now the faltering head coach has to come up with something to shake up his team to bring back the lost joy of playing. The fact that he is counted doesn’t really help.

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