Ambitious Leipzig bullish with new coach before Bayern clash

AP

Print Article

  • Leipzig's manager Julian Nagelsmann reacts during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Borussia Moenchengladbach and RB Leipzig in Moenchengladbach, Germany, Friday, Aug. 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

  • 1

    Leipzig's team celebrates after winning the German Bundesliga soccer match between Borussia Moenchengladbach and RB Leipzig in Moenchengladbach, Germany, Friday, Aug. 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

  • 2

    Leipzig's scorer Timo Werner celebrates the second of his three goals during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Borussia Moenchengladbach and RB Leipzig in Moenchengladbach, Germany, Friday, Aug. 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

  • 3

    Leipzig's Timo Werner, 2nd from left, celebrates with his team after he scored the opening goal during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Borussia Moenchengladbach and RB Leipzig in Moenchengladbach, Germany, Friday, Aug. 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

  • Leipzig's manager Julian Nagelsmann reacts during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Borussia Moenchengladbach and RB Leipzig in Moenchengladbach, Germany, Friday, Aug. 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

  • 1

    Leipzig's team celebrates after winning the German Bundesliga soccer match between Borussia Moenchengladbach and RB Leipzig in Moenchengladbach, Germany, Friday, Aug. 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

  • 2

    Leipzig's scorer Timo Werner celebrates the second of his three goals during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Borussia Moenchengladbach and RB Leipzig in Moenchengladbach, Germany, Friday, Aug. 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

  • 3

    Leipzig's Timo Werner, 2nd from left, celebrates with his team after he scored the opening goal during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Borussia Moenchengladbach and RB Leipzig in Moenchengladbach, Germany, Friday, Aug. 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

BERLIN (AP) — Fast-rising Leipzig is betting on new coach Julian Nagelsmann to provide the edge it needs to finally end Bayern Munich's Bundesliga hegemony.

The sides meet in the league on Saturday.

Leipzig, which has made no secret of its title ambitions, has been making steady progress since its formation in 2009, rising through the lower leagues, clinching Bundesliga promotion in 2016, and qualifying for the Champions League.

Former coach of the year Nagelsmann is supposed to build on last season's third-place finish, and has made a good start.

The 32-year-old Nagelsmann is the only remaining coach in Germany with a perfect record — three wins from three in the league and progress secured to the second round of the German Cup.

Protests away from home - at Union Berlin and Borussia Mönchengladbach - have had little effect on the players. Leipzig is unpopular among rival fans due to its fast ascent financed since its foundation by energy drinks manufacturer Red Bull.

Nagelsmann is used to the animosity. Former club Hoffenheim was also unpopular due to its financial reliance on billionaire backer Dietmar Hopp, though not to the level of Leipzig, which has became a favored target for rival fans.

Nagelsmann has compared himself to Jürgen Klopp, saying it took three years for Klopp to win titles at Borussia Dortmund and then Liverpool.

His goal is to do the same at Leipzig,

"Three years would be fine for all of us or even sooner. Four years would also be OK. Anyway, it would be great to do it and that's my aim," Nagelsmann said.

He can approach Saturday's game relaxed knowing he has been given time to settle in at Leipzig.

"He doesn't need to be nervous when there are one or two defeats," Leipzig chairman Oliver Mintzlaff said before the season. "We know that it's a new start and that there's a certain settling in period as things adjust."

Bayern counterpart Niko Kovac has had no such luxury, being under constant pressure since he took over the Bavarian powerhouse last year. Kovac had to dampen speculation over his future in the run up to Bayern's 3-0 win over Leipzig in the German Cup final, and will be expected to do better after winning the league and cup double last season.

Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, who has been openly critical of Kovac at times, says he welcomes the competition that Leipzig has brought to the league.

"We're always interested in competition for Bayern, because competition provides football with excitement and emotion. Leipzig is definitely one of the clubs that will establish itself at the top of the Bundesliga," Rummenigge told Kicker magazine on Thursday.

But not just yet, he hopes.

"Our goal is to take over the league-lead with a win," Rummenigge said.

___

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  

Print Article

Read More Sports

LEADING OFF: Verlander nears 20, Cubs skid, ex-cellent Rays

AP

September 21, 2019 at 11:55 pm | A look at what's happening around the majors today: THE BIG 2-0 Justin Verlander tries to become a 20-game winner for the second time in his career as the Astros aim to clinch the AL West tit...

Comments

Read More

Timberwolves rally from 21 points down to stun Hawks

September 21, 2019 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press COEUR d’ALENE — Lake City finally got out of its own way Friday night. And by doing that, the Timberwolves snatched a victory to make up for a win that had gotten away from them three weeks ago. Ur...

Comments

Read More

Post Falls jumps on Moses Lake early, then holds off late rally

September 21, 2019 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press POST FALLS — Outside of a missed extra point, it might have been the best half of football that the Post Falls football team has played all season. Offensively, putting up 41 points, including a dri...

Comments

Read More

PREP ROUNDUP: Vikings play ‘very poorly,’ but triumph

September 21, 2019 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press • FOOTBALL YAKIMA, Wash. — Sometimes, you just don’t play your best, but still find a way. As Coeur d’Alene coach Shawn Amos described it, that was Friday’s matchup with the Eisenhower Cadet...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(208) 664-8176
215 N. Second St
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83814

©2019 The Coeur d'Alene Press Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X