After a pleasantly quiet week, Bayern Munich will face Werder Bremen in their next Bundesliga game next Saturday – a good opportunity to get back into the rhythm for the Champions League game next Wednesday.
Florian Heller is today’s birthday boy – it’s fair to call him that way. While many of our other round-up persons are already rather elderly, Heller still enjoys his youth with his 34 years. At the age of ten the native of Rosenheim moved from his village club, the SV Pang to TSV 1860 Rosenheim, from where he, together with Bastian Schweinsteiger, joined the youth of Bayern in 1998. Since the 2000/01 season he was officially part of the first team, however he only player for the second team in the following seasons. In 2003/04 he moved to Greuther Fürth, a second division team, where he played in 43 games in two years. Also at his next club, Erzgebirge Aue, Heller was a regular starter and stayed for three years. In 2008, he finally made the right decision and joined the then second division team Mainz 05, which was promoted to the Bundesliga under coach Jörn Andersen. Shortly before the Bundesliga start 2009/10, Thomas Tuchel became the new head coach in Mainz – and was an instant fan of Heller.
Heller had an extremely successful Bundesliga season in which he played in 30 games. A highlight was probably the 2:1 victory against Bayern Munich on Match day 3, when he crowned his excellent performance with an assist. A few days later Bayern signed a certain Arjen Robben, who caused some problems for Heller in the second leg of the season. However, after his good first Bundesliga season, it went downhill for Heller. In the second year, he only played in 19 games. In the following season he was completely left out, and finally, in January 2012 he moved to Ingolstadt into the second division. After one and a half good years with the “Schanzer” his contract was not renewed in the summer of 2013. The 30-year-old Heller then returned to Rosenheim. In January 2014 Heller tried it one more time for half a year in Unterhaching, but then ended his career in the summer.
Happy Birthday Florian Heller!
The so-called “German Classico” delivered everything, except for goals and a winner, says Raphael Honigstein. In our own match analysis Steffen emphasized three aspects of the game: Tuchel’s ideas, Vidal’s worth and Lahm’s wisdom. In his analysis on spielverlagerung.com Tom Payne takes a closer look at BVB’s back five and pressing mechanisms and also on the often too unbalanced pairing of Alonso and Vidal.
The “Pep talk”
— BT Sport Football (@btsportfootball) March 5, 2016
Protect your patch
The evaluation of defenders by current metrics is problematic, because most collected football events focus either on offensive actions (shots, passes) or on actions that involve the ball (clearances, tacklings), but great defenders are often praised for “controlling the spaces”. Thom Lawrence came up with something called PATCH (Possession Adjusted Territorial Control Held) to analyse how good any player is able to defend his “patch”, the defensive territory where on the pitch a player is responsible for stopping their opponent. Boateng is one of the top 5 centre-backs in Europe, according to PATCH. Alonso and Vidal are in the top 20 list for centre midfielders. Lawrence also filtered for players 23 or under and has Kimmich on number 4 (ahead of Can) and Coman on number 10 in a combined list for all midfielders and defenders. The Pep talk seems to work.
Tactics Conference in Leicester
An exciting project was presented in Leicester, England in late February: Some football experts came together to a Tactics Conference, which was not only reserved for coaches and managers, but also open to the public. Threepointsfootball.co.uk gives a detailed summary of the speeches.