Marco Rose’s big start as RB Leipzig coach against former clubs and Real Madrid
Just 24 hours after RB Leipzig parted company with Domenico Tedesco, they confirmed the appointment of Marco Rose as their new head coach. And what a start he has, with the ex-Borussia Dortmund and Borussia Mönchengladbach boss facing both his former clubs – sandwiched by a mouth-watering clash away at Real Madrid.
It only took a matter of minutes after the announcement of Tedesco’s departure for the rumour mill to kick into gear and throw out the name of Rose as hot favourite. All the signs were there. A Leipzig native, who lives on the outskirts of the city, with Bundesliga experience, and the know-how to win from his days at RB’s Austrian sister club, Red Bull Salzburg.
He won the title there in 2018 and 2019, with the latter part of a domestic double, and had previously guided the club’s U19s to UEFA Youth League glory in 2017. Now his objective it to turn things around at Leipzig.
Die Roten Bullen are the reigning DFB Cup holders after a barnstorming second half to last season under Tedesco. However, they’ve stuttered out the blocks this term, winning just one of their five league games (plus two draws and two defeats), and endured a horrible week that saw them thrashed 4-0 away at Eintracht Frankfurt before a 4-1 home hammering by Shakhtar Donetsk in the UEFA Champions League. Tedesco was gone less than 12 hours later.
Watch: Leipzig’s 4-0 loss in Frankfurt
“We have an overall responsibility to RB Leipzig and want to achieve our goals,” said club managing director Oliver Mintzlaff of the decision to relieve Tedesco of his duties. “That’s why we came to the decision that we require a new impulse.”
That now has to come from Rose. There is no doubting the quality in the Leipzig team, from the steady hands of captain Peter Gulacsi in goal, all the way through Josko Gvardiol, Christopher Nkunku and up to Timo Werner. Prior to taking the job, Rose will have already watched the team in action and have had his own thoughts on what needs doing. And he immediately implemented that on the pitch.
There was no time to get settled in what was a huge start for Rose personally. On Saturday, the eve of his 46th birthday, Rose passed his first test with flying colours by beating none other than Dortmund – the team he left just this summer after one season.
Watch A tactical analysis of Rose’s Dortmund diamond
Fast forward to the next matchday and it’s another trip down memory lane as he returns to Borussia-Park, where he spent two successful years in charge of Gladbach.
And as if that wasn’t enough football romanticism, those Bundesliga games sandwich Leipzig’s second Champions League group game. And that’s away at holders Real Madrid.
“I’ve never taken over a club during a season […] but everything is there that we need. This team is outstanding. We just need to implement that,” Rose stated at his unveiling on the morning of his appointment.
However, the new boss will know it’s a hugely challenging start and there will be no room for excuses even when appointed just 48 hours before the next game. Leipzig need points in the Bundesliga now if they’re to avoid a repeat of last season’s dramatic catch-up job, and the manner of their 3-0 win over BVB will have pleased club bosses as Rose's era started with a bang.
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