Bochum’s next surprise against Leipzig – Sport
The meerkats are back. A year ago, the local elementary school students, who call themselves that, sang a song to VfL Bochum for the first time and gave the footballers wings in the fight to stay up in the league. Now, in their second release, the meerkats are singing the self-made line “One point more – than Schalke” to the melody of the radio hit “I don’t care – I love it” and motivating their VfL players to stay in the club again with a wink Bundesliga.
Coincidence or not: After the 2-0 win in Cologne last week, Bochum also defeated the top club RB Leipzig 1-0. VfL found its hero again in the goalkeeper named Manuel Riemann, who has recently kept his footballing escapades under control and prefers to drive opponents to despair instead of his own colleagues. The highlight of his remarkable performance on Saturday, along with a series of magnificent saves, was the moment when, in injury time, he directed the ball to the inside of the post with a piercing gaze and safely caught the rebound. After the final whistle, Bochum hugged their goalkeeper as if a superhero had saved the earth from destruction. And it was a bit like that.
With Malocher qualities: central defender Erhan Masovic scores against Leipzig
They have long since forgiven Riemann for insulting them as “freaks” during training in the miserable early phase of the season, at that time still under coach Thomas Reis. There has been no more word of such verbal abuse from the squad since high school teacher Thomas Letsch has been in charge of football tutoring and has carefully navigated VfL through many a difficult phase.
After initially five home wins in a row against Frankfurt, Union Berlin, Gladbach, Hertha and Hoffenheim, Bochum’s combative Ruhrpott mentality seemed to tip over. It rained five competitive defeats in a row with the low point of a 0:2 at the beginning of March at home against Schalke of all places, to which the little meerkats now give them a very specific recommendation for action (“One point more!”).
After the victories in Cologne and against Leipzig, Bochum are four points ahead of their neighbors from Gelsenkirchen and are moving a bit away from the relegation zone. “The team acted at the limit and threw everything in with passion,” praised technical director Marc Lettau, 37, who came to VfL Bochum from 1. FC Union Berlin in December and will also take on the tasks of sports director Patrick Fabian, 35, for the time being , has to take over, who is absent for an indefinite period of time for health reasons not specified by the association. Lettau has a Schalke past: he was youth coach and youth coordinator there from 2011 to 2016.
In addition to goalkeeper Riemann, the Serb Erhan Masovic is currently a much-praised player at VfL because, as a central defender, he not only played a key role in the two most recent victories from zero, but also as the scorer of the 2-0 goal in Cologne and the golden goal against Leipzig also succeeded as an unexpected goalscorer. The 24-year-old came to Bochum from FC Brugge in October 2020. He pleases the fans there with the realization that a Serb reproduces the virtues of fighting and never fading passion, which are appreciated in the Ruhr area, in such an exemplary manner.
Bochum will certainly need three or four wins from nine games to secure a third year in a row in the Bundesliga. It’s been a long time since anyone used their former nickname “the undegradables”. Between 1971 and 1993 they had repeatedly saved themselves from trouble by their own bootstraps. They dream of such a renewed establishment in the Bundesliga on Castroper Straße.