Bundesliga: Bochum pulls itself out of the relegation zone by itself – sport

Bundesliga: Bochum pulls itself out of the relegation zone by itself – sport

Multitasking is no problem for someone like Keven Schlotterbeck. The Swabian is 25 years old, people of his generation blindly understand how to master a wide variety of electronic challenges at the same time. Of course, Schlotterbeck is above all a professional footballer, but even as such he played in his first game for the Ruhr area club VfL Bochum laid down a somnambulistic multitasking.

In the 3-1 (2-0) win in the basement duel against Hertha BSC, Schlotterbeck, who had just been loaned to Bochum from SC Freiburg, immediately delivered a convincing game in central defense, and in the 44th minute he also headed a corner kick still scored the 2-0 lead and in between he was even able to take a look at the scoreboard, where the intermediate results of his home and heart club Freiburg flared up again and again, which at the same time suffered an ugly 0: 6 swatter at VfL Wolfsburg . After his first game for Bochum, Schlotterbeck was asked whether SC Freiburg might be missing an experienced central defender, and at first he laughed out loud.

Schlotterbeck has hardly played in Freiburg this season, so the loan to Bochum suits him very well. The VfL trainer Thomas Letsch gave him his confidence in the first competitive game and put him in the starting XI alongside the Ukrainian Ivan Ordets. After eleven minutes, Bochum suffered a bit of shock because Hertha’s Lucas Tousart supposedly scored the Berlin lead, but because the ball had previously been out of bounds, the goal didn’t count. The Ruhrstadion breathed a sigh of relief, the Bochum players breathed a sigh of relief, Schlotterbeck breathed a sigh of relief. Especially since VfL shortly afterwards in the 22nd minute showed signs of victory with a headed goal by striker Philipp Hofmann.

3-1 against Hertha BSC: Keven Schlotterbeck makes it 2-0.

Keven Schlotterbeck makes it 2-0.

(Photo: Sebastian Räppold/Matthias Koch/Imago)

With a 2-0 lead at the break against a dismayed Berliner, Bochum easily brought their third Bundesliga win in a row and their fourth home win in a row to the finish line. With Hofmann’s sixth goal of the season to make it 3-0 in the 57th minute and despite Suat Serdar’s consolation goal in Berlin (87th), Schlotterbeck made a perfect debut in Bochum and VfL got out of the relegation zone for the first time this season.

Having started the season with six defeats under coach Thomas Reis, the team from Bochum, who came from Vitesse Arnheim at the end of September, have won five in nine league games and thus scored 15 points under new coach Letsch. “No more second league”, the fans sang again and again on Saturday, because they have the feeling that Letsch fits. The coach and the team seem to get along as well as people as footballers.

The World Cup break has apparently helped Bochum

The almost two-and-a-half-month break from the World Cup also helped Bochum. Letsch didn’t prepare for the season with VfL, so the long winter break came in handy for him to explain to his players in more detail how he imagines football. “We’re now playing more the way the coach wants,” says center forward Hofmann, who, for reasons that are not entirely unselfish, is happy that Letsch is also preaching to the team to please shoot at goal more often and cross more often into the penalty area. because the tree-high Hofmann is lurking there.

“I keep telling my colleagues: Put the ball in the box!” jokes Hofmann – and Letsch agrees with his goalscorer: “Physique is Philipp’s strength, he loves throwing himself into opponents, he’s a real nine and an important player for us.” Six goals this season is already a strong tally for the 29-year-old, who has never played in the Bundesliga played, but always in the second division for Paderborn, Ingolstadt, Kaiserslautern, Fürth and Karlsruhe.

And so VfL Bochum, in contrast to the falling Hertha, gradually pulls itself out of the mess by its own bootstraps, with a goalscorer named Hofmann and with a new central defender named Schlotterbeck, who is the older brother of that national player Nico Schlotterbeck, who is now at Borussia Dortmund plays and therefore no longer at SC Freiburg. For Keven Schlottbeck, however, Freiburg remains home, because he is only on loan to Bochum until the summer and has a long-term contract in Freiburg.

He was asked after the win against Berlin how well he liked his perfect debut in the Ruhr area, but Schlotterbeck immediately denied that it was perfect. “As a defender, it annoys me that we conceded a goal shortly before the end,” he said. “This win would have been better if we had kept a clean sheet.” Maybe Freiburg’s parallel gossip irritated and distracted him a bit in the end.

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