82 minutes were played against Fortuna Dusseldorf, when suddenly the old Bayer Leverkusen flashed. Bayer's Kerem Demirbay took the ball through the midfield when two Dusseldorf players put him down and took the ball away. Instead of chasing after them, Demirbay stopped and protested. He wanted to have seen a foul. Dusseldorf countered and scored the 1: 3.
Unnecessary loss of the ball, poor protection, auskontert: It was a goal against the mark Peter Bosz. Since his unfortunate tenure at Borussia Dortmund, he has been pursued by the reputation that his spectacular offensive football knows no compromises - and no view in the rearview mirror. The defensive stability remains with him on the track, his teams are counter-sensitive. Against Dusseldorf this susceptibility was again to marvel.
But it remained with the one error, Leverkusen won the game. Two games, six points: The start of the season went perfectly for Bosz and his Leverkusen. In fact, the first two games refute the usual Bosz cliché rather than confirm it. Bosz taktiert much more flexible than his critics concede to him.
Bosz's great role model is Johan Cruyff. The late century footballer and coach of Ajax Amsterdam and FC Barcelona is considered the father of modern ball possession football. Cruyff demanded to occupy the spaces in the field accurately and constrict the opponent over a dominant passing game. Bosz follows this ideal. As a young coach, he traveled hundreds of miles to watch training from Ajax.
The Dutchman remains true to the idea of dominant football to this day. In February, Leverkusen played 1053 passes against Dusseldorf, the second-highest ever recorded in the Bundesliga. (The record Pep Guardiolas Bayern 2014 with 1078 passes on.)
In Dortmund failed Bosz
Also in Dortmund pursued Bosz his merciless offensive game idea. His ancestral formation was the typical Dutch 4-3-3. First, Bosz celebrated great success, but after nine competitive games without victory he was dismissed in the Hinserie. Bosz failed: on bad luck, on his players, but also on himself. His 4-3-3 seemed carved in stone. He did not change system and formation, even though it was obvious to everyone that his system was too defensive for the Bundesliga.
In Leverkusen, he proves that he is by no means a one-trick pony. One of his biggest innovations at Bayer was the introduction of a three-way chain. This variant stabilized the team in the spring. The 3-2-4-1 system was designed around the strengths of the players: Mitchell Weiser could convince as an offensive right-back, the congenial duo of Kai Havertz and Julian Brandt was secured by a more defensive double six.
Roland Frankincense / DPA
Leverkusen's Kerem Demirbay in a duel with Fortuna Dusseldorf's Lewis Baker
With this variant, Bosz also started the new season. In the 3-2 victory against Paderborn was from the dominance of the past series back, however, little to see. Lars Bender did not feel well in the role of the offensive right-back.
Much heavier that Kerem Demirbay tactically one-to-one took over the role of Julian Brandt after Dortmund exchanged. That could not work out. The Hoffenheim-bound Demirbay is a completely different type of player than Brandt. He is a strategist who distributes balls. Brandt, on the other hand, magically attracts matches in the final third, ensuring presence around the opponent's penalty area. Brandt allows his team to move their own ball possession five, ten yards forward. Demirbay structures it five, ten yards out of the depths. Demirbay stayed pale against Paderborn in the Brandt role.
Bosz therefore rebuilt his system against Dusseldorf. He got his root system 4-3-3 out of the drawer. Demirbay was allowed to play lower in half-left midfield than against Paderborn. With him the threads ran together. Leverkusen had much more control over the game. Bosz proves: He is in his basic idea, the dominant ball possession game, iron, in execution but flexible. He does not shy away from adapting his system to the strengths and weaknesses of his players. This is the litmus test for every tactical system.
Bosz will need this flexibility this season. In the past second half, he rarely changed system and staff. Since Leverkusen retired early from all competitions, he did not need it. In this first round Bosz expects a threefold load from league, cup and Champions League. Next endurance test: The home match against Bayer Leverkusen (Saturday, 15.30 clock, live ticker: SPIEGEL ONLINE).
In Leverkusen you know what you have on Bosz. Rudi Völler told the "kicker" that the club wanted to extend the contract with the coach beyond the end of the season.