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Bayer 04 Leverkusen: Never Say Neverkusen Again

A Bayer Leverkusen Football Manager 2015 story
Started on 3 January 2015 by TheOtherSpecialOne
Latest Reply on 7 January 2015 by TheOtherSpecialOne
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Leverkusen in shock!

Leverkusen - Fans of Bayer Leverkusen have been shocked by the clubs announcement that Roger Schmidt has stepped down from his recently received post of manager.

In april Leverkusen announced that Schmidt would become the clubs new manager, the news of his appointment was well received by fans.

No wonder, as Schmidt's Red Bull Salzburg side were very impressive last season. They clinched the Austrian league title with eight games remaining and managed to get into the last 16 of the Europa League beating renowned football club Ajax Amsterdam very convincingly along the way.

Fans believed that Schmidt would be the perfect man to take the club to the next level and couldn't wait to see him in action, now however it appears that they will never get that chance.
The exact reason for Schmidt's sudden departure is currently unknown but several rumours are pointing towards a burnout. Regardless as to why Schmidt has decided to step down Leverkusen will now be looking for a new manager.

New Leverkusen Manager Announced

After days of speculating Leverkusen fans now finally know who will be their manager for the 2014/2015 campaign as the club have unveiled totally unknown Dutch manager L. as their new headcoach.

L. who has never managed a club before is reportedly delighted that he has been given the chance to work at "one of the biggest teams in Germany". When being asked about the goals for his 2014/2015 campaign L. was very clear:

"We want to be the best team that we can be, we have an extremely talented squad here at Leverkusen and it will be my job to nurture all of those beautiful young eggs and create something special, something beautiful."

The fans of Leverkusen have been shocked that a totally unknow manager will now be taking charge of the club. Many had expected someone like Thomas Tuchel to take over but alas Leverkusen have taken the bold step to place their faith in a completely new face in the football world. Only time will tell if they made the right decision or if they made a huge mistake.

You can do this, I said to myself as I opened the door.
There they were, the entire Leverkusen selection all staring at me, their new manager.
A totally unknown person to them and the world and yet I was now going to be the man in charge.

I could tell from the looks on their faces that they weren't exactly sure how to behave, some perhaps felt that I didn't deserve to be in this position, others simply weren't sure what to expect.
The press has gone nuts since my announcement, headlines like: "Have Leverkusen lost their minds?" Have been dominating every sports paper in and outside of Germany.

Just keep calm, I walked into the middle of the room, totally surrounded I looked around, I stared each of them right in the eyes and then I spoke:

"My name is L. and I am going to be your new manager. Together we will embark upon a great journey, where this journey may take us I do not know, what I do know however is that I have faith in each and everyone of you. In return I only ask one thing, that you have faith in me aswell. I know that some of you probably don't agree with or don't understand my appointment but I ask each of you to give me a fair chance, get to know me first and then you may judge me."


Leverkusen's current pre-season has been rocky to say the least, now however things are looking like they might settle down a bit.
Soon our trainings camp will start, finally a chance to get to know my players a little bit better.

Due to all the turbulent times at the club it has been decided that we won't travel far for our trainings camp instead we will stay in North Rine-Westphalia.

We have arranged for several friendlies to be taken place, they will give me a better understanding of the squad and of their strengths and weaknessess.
Most importantly however it will give me a chance to see how the players will respond to the tactics that I have implemented.

Leverkusen Trio Extend Contracts

Leverkusen - Leverkusen have announced that Simon Rolfes, Emir Spahic and Karim Bellarabi have all extended their contracts.

Both Spahic and Rolfes have signed 3 year deals while Karim Bellarabi has extended his contract until 2019.
While fans are pleased that Bellarabi has extended his contract they are also worried because of the minimum fee release clause of 19.5 million that has been reportedly included in the deal.

Leverkusens new manager L. however responded to these worries by stating that a deal simply wouldn't have been possible without including the release clause.

He also added that Bellarabi is enjoying his time at Leverkusen immensly and is in no hurry to leave the club so fans shouldn't worry too much.

Our pre-season has gone pretty much as I had expected.
We pretty much dominated every single match except the Genoa one, that one was a bit of a struggle but luckily we still ended up with a victory which shows the tremendous spirit of this squad.

The match against Münster might seem like a bad result however it is important to note that most of the squad consisted of u19 players as I was interested to see how they would perform.
Leverkusens youth facilities are pretty good so I will be looking to utilise them to their fullest potential.

With our pre-season now coming to a close the start of the season is coming closer every day.

We have also received our opponent for the UEFA Champions League Best Placed Playoff, Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk. Not a bad draw to be fair and I certainly expect us to make it into the Champions League.

A close look at the calendar reveiled our schedule for the upcoming month:

I start of my career as manager of Leverkusen with an away match at Alemannia Waldalgesheim for the DFB-Pokal, I will most likely be fielding a weaker team for that match as I don't expect Waldalgesheim to put up a fight.

Instead I will focus my attention on the home game against Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, a good result in that match will put us in the Champions League with one leg so that match is going to be vital.

Then we face Werder Bremen at the BayArena for my first ever Bundesliga game, we then go to Ukraine for our 2nd leg against Dnipro and finally we will end the month with a tough away game against Schalke 04 at the VELTINS-Arena.


SV Alemannia Waldalgesheim : Bayer 04 Leverkusen
Like predicted this match wasn't a contest at all.
We simply dominated the match in every area, a very good development however is the fact that I finally seem to have found a way to make Kießling show his full potential.

During Pre-season we had quite some difficulty with scoring goals and Kießling almost didn't score at all so I decided to give him more freedom by allowing him to roam freely and judging from this match that paid off as he scored a total of 5 goals.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen : Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk
We started this match very badly.
Dnipro looked far more dangerous in attack and after a foul from Reinartz they received a penalty which Seleznyov gratefully finished.

I switched our mentality from attack to overload and told my players to give everything that they had and it worked, we dominated the match from that point on and another great performance from Kießling ensured that we won the match rather easily.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen : Werder Bremen
My first Bundesliga match saw us play at the Bayarena against Werder Bremen, I fully expected my team to win this one and they didn't disappoint.
A goal from Kießling put us ahead in the 24th minute and we didn't look in danger of losing that lead for a single second.

We didn't score any goals either anymore until the 88th minute when Junuzovic put the goal into his own net giving us a 2 goal lead, at this point the match was pretty much over but a header from Papadopoulos in the 90th minute gave us another goal making the final score 3-0.

Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk : Bayer 04 Leverkusen

This match ended up being much tougher then expected Dnipro again started the match much better then us and they even got a 2 goal lead.
Furiously I told my players to go all out on attack and they did exactly that coming back from 2-0 to make it 2-2, Dnipro then took the lead again but we managed to score another equalizer finishing the match 3-3.

And with this result we have qualified for the Champions League, I can't wait to test myself against the best of the best!

Schalke 04 : Bayer 04 Leverkusen
Prior to this match it was predicted that this was going to be a tight affair and boy it was.
Posession was almost equal the shots on target were almost equal but in the end we "stole" the victory after Yurchenko scored an excellent free-kick in the 79th minute.

Did we deserve to win this match? Probably not but I am certainly glad that we did!

All in all my first month as Leverkusen manager was a pretty succesful one.
We qualified for the Champions League and started of the Bundesliga with 2 wins furthermore we also went through in the DFB Pokal were we are now set to face Greuther Fürth in the second round.

Lets take a look at the Bundesliga table after the first 2 games:

Despite it being very very early in the season I am still glad that we got off to such a good start ending the month second behind Dortmund.

In the next post I will be showing all of you the Champions League draw and our schedule for September, until then!
The Champions League Draw

These will be the groups for the Champions League 2014/2015

What a draw I thought to myself, it could be better but it also could have been worse.
Obviously our chances against current Champions League holders Real Madrid are going to be very slim but against CSKA Moscow and Dinamo Zagreb we should be able to put in a couple of good results.

My predictions? I expect the group to end in the same way that it has been drawn with us in the 2nd place behind Real Madrid.

And now that the Champions League groups have been drawn I can finally show you our schedule for September:

We start of September with an away game against Augsburg.
Then I will have my first Champions League game as a manager and it couldn't have been against a more difficult team, the current Champions League winners Real Madrid.

Then we play another home game against Eintracht Frankfurt followed by an away game against Borussia Mönchengladbach.

Then we face HSV in the Bayarena before making the away trip to Moscow.
Promising start to the Season. You've got some nice graphics/Layout there!
TaroMisaki: Thanks! I aim to make my story both interesting to read and visually appealing to look at so the fact that you like my layout is very pleasing indeed :)

Play this for more atmosphere!

Beep beep beep, the sound of my alarm bell woke me up, today is the day.
Today we will face Real Madrid in our first Champions League group match of the season.

My first ever Champions League match and I couldn't have asked for a better opponent.
Real Madrid, the most succesfull club in the Champions League's history, the current champions will face us at the BayArena.

If you are to believe the press then we stand little chance of getting a good result, the players however are extremely motivated.
They know that they have nothing to lose but everything to gain, personally I like being the underdogs as it allows us to play our game without any extra pressure.

The line ups are in:

Real Madrid's line up has offered a couple of surprises, firstly Navas will start in goal instead of Casillas and secondly Hernandez will start instead of Benzema.

Normally a team would miss players of the calibre of Casillas or Benzema but Real aren't an ordinary team and they can easily fill up these holes with other high quality players.

We are minutes away from kick-off the world famous anthem has started playing, I have done everything that I can.
I have prepared my players the best that I could and now it was up to them to do this club proud and boy they did!

Bayer 04 Leverkusen : Real Madrid


FC Augsburg : Bayer 04 Leverkusen

The Augsburg match turned out to be much harder then expected. The first half went really well and we were up 2-0 at half-time.

During the second half however Augsburg simply dominated the match, in all honesty I probably didn't make the right tactical choices in respons to their domination and so we lost our comfortable lead giving us a point instead of three.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen : Real Madrid

This result still amazes me to be honest!

The funny thing about this match is that Real didn't even play that bad. They had a lot more possession then us (62% vs 38%) but they simply didn't do anything with it.

We had far more shots then they did and that shows in the result. Real did score two goals themselves but fortunately both of those were offside.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen : Eintracht Frankfurt

Despite how it may look we absolutely dominated the entire match but the ball simply wouldn't go in the back of the net.

At the end of the match I decided to go on full overload and to bring on a substitution: Kruse. And he did exactly what I wanted him to do, in the last seconds of the match (literally the last action of the match) he scored a goal and we still managed to grasp our deserved three points.

Borussia Mönchengladbach : Bayer 04 Leverkusen

This match was expected to be tough and it really was. Gladbach played really well and had the most of posession but just like in the Real match we managed to create more chances.

Still Gladbach took the lead in the 50th minute which led me to go all out on attack, for a while it looked like we wouldn't get through but then in the 69th minute Toprak scored a beautiful header, this was exactly the boost that we needed as we managed to take the lead only 8 minutes later after Bellarabi capitalized on a mistake from Kramer (who ironically actually belongs to us but is on loan at Gladbach(we paid him :P)).

Then it was simply a matter of seeing the match through and we did exactly that.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen : Hamburger SV

HSV have been performing reasonably well in the league so I was expecting a narrow match with us grasping the win based on quality, I was wrong.

The match started off well enough after Yurchenko scored a long distance shot which was possible due to the fact that Adler made a huge mistake.
Then in the 13th minute Robin Tim Becker, a youth player who was only playing because our regular left full backs are both injured, gave away a foul in the penalty area and van der Vaart scored the resulting penalty with ease.

For the rest of the match we did everything we could to get another goal but HSV played really solid defensively and managed to avoid conceiding any more goals giving them and us a point each.

CSKA Moscow : Bayer 04 Leverkusen

Then came our second Champions League game against CSKA Moscow.
A win in this match would put us in an excellent position so I was really intend on getting a good result.

The match didn't begin well however as CSKA managed to take the lead after Natkho scored a perfect free-kick from 21 metres outside of the box. However this goal caused my team to wake up and in the 37th minute Stefan Kießling equalised with a powerful header from an assist of Brandt.

Then in the 41st minute Brandt himself scored the 2-1 giving us the lead before half time.
In the second half we continued to dominate and in the 81st minute Stefan Kießling scored another goal puting us up by two.

At this point I was fairly confident that the match was in the bag so I made a couple of substitutions and planned to simply see the match out, my team however had other plans.
They had no mercy for CSKA and substitute Drmic scored the 4-1 in the 84th minute, a mere 2 minutes later Bellarabi also put his name on the score sheet giving us a very comfortable 5-1 win.

All in all I'd say that September was another very impressive month for us, the draws against Augsburg and HSV aren't ideal as we simply should beat such teams but our two comfortable wins in the Champions League make more then up for that.

We did however have bad luck with injuries as Wendell is set to be out of the game for around 3 months and Boenisch is set to be out for 3 weeks thus leaving me with no real left full backs and as seen in the HSV match Becker simply isn't ready for the Bundesliga level yet.

David Yelldell our 2nd/3rd goalkeeper is also out for 3 months with a hip injury while promising midfielder Levin Öztunali is also out for around 2 weeks after getting injured on international duty.

Lets take a look at the Bundesliga table after six games played:

As you can see we are still very much in the top of the league sharing the second place with Wolfsburg and only 1 point behind current champions Bayern Munich.

In the Champions League things are looking even better:

We absolutely defied the odds with our huge victories over both Real and CSKA giving us the 1st place in our current group and putting us in a very strong position to make it into the next round.

Now that we have arrived at the end of September lets take a look at our upcoming month of October:

We start of the month against a struggling Hertha BSC side then we face another struggling side; Hannover 96.

We then have our next Champions League match against Dinamo Zagreb before facing fierce rival 1.FC Köln in the Rhein Derby.
We end of the month with our DFB-Pokal game against second league side Greuther Fürth.

Great start to the season. Good luck!
Great start! Especially with the win against Madrid. Keep it up buddy :)
Nice going so far, Keep it up

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