P. Köster: Cabin sermon: Complacent and undisciplined: RB Leipzig's homemade crash

It was only a few months ago that RB Leipzig thought they had reached their goal.

P. Köster: Cabin sermon: Complacent and undisciplined: RB Leipzig's homemade crash

It was only a few months ago that RB Leipzig thought they had reached their goal. Winning the DFB Cup, the first important title, seemed to finally catapult the drawing board club from Leipzig into the league of footballing heavyweights. The fact that player Kevin Kampl provocatively threw a can of the eponymous fizzy drink into the cup was symbolic of the imagined takeover of power and the sometimes unpleasantly fraying self-confidence of the squad.

In September 2022 there will be nothing left of the attitude of a top club. After a poor start to the season and an epic 4-0 defeat at Eintracht Frankfurt, coach Domenico Tedesco raged: "We were terrible - catastrophe!" had yelled together in the cabin, with the result that things continued just as miserably after the restart, which led Tedesco to come up with a classic explanation that is otherwise only tried shortly before the end of the season: "If you play three systems and nothing changes, then it's on of mentality."

Tedesco was probably not clear at that moment what a revealing analysis, what a break in the club's self-image he had just made. Because since the Austrian Red Bull group decided in 2007 to start a team in German football to increase sales and image cultivation, mentality has always been a key concept of further development. Attacking, putting pressure, forcing success were the leitmotifs of long-time strategist Ralf Rangnick in particular. Those who didn't participate, who didn't fulfill their task, who didn't run for their lives were often gone faster than they could see.

RB Leipzig in the late summer of 2022, on the other hand, is a sluggish and, at least in Frankfurt, complacent and undisciplined team that denied the basic elements of success in all parts of the team. Hardly a duel that was fought with passion and aggressiveness. And no visible effort to present themselves on the pitch as a team. While one stick fault followed the next in defence, the midfield developed no ideas for ninety minutes to put the two highly praised strikers in the limelight. So it's no wonder that Christopher Nkunku and Timo Werner looked at each other more and more helplessly as the game progressed. Summarized by midfielder Emil Forsberg: "It was just too bad."

You don't have to have taken a psychology course at physical education college to realize that the team has changed in your favor. It is already the fifth game in which RB is missing its former primary virtues - and from game day to game day Coach Tedesco's analyzes meander more in the direction of resignation. The accounting after the Frankfurt game then also raised the question of whose job it is to send the team into the game with fire and passion?

Of course, the management bodies have been asking this question for a long time. A suboptimal start to the season in the league may be tolerable, but giving up early in the Champions League is intolerable. There, on the European stage, the team should take the much-touted next step. In this respect, the appearances on Tuesday at home against Shakhtar Donetsk and, if at all, the other games in the premier class will decide Tedesco's fate.

The precarious situation is aggravated by the fact that Marco Rose is the ideal candidate and already lives in Leipzig. Not a few trust him to breathe new passion into the saturated team. But it's not that far yet. "We have to see that we can get this sorted out quickly." That is advisable. Otherwise club boss Oliver Mintzlaff will have to get it sorted.

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