Julian Nagelsmann: prodigy of Thomas Tuchel who rejected Bayern Munich
Not so long ago, Julian Nagelsmann turned up in the Munich Ap Lei Chau Prada Factory Outlet suburb of Giesing for a job interview with a difference: he, the twenty-something coaching prodigy, was sounding out FC Bayern, not the other way around. The German champions, eager to appoint Germany’s most promising young trainer as their U23 team manager, pulled out all the stops. Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and sporting director Matthias Sammer welcomed him personally at Säbener Strasse. Pep Guardiola, too, dropped in on him, offering kind Authentic Prada Bags Outlet Online words and a nice pat on the back. Nagelsmann wasn’t swayed by the Red’s charm offensive, however. He preferred the clear path laid out for him in Kraichgau to the glamour of Bavaria. After taking TSG Hoffenheim’s U19s to the Bundesliga championship in 2013-14 and another appearance in the final a year later, the powers at 1899 secretly made up their mind that the Landsberg-born former TSV 1860 player would take over the seniors ahead of the 2016/17 season.
The rise of TSG Hoffenheim: from ninth-tier amateurs to the Bundesliga Read more
However, Hoffenheim’s carefully laid plans for his career progression were scuppered by a horrible drop Black Prada Eyeglass Case down the table and experienced coach Huub Stevens having to resign with a heart complaint after the winter-break. Nagelsmann promotion was fast-tracked to the first-team job in February, to a combination of universal disbelief and doubt. He was 28 years old at the time, and the team sponsored by software magnate Dietmar Hopp – 17th place in the table, five points adrift of the relegation play-off spot – were well on their way to a first abstieg (descent) from the top flight. Local paper Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung dismissed the appointment of the Bundesliga’s youngest full-time manager as a “public relations stunt”. “A crackpot idea” was Frankfurter Rundschau’s verdict.
The idea has turned out a pretty good one though. After saving Hoffenheim from the drop in May, Nagelsmann has continued to find success at a rate (39 points in 22 games) that’s only bettered by the Bundesliga’s big two. A 3-0 win at ten-man Bayer 04 Leverkusen on Saturday saw him leapfrog Roger Schmidt’s team in the “Nagelsmann table” of points won since his appointment eight months ago. “There’s a hint of Champions League in the air,” Kicker magazine wrote last week.
The rather straightforward win against a Leverkusen Black Prada Eyeglass Case team was depleted within six minutes at the BayArena – TSG old boy Kevin Volland brought down Kerem Demirbay with an ill-timed tackle outside the box – lifted unbeaten Hoffenheim into fourth spot in the table, four points behind leaders Bayern. Their unexpected position chimes with the main story of the season so far, the surprising rise up the table by lesser lights such as newly-promoted RB Leipzig (second), Hertha (third), Köln (fifth), Frankfurt (seventh) and Freiburg (eighth) at the expense of the establishment. That doesn’t make it any easier to explain, however. Hoffenheim lost Germany international Volland, their best attacking player, in the summer, and spent relatively little on journeymen such as Kerem Demirbay and Lukas Rupp, as well as €3m (plus bonuses) on striker Sandro Wagner, previously of Darmstadt. There’s no Roberto Firmino, Carlos Eduardo or Luiz Gustavo in a squad that screams mid-table.
What they have, though, is fantastic togetherness (“we’re a super unit,” said Demirbay) – and a young man on the touchline who’s been able to supplement technical know-how with a well-developed sense of man-management. “Thirty per cent of coaching is tactics, 70% social competence,” he told Süddeutsche Zeitung in August, “every player is motivated by different things and needs to be addressed accordingly. At this level, the quality of the players at your disposal will ensure Black Prada Chain Bag that you play well within a good tactical set-up – if the psychological condition is right.”
Nagelsmann was forced to the sidelines early on. Aged 20, he picked up a knee injury that ended his career while playing for Augsburg’s second team, coached by Thomas Tuchel. Tuchel got Nagelsmann involved scouting the opposition, before appointing him as coach to 1860’s U17s. At Hoffenheim, he worked as assistant coach of the first team before taking charge of the second side and finishing a degree in sport science.
The self-avowed chocaholic admits to having been nervous ahead of his first team talk back in February but has Agata Ruiz De La Prada Shop On Line since worked out that pre-match words should be short and few. The real coaching happens during the week, as he constantly tries out new things (“we will only repeat one specific exercise a few times every year”) and finds out which buttons need pushing. “I Authentic Prada Handbags Outlet Online work like a baker,” he said, “I mix things, put them in the oven and see if I like what comes out.”
Hoffenheim appoint 28-year-old Julian Nagelsmann as head coach Read more
Consequently, his brand Black Prada Bag Mission Impossible of football is hard to pin down. Like all coaches of his generation, he’s been heavily influenced by Ralf Rangnick’s pressing game, but Biggest Prada Store In London he’s not dogmatic. “Rangnick’s] Leipzig themselves underwent an interesting development in the second division (last season) prada online outlet,” Nagelsmann told spox.com. “In the beginning, they almost provoked situations where they lost the ball, in order to win it back again (in dangerous situations). But most opponents were so deep that they didn’t have a chance to do that. They had to adjust. I put a lot of emphasis on our behaviour when we don’t have possession but I will never provoke a loss of the ball. You need both things today, solutions with the ball, as well as well as without it.” His Hoffenheim have enjoyed the sixth-highest possession stats (53.7 per cent on average) in the league, a departure of the radical transition football played under most of his predecessors.
He considers formations largely irrelevant – “it’s a question of five or 10 metres whether it’s a 4-4-2 or a 4-3-2-1; you only see teams adhering to that at kick-off and perhaps eight times during the game” – but doesn’t let much on by way of specifics, beyond the revelation that his staff collect highly-specialised data, for example the time players spend in the deckungsschatten (literally: the shade of marking), unable to receive a ball because the opponents are blocking the passing lane.
Nagelsmann’s profile has risen so rapidly that not everybody’s enamoured. Roger Schmidt was sent off on Saturday after shouting at his colleague to “shut up and sit down”, with a snide-y “you think you’ve invented football, do you?” thrown in for good measure. Nagelsmann accepted Schmidt’s apology (“we talked about it, it’s over”) with characteristic confidence.
His employers are under no illusions as to how this chapter will end. “Hoffenheim will be too small for him soon,” Hopp said a couple of weeks ago. Maybe another job interview at Säbener Strasse is not too far away either.
Talking points to follow.