The team is cool again – 12th man

After two games of the League of Nations against Croatia and Denmark the ÖFB team goes under the team leader in the first course Ralph Rangnick in a break. What is already certain: this band makes you want more.

Photos: Steffen Prößdorf, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons, original file edited by

Coaching in the game par excellence

have it Marko Arnautovic and Co. has already proven itself in the Croatian town of Osijek. So Rangnick quickly realized that the red-white-red three or five-person chain was vulnerable to Croatian attacks, especially on the wings. However, after a short chat from the sideline, the problem was resolved and the team switched to defense. Just before the break, they were promoted 1-0.

Now it was possible to take the lead in the second half. Possible change of the defender and permission for the Croatians to play the ball. The team principal then took Arnautovic off the pitch he had passed Nicholas Seiwald has been replaced with and with Krzysztof Trimmel a defensive player has entered the game. However, the narrow 1-0 lead has not been mastered in any way. Instead, they continued the game and were leading 3-0 after 60 minutes. Nothing was left to chance in the last half hour and they took a surprising win on Rangnick’s debut.

If there was pure euphoria in the away sector in Osijek, the people responsible knew how to correctly classify the victory. They did well in the last hour, but the first 25-30 minutes revealed room for improvement. was live at the international match in Osijek.

Profitable loss

Rangnick already announced the rotation at his inaugural press conference – and that was the case at home against Denmark. Just Xavier Schlager and Konrad Laimer he remained in the starting line-up compared to the game in Croatia. Nevertheless, eleven looked like a unit on the pitch. They cheered on each other for each successful defensive action. They played boldly and with a clear plan, scored a lot of balls in the third part of the opponent and, despite the 1.5 hour delay, provided a lot of entertainment for the audience.

Also David Alaba he seems to have finally found his position in the team. Rangnick has already announced that he sees him most strongly in the center. The German should be right. Protector real Madrid played a very tough game as a central defender on Monday.

In October 2021, after losing 1-0 away in the World Cup qualifier against Denmark, Laimer analyzed that the final third was never dangerous and that the final blow was missing. Only after a few months could the complete opposite be observed. You have fired 17 shots, even if only one has hit the goal. After hitting the post. “The Danes are amazing in body shape, their people in the back are 3.10 meters tall,” Laimer said in October. And while the Danish defense did well, it met with confidence, and despite the difference in size, it was at least equal.

There has never been a feeling that the players on the pitch are hiding their heads in the sand and giving up premature defeat. Even after the unfortunate 0: 1 to Hojbjerg you got up and equalized to 1: 1 in the second half. Both sides would probably be happy to split the points – Stryger Larsen however, he had other plans.

And despite the defeat 2: 1 you can be proud of the team’s performance. Soccer is a result sport, but sometimes it’s good to know that a team is throwing everything into balance and not content with losing – even if you couldn’t avoid it in the end. Again: the match against Denmark was only the second international game under Ralf Rangnick, in which nine new players started compared to the first game.

Anyway, one thing is for sure: it’s fun to watch the national team again. You cheer to the end and sympathize with the players when they leave the field as losers. Everything should not be praised to the heavens. Of course, there will be failures. However, positive developments are already visible. It seems they finally managed to start a fire that has only been burning for the last few years and months. It makes you want more.

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