12.01.2020Bayer 04

'We want to see the old Kai Havertz'

We caught up with the sporting managing director in good spirits at the training camp in La Manga. Rudi Völler has dealt with the first half of the season and is now optimistic looking forward to the coming challenges. The 59-year-old shares his views on a number of current issues:

Rudi Völler on...

… the end of the first half of the season:

"Of course, the performances in the last three games weren't good. We won against Bayern, beat Schalke and played well against Juve. Then you think it's easy and everything will happen automatically. Then came the derby. It was a really disappointing game for us – for the fans, for the team, for the whole club. And if you're honest, the game against Mainz wasn't good either. But we won in the end. So the points return for the first half of the season looks decent. Even though we could definitely have picked up more points. I think we're three to five points short."

… the departure of Julian Brandt:
"You should never blame fluctuations in performance on one player. Of course, we would have liked to have kept Julian but it that didn’t happen. Also, I think is too simple to pin too much on Kai Havertz. Obviously he hasn't achieved the goals return from last season. That was clearly superb. He’s often gone close to scoring but, in contrast to the previous half season, the shots mostly just missed the target. Or the keeper saved them. But if you look at how Kai has performed at the training camp then you can see straightaway: The lad is on fire. He will be on top of his game in the second half of the season. Although I must say: Even if Kai isn't having a good day you can always see what he's capable of."

… Peter Bosz:
"We want to keep on working with him and all the coaching staff. But of course that applies to all clubs. Everybody wants to have continuity in that important position. But examples like Rehhagel or Schaaf at Bremen or Finke and Streich at Freiburg are exceptions. Regardless of that, I have the impression that both sides feel really positive. And that applies regardless of individual results. We've got more or less the same perception of targets and ideas. We also have the same mentality in the way we deal with victories and defeats. We always ask ourselves the question of where we can improve. And Peter has shown he has a clear approach to the game but is also capable of making changes according to opponents and the state of his own players. The bottom line is, I think the basis for a longer term partnership is there. We'll take our time to discuss the details.

… the future of Kai Havertz:
"We're very relaxed about it. We have a very good relationship with him, his family and his agent. First of all, he needs to rediscover his form of the second half of last season. We want to see the old Kai Havertz. And I've a good feeling that will be the case in the next few weeks."

… a contract extension for Charles Aranguiz:
"There's no update at the moment. I'm still optimistic but we'll just have to wait and see. He just needs to get fit again now."

…fixture congestion in the second half of the season:
"Our squad has been put together to deal with all the double fixture weeks. That's what we want to do. Nevertheless, it's obviously a big challenge. In the second half of last season, we failed at the first hurdle in these competitions. We definitely don't want to do that again this year. Especially as you can quickly get to the final in the cup. And I also think we've got a chance of going far in the Europa League."

… wisdom in old age:
"I've decided to try and be calmer. I don't always succeed. I'll admit that. Sometimes it just comes out. But overall I'm definitely more controlled and calmer. But if things don't go right then it can happen that I'm a bit more direct. With the team and also with referees… (he smiles). That's just part of my character."

… his own future:
"One thing is clear: I won't to do it forever. Everything comes to an end. But it's still really good fun at the moment. Working with Simon Rolfes, with Fernando Carro on the board, and the coach in any case – that's all wonderful. I'm still very happy to do it in spite of all the pressure the business brings with it. That's why I'm not thinking about when it will finally end at the moment."


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