German national team fullback/winger Jonas Hofmann insisted that there was no bad blood between himself and his teammates after he claimed (and missed) a late penalty in Friday night's narrow 1-0 win over Hertha.
|Jonas Hofmann.||Photo: Borussia Mönchengladbach|
The scenes transmitted by the broadcast feed suggested that there was some disharmony among the BMG ranks when it came time to decide who would be the second penalty taker of the match. Marcus Thuram -perhaps eager to extend his scoring streak to four straight matches on the spin -initially grabbed the ball. After some discussion, Thuram then handed it off to his French compatriot Alassane Plea, who had converted the 1-0 from the spot in the 34th.
Jonas Hofmann and Ramy Bensebaini - two of Gladbach's other regular penalty takers - also lurked around Plea. The broadcast feed showed Hofmann take the ball himself without so much of a word exchanged with his teammates. The German national team player then sent in a week spot kick the Hertha keeper Oliver Christensen had little difficulty dealing with.
"I had a good feeling," Hofmann explained after the match, "I'd then penalties before. Unfortunately, the shot was not so hot."
Hofmann had recently seen a wonderful finish scrubbed off after it was revealed that he had claimed the ball in an offside position. Observers naturally speculated that Hofmann might have grabbed the ball out of a selfish desire to get himself on the scoresheet. The 30-year-old put such speculation to rest afterwards in his post-match interview.
"The team isn't mad at me," Hofmann told German broadcaster DAZN, "We were immediately cordial again."
Hofmann, team trainer Daniel Farke, and keeper Yann Sommer did acknowledge that the team had some problems implementing their game during the narrow victory. Farke conceded that his players didn't have the best day technically and he thought the foals could have been much more assertive in aggressively hitting their attacking lanes.
Sommer called the BMG builds "hectic" and noted that the defense was sometimes "too careless." For his part, Hofmann declared himself pleased with the seven-point start that placed Gladbach at the top of the league table for the evening. While he thought that some nuanced criticism was merited, the newly extended "club man" didn't seem to think the victory was ever in much doubt.
"When things weren't going quite as well, one or two murmurs rippled through the crowd," Hofmann said, "That surprised me a bit. We bring the important details to the pitch and can really shake the league up."