In his final press conference before departing for Stuttgart, Gladbach head-coach Marco Rose revealed that attacker Hannes Wolf directly reached out to him to discuss his lack of playing time.
Rose promises that Wolf would "get his chances" in the coming weeks, but remained tight-lipped about who he would use in a highly anticipated tactical showdown this weekend.
|Marco Rose.||Photo: Steffen Prößdorf, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0|
The incompatibility of RB-Leipzig loanee Hannes Wolf with Gladbach's offensive system hardly constitutes new news. Many have wondered aloud why the club opted to procure the Austrian last summer when there appears no obvious place for him in Marco Rose's 4-2-3-1. On Friday, Rose himself confirmed that Wolf finds himself dissatisfied with his role in the team.
"He gave us the [round six] against RB Leipzig with an excellent performance and wonderful goal," Rose recalled in his press conference, "The next two games he sat on the bench. I wasn't really paying attention to this during an intensive phase of football. That's why it's good that a player comes to the coach sometimes."
Wolf has only gone the distance to play a full 90-minute match twice in the 2020/21 Bundesliga through 15 rounds. Though he has actually played in all 15 fixtures, his primary role has been that of a late-sub. With the foals missing Alassané Plea, Marcus Thuram, Valentino Lazaro, and Breel Embolo, it would appear that the path would be open for 21-year-old Austrian against Stuttgart this weekend.
Rose nevertheless declined to commit to this possibility. In last week's 3-2 upset win against Bayern, Rose employed a very bold 4-3-3 to hand the German giants their second defeat in 54 competitive fixtures. Embolo featured in this constellation, meaning that a slot stands open. German striker Patrick Herrmann technically stands above Wolf on the depth chart and has a bit more experience working the outside lanes than the Austrian.
Rose squares off against Stuttgart coach Pellegrino Matarazzo on Saturday evening. An excellent tactical battle looms. The two trainers have definitely the most consistently lauded tacticians in the Bundesliga this season. Both opponents, who also happen to suspiciously look as if they might be long-lost siblings, traded praise in their respective press conferences.
Following Saturday's showdown, the two will meet again in less than three weeks during the third-round of the DFB Pokal. Although both coaches denied that they would think that far ahead when playing their cards this weekend, it's likely that some long-term scheming will be at play.