It’s been a run of eventful weeks for Leipzig: Seven Bundesliga games, two Champions League games, and one DFB-Pokal game. But with the international break upon us, the team now has a bit of time to reflect on what's happened so far this season.
We spoke with Diego Demme about recent times and his own evaluation of how things have gone. We've also compiled some of the most important facts and figures from the current campaign.
Diego, the first part of the season is now behind us. There have been Bundesliga games, two Champions League games, and one DFB-Pokal game. How do you think things have gone?
In the league we are in a good place - in fourth with thirteen points. In Europe, we had hoped to be doing a bit better and we are not at all satisfied with just one point.
But we have gained invaluable experience. Now we need to learn from our mistakes. In the second half in Istanbul, you could already see that we were matching them.
In your opinion, which areas do you need to work on?
Straight away, I can say that the Champions League was something completely new for almost all of us, and you could see that we let the atmosphere affect us a bit. Against Monaco and in Istanbul, we took too long to get into the game. We simply need to do better in the future.
How can you improve?
I think we just need to keep gaining experience and use this to keep improving constantly. That is the best way you can learn. In the Bundesliga we have a very obvious flaw, and that is that we are yet to keep a clean sheet. There are several reasons for this. We need to keep reinforcing our defensive drills and our game without the ball needs to become more consistent.
You are playing in three different competitions for the first time – do you prioritize any?
No. For us, every competition is equally important; we just want to be as successful as possible. Delivering good performances in the Champions League does not mean that we can’t do the same in the DFB-Pokal or in the Bundesliga. We want to get the most out every game.
You’ve had to play a lot of games recently. How have you dealt with that extra workload?
I’ve got to admit, I think the body adjusts quite quickly to it to be honest. I also coped with it quite well mentally, and felt able to play in all of the games. However, the international break still comes as a welcome bit of rest and time to switch off and recuperate.
Do you have any plans for your weekend off?
I haven’t made any concrete plans yet, but I want to make a quick trip into town. I’ll see what happens.
After that, the grind of the season continues. First up is a trip to Dortmund, then you’re back home to face FC Porto, before you take on Bayern twice in a row. Are you thinking much about those games at the moment?
No, not really. I’m trying to take a break from thinking all about football right now. It’s important that you use this time to take a step back from everything. But Dortmund are the strongest team in the Bundesliga currently, so we already know how much of a challenge they present.
Facts and figures
The season so far
- Overall: 10 competitive games | 5 wins | 2 draws | 3 losses
- Bundesliga: 7 games | 4 wins | 1 draw | 2 losses
- Champions League: 2 games | 1 draw | 1 loss
- DFB-Pokal: 1 game | 1 win
Side note: Although RBL hadn’t yet lost at this stage last season, they only had three more points to their name.
Things haven’t gone all that smoothly for Die Roten Bullen in defense to this point. The only clean sheet they have kept this season was against SV Dorfmerkingen in the DFB-Pokal. Leipzig have struggled the most when they’ve been forced to come back from a deficit:
- Results after falling behind: one win, three losses
- Results after scoring first: four wins, two draws
Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side have been the youngest side on the pitch in almost every game they’ve played in this season, both in the Bundesliga and the Champions League.
- RBL’s youngest team on average: 23.3 years old (against Gladbach and HSV)
- RBL’s oldest team on average: 24.9 years old (against Augsburg)
Side note: The oldest side this season is FC Bayern, with an average age of 29.5 years old.
BUNDESLIGA TOP SCORERS
- 8 goals, 1 assist - Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Dortmund)
- 8 goals, 0 assists - Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
- 5 goals, 1 assist - Timo Werner
Jean-Kévin Augustin also makes an appearance on the list. The 20-year-old Frenchman is in 8th place with two goals and two assists. Together, Leipzig’s Timo and “Jika” form the third deadliest striking duo in the Bundesliga after Dortmund’s Aubameyang and Philipp as well as Bayern’s Lewandowski and Robben.
Side note: Marcel Sabitzer tops the assist table with three in six games.
I think we just need to keep gaining experience and use this to keep improving constantly. That is the best way you can learn.