Christian Streich waited a long time with the rotation, but in Nantes Freiburg’s coach changed his starting eleven on four positions. The move led to the tenth win in the 14th competitive match, with two players standing out.
All around the Sport-Club there has been almost nothing but bright sunshine since the start of the season, but Lukas Kübler has also seen some thick, grey clouds. The experienced right-back had defended his place in the eleven over the summer preparation, but injured himself after only the first twelve minutes of the season in the cup match in Kaiserslautern. A torn muscle fibre in his thigh forced him to take a break. Even after that, the 30-year-old had to watch as talent Kiliann Sildillia (20) was almost always convincing in twelve starting appearances.
Streich granted Kübler, who had not yet been used in the league, only two short appearances in the Europa League in Piraeus and against Nantes – until yesterday evening. “Due to the annoying injury at the beginning of the season, I had to be patient for a long time. The team had success, that’s how it is in football,” Kübler said after the 4-0 win in western France: “I was pleased to be able to play from the start again. “
And how he played. Time and again, Kübler inserted himself profitably into the attacking play and thus ensured the important lead after Nantes had hit the aluminium twice. “We knew we could play shifts because Ritsu Doan is a threat in the half-space. The boys did that well,” Streich commented on Kübler’s goal, which was preceded by a diagonal ball from Matthias Ginter to Christian Günter and a double pass from the left-back to Vincenzo Grifo.
Streich happy for Kübler
Streich knows about Kübler’s situation: “It’s difficult. But he worked, was diligent and was therefore able to play through 90 minutes. That’s the basis, if you do less in training and bury your head in the sand, you’ll be punished in the competition at the latest when you play against an opponent like Moses Simon.” Kübler had the fast FC Nantes winger largely under control and was Freiburg’s best player overall. Streich: “He did a great job, I’m really happy for him.”
Kübler, who was often plagued by severe injury misfortune in the past but made 29 Bundesliga appearances last season, was happy above all because of one fact: “The goal is not so important to me. Of course it feels very good and it’s nice that I could help the team with it. But the most important thing for me is to be on the pitch and to be healthy. “
First time rotation on a larger scale
When the same eleven started six times in a row last time out, Kübler and some teammates were left with only the hope of rotation – which Streich has now carried out on a larger scale for the first time. “It’s nice for the players who come in that we still have success and important for the coach to see that he can rotate,” Kübler says. “You can see in every week of training how high the level is, that we push each other. It’s our big plus that no one lets themselves down or is offended,” praises Ginter. This behaviour also resulted in the pleasing performance of Woo-Yeong Jeong. The ten-man also stood out in the quartet of starting eleven newcomers, while Yannik Keitel showed a stable and Nils Petersen a committed, but offensively luckless and harmless performance.
“It took Woo-Yeong 25 minutes, then he became more and more ball-secure. That’s great, in the end he scores the goal because he sees that Gregerl shoots at the goal and runs through,” Streich praised the South Korean, who before his goal for 4-0 had already set up the important 2-0 by the very Michael Gregoritsch everyone calls “Gregerl”. Jeong, who was also a regular last season with five goals and two assists in 32 Bundesliga appearances, has had a similarly difficult time as Kübler. In the league, he was substituted eight times (one assist) and in his only starting appearances in the DFB Cup and in the Europa League against Qarabag, he showed weak performances.
Rotates Streich back against Bayern?
Now the exciting question arises whether Streich will rotate back for the top match in the league at Bayern. There is a lot to be said for it, though for Jeong in particular the chances of another call-up are increased. His competitor on ten, Daniel-Kofi Kyereh, who recently scored three times, was absent from the squad in Nantes due to muscular problems. According to Streich, he is also in danger of playing in Munich. Returning player Lucas Höler is also a hot candidate for the central offensive role.