Many fans and critics were skeptical of the new role bestowed onWerder Bremen’s Aaron Hunt at the start of the season. The 26-year-old was supposed to take more responsibility, being the longest-serving Werder player in the squad after a number experienced players left the club during the summer transfer window.
Eight months later, the former German national team player has managed to silence his critics by putting in a number of good performances, scoring seven goals in the process and playing 44 key passes in 20 matches (3 assists in total).
However, Werder haven’t managed to get into the fight for the European places in the Rückrunde and are currently on a three match losing streak. The amount of criticism facing the team and Thomas Schaaf has increased over the last couple of weeks. Some voices have even called for a sacking of Schaaf, the most prominent of which has been the former Werder defender Uli Borowka.
Hunt admitted to the Bundesliga Fanatic that he and his teammates currently have had a harder time than at the beginning of the season, stating that the team isn’t ”as laid back and without the same ease” as it was in the Hinrunde. The midfielder remains positive despite the criticism from the press, stating that there are a number of positive factors in the team’s development compared to last season.
We have been going onto the pitch displaying a lot of panache and a delight of playing, especially in the Hinrunde. I do believe that we have put in good performances in many of those matches, but we have failed to get the desired results at times.
However, Werder’s goal of a top six finish is not something the team should be focussing on according to Hunt:
We needn’t talk about reaching a European competition at the moment. Those spots are too far removed, and our performances are varying too much.
”Need to take our chances”
A lack of experience has been amongst Werder’s main problems according to Thomas Schaaf. Aaron Hunt shares his coach’s opinion:
Lack of experience doesn’t show in certain positions on the pitch. I do believe that experience is a good thing if you have some young players and you are facing a situation where many matches in the league are very even and in the balance. We’ve had many of those matches so far this season. At times we were lacking in terms of experience and cleverness.
Only five of the 13 teams above Werder in the table have managed to create more chances than the green and whites in the 2012/13 season. The River Islanders need on average 6.2 chances to score a goal. Hunt thinks that the aforementioned lack of experience has especially shown in front of goal this season:
We need to be more efficient in front of goal, and maybe we might also need a little bit of luck avoiding hitting the bar and the post(Editor’s note: Werder Bremen have hit the woodwork 17 times, which is by far the most of all the teams in the Bundesliga). If we manage to concede fewer goals and position ourselves better in defense additionally, we’ll be able to get those points.
Hunt’s good season hasn’t gone unnoticed by the public and the press. Some voices have even called for the 26-year-old’s return to the German national team. The midfielder’s contract runs until the end of next season, but Hunt isn’t in a hurry to extend his contract:
My contract with Bremen still runs another one and a half years and I’m approaching all of this very calmly. This discussion isn’t something that concerns me right now. I’ll think about this at the appropriate time. Right now I’m fully focussed on this season and I’m trying to do my very best on the pitch.
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