October 22, 2017

Love them or Hate them, RB Leipzig Have Been Great for the Bundesliga

Before Leipzig ever graced a Bundesliga pitch, most people expected them to be interesting to watch. With their talent and money, the new boys were bound to generate a bit of attention considering they were supposed to be mid table. But in their inaugural season, Leipzig have taken the league by storm in the early going and are top of the league at the moment. Their success hasn’t been without controversy and vocal displeasure from fans, but despite all of that they’ve been great for the Bundesliga.

Creating Parity and Fun  

The Bundesliga has been critiqued for being a league that isn’t competitive at the top with Bayern’s dominance. Even though this isn’t all that accurate, Bayern are almost always at the top during the season. But not this term, with the incredible start that Leipzig have gotten off to they are top of the league. This is the first time Bayern haven’t been at the top of the league in over a year, and the Bavarians are just as close to 7th place as they are to the title.

This isn’t normal in the Bundesliga despite the league’s competitive nature, and Leipzig have been at the forefront of such parity. The results that they’ve gotten against European sides like Leverkusen, Dortmund and Mainz has allowed for the others to rise up the table. The rise of the others such as Koln, Hoffenheim, Frankfurt and Hertha has added to the parity that Leipzig has created at the top of the table.

The parity that they’ve created this season has made the normally entertaining Bundesliga better than ever. Now instead of 1 or 2 games carrying importance with regards to the title each weekend, there are at least 3 games that have high levels of importance. The fact that more games are important makes the weekly matchdays more compelling and more entertaining. Games such as Leipzig vs. Leverkusen this past Friday or Hoffenheim vs Hamburg that didn’t look all that enticing before the season began were great for fans to watch. These games contained lead changes, late drama and the end to end action that makes a Bundesliga game great to watch. Usually games like these don’t appear every weekend, but this season these games that entertain and absorb have been much more frequent than usual.

Some of the high levels of entertainment can be contributed to the tactics of managers changing because of their table position. If Leipzig weren’t off to the start that they’ve gotten off to, they probably would’ve played a much more defensive style then they did  in their MatchDay 11 Friday contest. The way that Leipzig set up allowed for fans to see what Timo Werner, Emil Forsberg and Marcel Sabitzer had to offer from an attacking perspective. If Hasenhüttl had come looking for just one point, the attacking quality of these stars would’ve been less evident, thus the game would’ve lacked the flair that it contained.

The same mantra applies to Hoffenheim and Hamburg’s clash, which saw Hoffenheim play attacking football in search of a win. If they had needed points in any way they could get them (like last season) the attacking of players like Demirbay and Wagner would’ve been much more infrequent than it was  With these entertaining games rising up week after week, the Bundesliga has been incredibly fun to watch so far.

Adding Publicity, Money and Talent

The fact that Leipzig are currently winning a top league like the Bundesliga has gotten the attention of people around the football landscape. Usually Bundesliga clubs get attention abroad during European games and world-renowned games like Der Klassiker or the Revierderby, but now people are paying more attention to the domestic results. This is evident in that the BBC wrote a piece about Leipzig’s rise, as well as Sports Illustrated reporting on an RBL win recently. Other outlets such as Yahoo Sports had a feature on Leipzig as well, which shows that their rise has given the Bundesliga a lot of attention. Usually these outlets contain limited amounts of BuLi content, but with the fascinating story that Leipzig has become, the league’s receiving increased attention.

The attention that is being given to the league at the moment is bound to attract more fans from places outside of Germany. This will help TV ratings along with shirt sales, and if Leipzig keep winning the attention is only going to keep coming. The publicity being brought to the early season games is great for the Bundesliga, and it’s just another way that RB have contributed to their new league thus far.

Besides the attention, Leipzig have also brought the money that they have with them to the top flight. The money that Leipzig have in their pockets has been well documented, and is just some of why they’ve received so much criticism in recent years. But their money has certainly brought talented players to Germany, who would otherwise be in other leagues. These players include Naby Keita and Oliver Burke, who both turned down English clubs to join Die Roten Bullen. Both of them have brought quality to the Bundesliga, but especially Keita who has been one of the best midfielders in the league this season. Anytime a team can bring more talent to a league, they are doing something good for that league, which in this case is the Bundesliga.

In the same way that Manchester City, Chelsea and PSG’s infusions of money helped bring talent to their respective leagues, Leipzig have brought talent to the Bundesliga. With Leipzig being one more talented team contending with the rest of the league for spots in the table, they force others to spend more money than they would otherwise to meet expectations. This has already occurred with Manchester United and Arsenal in England and Monaco in France, which shows there is no reason why that can’t happen in Germany. If Leipzig cause more talented players to be brought to Germany, then they’ve done the Bundesliga a lot of good.

RB Leipzig’s shocking ascension to the top of the Bundesliga thus far has shown just how good their rise to the top flight has been. They’ve brought tremendous amounts of parity, publicity, money, and talent while making the league more entertaining to watch. If RB can keep winning, what they’ve contributed already is going to keep on manifesting itself, which is only going to help the Bundesliga. But even if RB slip up and Bayern win the league, the race for the title would’ve certainly been more interesting than in previous seasons.

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Alex Lynch

Alex a passionate fan of the Bundesliga and German Football who resides in the United States, who also loves writing and talking about the Bundesliga.

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  1. RB Leipzig bringt Talent, Aufmerksamkeit und Spaß in die Bundesliga

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