The youngest boss in the Bundesliga, 28 year-old Julian Nagelsmann, has made a huge impression since being appointed Hoffenheim manager on February 10. Scheduled to take over the team this coming summer, Hoffenheim moved up the schedule as Hoffe had been a disaster on the pitch under veteran manager Huub Stevens, who stepped down for health reasons.
Now having secured a 2-1 win and claimed a vital three points against Hertha Berlin this weekend, it is clear to see his team is fine turned and thriving since his arrival.
Nagelsmann’s team, who are now 13th in the Bundesliga after looking certain to be relegated and are improving game by game. With Hoffenheim sitting bottom of the table with Hannover after match day 20, the turnaround is very impressive. Under Nagelsmann, Hoffenheim have won six of ten matches, and drawn two of the others.
It’s not just this promising, youthful tactician, who has superb man management skills that’s improving the team – but also the performances of prodigies Nadiem Amiri and Phillip Ochs.
The partnership of 19-year old centre back Niklas Süle and former Basel centre half Fabian Schär have created a strong defensive middle. Jeremy Toljan at left back has been impressive, as has Sebastian Rudy in the middle of the midfield, but its Amiri and Ochs who are the real deal.
Born in Ludwigshafen am Rhein, Hoffenheim’s 19-year old teen sensation Amiri has developed into one of the promising youngsters in Bundesliga football this season. He is flourishing under the tutelage of Nagelsmann and scored the second in the recent win over Eintracht Frankfurt, taking his goal tally to three in 21 appearances (14 starts) as well as providing four assists.
A product of Hoffenheim’s youth system, Amiri has created 42 chances in only 1250 minutes on the pitch while completing 79% of his pass attempts. Amiri has also had the benefit of 24 appearances for German nationall youth teams, although the bulk of those have been at the U-18 and U-19 levels. He started the 2015/2016 season with the reserve side, but was called up to the senior squad in late October after seven Regionalliga Sudwest starts.
Likewise Phillip Ochs, who turned nineteen Sunday, has been impressive on the left wing. Making his Bundesliga debut back in August, he made two cameo appearances under Stevens, before being dropped to the reserve side . Since Nagelsmann’s February appointment, though, the young 5’8″ winger has made five starts and three substitute appearances for a total of 463 minutes of Bundesliga play on the season. He’s responding to Nagelsmann’s confidence in him, has an assist and is at a 78% passing completion rate.
Claiming 20 points from a possible 30, the village side have overcome the relegation scrum, and with Amiri and Ochs part of their improvement, now have the look of a Bundesliga team that could possibly compete for a Europa League spot next season.
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