By Oliver Trust
BERLIN, April 26 (Xinhua) — Premier League clubs might want to pay special attention to the upswing of Bundesliga underdogs Mainz 05.
The growing interest isn’t caused by the club’s seven unbeaten games in a row, but by a coach that could follow in several famous managers’ footsteps.
Since Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp and Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel have made their way to top sides with Mainz as their starting point, the small club has established its reputation as a producer of high-quality coaches.
Bo Svensson benefitted from both of his former coaches when playing in the Mainz shirt from 2007 to 2014.
In 2008, he was Klopp’s first choice as a center-back, while Tuchel relied on his defensive qualities from 2009 to 2014.
The Dane’s coaching qualities already must have been evident during his playing career. In 2008, Klopp predicted Svensson would one day take over at Mainz.
“Of course, I benefitted from their expertise and working patterns,” Svensson said when appointed head coach of Mainz in January 2021, when they were bottom of the Bundesliga.
“Their way to deal with people and lead a team stayed with me, as well as their game approach. All aspects influenced me next to the growing desire to become a coach,” the former Danish international said.
“It would be crazy not to adopt things that made them some of football’s greatest coaches,” he said after achieving 27 points in the season’s second half.
Like Klopp and Tuchel, Svensson started his coaching journey in the club’s youth section. Like his idols, he is a people person, counting on a close relationship with his players.
Svensson is the Bundesliga’s man of the hour, having all but secured survival despite having only collected six points by the season’s halfway mark.
The Mainz coach repaired his team’s structure, turning his squad from a struggling team into a tight-knit unit.
The Dane never lost contact with Mainz while coaching Austrian second-tier side FC Liefering from summer 2019 to the end of 2020.
His family stayed in Mainz while he insisted on an exit clause at his Austrian club exclusively valid for an offer from Mainz at the end of his first year. Therefore, Mainz paid 1.5 million euros to sign him six months later.
Reports speak of Svensson as a mixture of Klopp and Tuchel. He has adopted many of Tuchel’s tactical skills in combination with Klopp’s empathic style dealing with his players.
The Mainz coach signed a contract until 2024. Mainz board member Christian Heidel called him a “man you don’t have to explain the special patterns of Mainz to. He is part of the club’s corporate identity.” Heidel, by the way, was the man who promoted both Klopp and Tuchel to head coach.
“We have known for a while there is a new great coaching talent around,” Heidel added after Svensson’s team last weekend beat 2020 treble winners Bayern Munich 2-1, moving up into 12th position in the Bundesliga with four games remaining. Enditem