Freiburg When Mario Gomez had classified the 3:3 at SC Freiburg, his double pack in the 300th Bundesliga game and the start of the season in general, the striker of VfB Stuttgart became fundamental.
By Maximilian Haupt, dpa
“I’m certainly still the present at VfB at the moment, but the future is different players,” said the 33-year-old in the semi-darkness next to the Freiburg stadium in front of the waiting team bus. The striker, who has retired from the national team, still cares about his own goals – but in the autumn of his career Gomez developed a fine feeling for the atmosphere in a team and the associated tasks of an experienced and respected football professional.
As in the last phase of his national team career, when Gomez spoke up against the worsening atmosphere with his calm in the World Cup quarter and made a name for himself as a link between the various groups for the climate, his area of responsibility at VfB Stuttgart is larger than the penalty area. “Be it on the pitch through presence, be it in the booth through presence: I always try to be positive. To take some pressure out of stressful situations,” Gomez told us on Sunday evening before the trip home. “Things you just do when you’re 33 and not 20 anymore”.
Sometimes this includes a critical commentary on other topics. “I can’t keep up with what you have to order to watch a game,” Gomez said to the many holders of football rights for television. “I think that’s very, very unfortunate for the fans, too, that there’s not just one package that you order and then see all the Bundesliga matches, all the Champions League matches. That’s a trend that I don’t like at all.”
Above all, however, the Champions League winner, together with captain Christian Gentner, cruciate ligament rupture returnee Andreas Beck and the other veterans, takes care of the young pros such as his forward partner Nicolas Gonzalez or Chadrac Akolo. And he tells them that a goalless start to the season like VfB’s with the cup away from Hansa Rostock (0:2) and two Bundesliga defeats in Mainz (0:1) and against FC Bayern Munich (0:3) is no reason for panic: “There will certainly be more phases in which we lose two times in a row. If we make a drama out of it every time like it is now, then it will be a colourful season.”
Points are still the best remedy for anxiety, so Gomez’s goals number eleven and twelve in the twelfth duel with SC Freiburg were important. Especially after Jerôme Gondorf’s early deficit, who scored twice like Gomez. He scored the first goal after 51 seconds. “The 0-1 was poison,” said Gomez. “If you have a series like the one we had, then everything feels a little more difficult. It took the Swabians almost a half to recover.
Then Emiliano Insua scored the first VfB goal of the season – and Gomez did his job. Only Luca Waldschmidt’s equaliser in the 81st minute didn’t fit. “I already said last week that he’s slowly getting into gear. It can go on like this,” coach Tayfun Korkut praised his centre forward. From his point of view he likes to play at home on Friday against Fortuna Düsseldorf. Because Stuttgart is still waiting for their first win of the season. Betfred Casino is a multi-platform site that offers standard casino games.