SVENSSON: "I WAS THINKING: WHAT'S GOING ON HERE?"
New podcast episode: "UffgeBAST & RangeKLOTZt" with the head coach of Mainz 05
"Mainz 05 has always been about having a strong collective and by that I don't just mean the players and coaches, but also the staff and fans, everyone involved with the club," says Bo Svensson, who took over the Mainz 05 team as head coach at the beginning of the year, in the new episode of the 05 podcast "UffgeBAST & RangeKLOTZt - der 05er.fm Audiobeweis" about what makes the club special for him. Since Svensson returned to Mainz, the team and coaching staff have been working not only to make the Zerofivers identity visible on the pitch, but to achieve what no team has managed before: to punch the ticket for another year of first division status at the end of the season with only seven points from the first half. He also spoke to presenters Tim Klotz and Mario Bast about a defining moment at the Bruchwegstadion and his 05 dream team.
Svensson also talks in detail about how the cohesion in the team came about in this second half of the season. "It's about how you deal with each other. No matter if it's a win or a loss, no matter if it's Wednesday or Saturday. There has to be an understanding there. But that's something that was already in this team before I took over, I didn't have to say that much." Svensson has only positive things to say about the character of his team: "They have a good core, as footballers but also as people, and they bring all the character traits that are important to me. For me, one of the biggest tasks I have as a coach is to work with these boys and shape them."
It is important to Svensson that the team embodies what the club stands for. "But I really hope that this question will soon no longer arise because it is immediately clear to everyone what the club stands for. We may only have a short history in the Bundesliga, but we've been around for a few years now. Mainz 05 has always thrived on the fact that we have a strong collective and by that I don't just mean the players and coaches, but also the staff and fans, everyone involved with the club. It's not just about results, but also about experiences that you share with each other. Our way of playing football, but also our way of being and interacting with each other, that's something you don't see that often in the world of football."
The first game at Bruchwegstadion
And so one of the most formative moments of his time as a player in Mainz for Svensson was also his first game in the Bruchwegstadion - although he himself had not even been on the pitch. "That was the first time I experienced what it means to go to the stadium and see Mainz 05. 45 minutes before kick-off, the stadium was full and I thought: 'What's going on here?' With kick-off, it was immediately incredibly loud and not necessarily because we played so incredibly well. I watched it and thought it was incredibly cool. You don't see anything like that anywhere else. It's an experience I still remember."
One of the players he played with at Mainz 05 is Elkin Soto. Svensson says of the Colombian midfielder: "I think that was the best player I played with during my time at Mainz, his style of play is just extremely cool." The contact between the two has not broken off, Soto checks in with the head coach after every Zerofiver game. "He's totally rooting for us, you can tell that Mainz 05 still plays a big role for him. I would have absolutely nothing against him taking on a role here in Mainz, because I'm 100% sure he would burn for the club and be completely involved."
Dream team with Elkin and Nikolče
It comes as no surprise that Soto has a place in Svensson's Mainz 05 dream team. It was not easy for the 41-year-old to decide on eleven players. It was clear, however, who would form the central defence in front of Heinz Müller in goal: Nikolče Noveski and Bo Svensson.