After over two years in charge, Bayer Leverkusen have sacked manager Peter Bosz. It seemed that Die Werkself were going to seriously challenge for the Bundesliga title this season, having sat second going into the winter break.
However, a miserable 2021 has seen Leverkusen majorly fall down the table and crash out of the Europa League. Injuries have hit the team hard but it cannot excuse the terrible run that the club have been on.
Leverkusen went unbeaten in their first 12 league games, collecting 28 points. However, from the next 14 games, Leverkusen have collected just 12 points. That rapid drop in form has prompted change as Leverkusen fight to keep a place in the Bundesliga top six.
Peter Bosz departs after guiding Leverkusen to the Champions League in his first six months in charge. His sole season in charge saw him guide Leverkusen to fifth place, missing out on a top-four finish on the final day of last season. He leaves Leverkusen sixth in the table, seven points off the Champions League places.
A Disappointing 2021 Costs Peter Bosz His Job at Bayer Leverkusen
Peter Bosz Departs After Collecting Just 12 Points from 14 League Games in 2021
A season that started with so much promise has dwindled massively for Leverkusen. When they went unbeaten in their opening 12, there was a real belief they could challenge Bayern Munich for the title.
However, 2021 has been rotten for Die Werkself. They have lost seven of their 13 league games in 2021 which has seen their title bid turn into a scrap for a top-six finish. Leverkusen’s usual exciting style of play under Peter Bosz has faded and the players are in desperate need of a morale boost.
Impressively, Leverkusen won eight of their first 12 league games but since the turn of the year, they have managed just three times, with just one of those coming on the road. Their home form has dipped too, having failed to win their last three home matches, collecting just one point. Their last three home games has seen strugglers Arminia Bielefeld and Mainz walk away with points.
Bosz exits the Bay Arena after just one win in six league games. That run has included consecutive defeats with their season hitting a new low after a heavy defeat to struggling Hertha Berlin. A disastrous first half and lack of response in the second half has alerted the Leverkusen hierarchy.
As well as a poor run in the Bundesliga, Leverkusen were dumped out of the Europa League in the last 32 stage. They were well beaten by Swiss side Young Boys who outfought and outclassed Bosz’s team across both legs.
The players have struggled for belief and confidence in recent months. Its been a rapid slide that needs arresting and fast. They face a real fight for European football next season with sides closing in below.
Injuries Have Battered the Leverkusen Squad
Leverkusen were excelling during the first half of the season but had their injury issues. It appears those have finally caught up with them in recent months. Their list has grown with as many as eight regular first-team players missing through injury.
They are missing Austrian midfielder Julian Baumgartlinger for the rest of the season along with former Manchester United full-back Timothy Fosu-Mensah. Perhaps the biggest loss at the moment is goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky. The Finnish international has been their regular since joining the club but its clear they are missing his presence at the back. Young goalkeeper Lennart Grill has admirably tried to fill the void but has struggled.
Their defence has been battered with injuries, which would highlight the lack of clean sheets. Santiago Arias, Daley Sinkgraven and Lars Bender are all missing too. However, while those injuries have affected them, Leverkusen have enough bodies and quality to fill the void but they have struggled to kick start their season.
Hannes Wolf Confirmed as Peter Bosz’s Replacement
Former Stuttgart and Hamburg manager Hannes Wolf will oversee the first team for the rest of the season. He is tasked with sparking Die Werkself’s season back into life. He inherits a side sixth in the Bundesliga, seven points off the Champions League places.
However, their poor form has meant they will face a fight for a Europa League spot. They are just four points clear of Borussia Monchengladbach who sit tenth in the table. Wolf needs to galvanise the team and it is imperative he makes a positive start to his reign.
Crucially, for Wolf he will get time on the training ground with some of the players during this international break. Wolf will be assisted by former Leverkusen manager Peter Hermann, who will offer his wisdom and experience.
Wolf probably couldn’t have picked a better first opponent with rock bottom Schalke coming to the Bay Arena in his first game. Their form is just as bad, if not worse than Leverkusen. The game provides the perfect opportunity for Leverkusen to spark their flailing season back into life.
Bayer Leverkusen Face a Season Defining Run of Fixtures
Following that game with Schalke, Leverkusen face a mix of games that include direct European rivals which could elevate back into the Champions League conversation.
After Schalke, Hoffenheim and Köln lie in wait. Hoffenheim are having a poor season domestically so certainly that provides a great chance. That is followed by the Rhine Derby with Köln who are in desperate need of the points themselves as they fight to preserve their Bundesliga status.
Following that is crucial clashes with Bayern Munich and fourth-place Eintracht Frankfurt. Leverkusen have to put themselves in the top four race by the time those two games come around. Bayern will be fighting for every point as they push for another title while Frankfurt are looking to maintain their top-four place.
Hannes Wolf is auditioning for the job and igniting their season is the top objective. A top-four finish isn’t out of reach but they are reaching a critical point where they need to start winning football matches again.
The players need that feeling and certainly a morale boost for a busy finish to the season. Leverkusen still have plenty to play for despite their poor run of form. It’s an eight-game for Wolf and his new players as Leverkusen make a final throw of the dice to secure a place in the Champions League.