How Uwe Rosler’s Attacking Philosophy Has Transformed Fortuna Dusseldorf
Prior to Uwe Rosler’s arrival, Fortuna Dusseldorf appeared to be relegation certainties, and looked destined for a return to the 2. Bundesliga division after just two seasons in the topflight. However, the former Malmo coach has transformed their fortunes, and although they are far from safe, Flingeraner are playing with plenty of confidence, and have rediscovered their shooting boots in recent months. Since arriving in North Rhine-Westphalia, the former striker has suffered just two defeats, and his attack-minded philosophy has helped bring the best out of players such as Rouwen Hennings and Erik Thommy.
🗣”It’s pretty tough not having the support of your home crowd”
Fortuna Dusseldorf manager Uwe Rosler on the Bundesliga return pic.twitter.com/LiSCPiqaCk
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) June 3, 2020
Change in Style
Following a run of five defeats in six, Fortuna parted ways with head coach Friedhelm Funkel at the end of January. At the time, they’d failed to score in six of their last eight matches, and possessed the tamest frontline in the topflight. They’d taken just 15 points from their opening 18 fixtures, and sat rock bottom of the Bundesliga. Despite deploying an attacking 4-3-3 formation, the 66-year old was unable to get his side firing, and their overall XG output was extremely disappointing.
Rosler has unleashed the attacking potential of his side, and under his tutelage, the Rheinlanders have only failed to find the net on two occasions. The former Manchester City forward has experimented with a number of formations, with both the 3-4-2-1 and 3-5-2 systems enabling the strugglers to get men forward at every opportunity.
He’s instructed his players to position themselves higher up the pitch and to play the majority of their football in the opposition half. He admits that it is a ‘risk and reward’ strategy, although it’s a gamble that appears to have paid off. Fortuna are now odds-on at 8/15 for relegation in the latest Bundesliga odds from Paddy Power, and now have Mainz, Augsburg, and Union Berlin within their sights; two of whom they play in their last three games. Although they’ve only won twice since the beginning of February, they have become much tougher to beat, and with twelve goals in their last eight outings, Rosler’s men are certainly benefiting from a change of philosophy.
As well as playing higher up the pitch, Rosler has also allowed his players to operate with significantly more freedom. Although it took a couple of weeks to bear fruit, this change of approach has gradually seen their weekly shot count increase exponentially. Although they may only have picked up a point against 10-man Hoffenheim at the beginning of June, they fired in 25 shots during the 90 minutes, with 14 of those efforts coming from inside the box.
With the majority of their focus on the final third, it has left them a little exposed at the back, and high-scoring games are now almost guaranteed at Merkur-Spiel Arena. Fortuna rarely keeps a clean sheet and as highlighted in the Bundesliga tips from Paddy Power News, backing goals in their remaining games may be a profitable angle.
Rouwen Hennings is Key
Despite Fortuna’s slow start to the campaign, Hennings still managed to plunder 11 goals in his first 16 appearances. He has taken a while to find his feet working under Uwe Rosler, but with three goals in his last two appearances, he appears to be back to his prolific best.
— Fortuna Düsseldorf (@f95) June 6, 2020
With the struggling side unlikely to improve their defensive numbers anytime soon, Fortuna may simply have to outscore their opponents in order to keep their heads above water this season. Hennings’ contribution will be vital, and having opened the scoring on eight occasions this year, they must provide plenty of ammunition for the former Hamburg man.
Rosler has certainly helped Fortuna Dusseldorf become more potent over the last couple of months, and although this gung-ho approach may not be sustainable long-term, it has certainly given them a realistic chance of survival this season. The 51-year old’s bold approach is certainly paying dividends, and if they don’t manage to preserve their Bundesliga status this season, they are almost certainly set to go out in a blaze of glory.