Weidenfeller injured - Langerak to debut against Bayern?
“Every player wants to be playing. But I am not silly. I´ve come to a massive club in the Bundesliga and I am not going to come from Australia and walk into this with crazy ambitions. But I´ve come here to work hard and train as hard as I can with Roman. And if -god forbid- anything happens to him then I´ll be ready to step in and take my chance.”
Those were Mitch Langerak’s words when schwatzgelb.com talked to the young Oz back in 2010. It was right before the home game against Bayern Munich. We all know how the story continued. Nothing happened to Weidenfeller and Borussia walked through the league with ease up until now. With only 11 matches to play, Borussia Dortmund is 10 points clear of Leverkusen and 13 points clear of Bayern Munich, our next opponent this Saturday. And now something has happened to Weidenfeller. In yesterday's training session Weidenfeller injured his knee after a one-on-one with BVB full back Mats Hummels might miss the clash against Bayern Munich this Saturday. According to local paper Ruhr Nachrichten Weidenfeller suffered a twisted knee and a minor laceration of his left knee. Club doctor Dr. Markus Braun says it can only be decided on Friday whether Weidenfeller can play on Saturday. Queensland-born Langerak will be ready to step in and take his chance, packing his bags for a possible Bundesliga debut against Bayern this Saturday evening.
The Bundesliga giants Bayern, who have not given up the title race this season, might be happy about this news. Weidenfeller with 11 clean sheets this season, has been one of the outstanding keepers in Bundesliga this season. The experienced 30year-old BVB skipper was there when needed and allowed only 13 goals in 23 matches. His temper got him four bookings already and it was only a matter of time until Langerak had to step in to replace him for at least one game. Only recently the 22 year old former Melbourne Victory shot-stopper made his league debut for BVB II against BMG II. He kept a clean sheet in Borussia’s 1-0 win over Gladbach last Tuesday. The only other appearance for BVB was in a test match against Rot Weiss Essen back in October 2010.
Said Teddy de Beer, Dortmund’s goalkeeping coach, in an interview with local paper RuhrNachrichten in early January: “Mitch has developed very well in the six months, he has become more stable. Everything we were looking for, we have seen in him. Mitch has improved a lot, we have been working on his catching and positional play. In one-on-one situations he has learned enormously and it’s one of his strengths. He can become a good modern goalkeeper”. Now it might be time for Mitch to show that he already is a good modern goalkeeper. “Mitch would be quite capable of replacing Roman for a while”, added de Beer in that January window. He most surely did not think this would happen to soon. But as with all of the other players BVB brought in, it seems certain that the area of misjudging transfers is over.
The charming Aussie would follow in the footsteps of former BVB goalkeeper Eike Immel, who debuted for Borussia against Bayern back in 1978 at the age of 17. Borussia won that match with 1-0 and Immel got 19 call ups for Le Mannschaft and made a total of 534 Bundesliga games for BVB and Stuttgart before ending his career with Manchester City in 1997.
“We don’t have any expectations. We take it from game to game and try to keep the run up as long as we can and see where we end up.” said Langerak towards the end of our interview back in late September. Now the time might has come for him to take it from game to game. Good luck, Mitch if needed and get well soon, Roman!