Von Yannik Cischinsky
There are some smiling faces among the Green-Whites in training this week. Werder fans are pleased to see their team in 4th place in the Bundesliga table and the same rings true among the squad. “The best feeling a footballer can feel is when all the players in the squad feel important and needed. I think this currently the case,” said Werder defender Sebastian Langkamp.
Langkamp made his first appearance of the season in Werder’s 2-0 victory at home to Wolfsburg on Friday night, yet the 30 year old is still being utilised as a rotational player in the squad. Consequently, there isn’t a better Werder player to explain that all of the squad have an important role to play. “The most important thing for substitute players to do is to continue for compete for starting places in training,” explains Langkamp.
Langkamp believes that if only the starting lineup and the other regular players train together, high amounts of stress can prevail in a league campaign. Additionally, Langkamp believes “you have to be there, ready to go when you’re needed.” He was needed in the Wolfsburg game and he helped Werder to their first clean sheet of the season. “It cannot be a coincidence,” joined the defender, who said he enjoyed being “completely exhausted alongside suffering mental fatigue” the following day.
Despite his good performance on Friday night, Langkamp knows that his role in the squad is unlikely to change. The defender understands the competitive situation at the club as well as his role in the squad. “I have learnt to accept the situation over the last six months. That doesn’t mean that I will settle for a restricted role or be satisfied. I am still in my prime.” This is the ex-Hertha and Augsburg defender’s 11th season in the Bundesliga and Werder sporting director Frank Baumann, alongside coach Florian Kohfeldt, were looking for someone like Langkamp to provide some experience in the squad. “The difference between young and experienced footballers may be that experienced players can step up and give a big performance even if they haven’t featured for a while. That was one reason why Werder wanted an experienced centre back in their squad,” he explains with a smile.
If Langkamp does make way for Milos Veljkovic in the squad to face Bayer Leverkusen, his high spirits will not go away. He has given coach Florian Kohfeldt a big compliment for appreciating what he has to offer on the pitch. For Langkamp, it is also a huge responsibility to keep all the players in the squad in good spirits and to prevent dissatisfaction. “The coach is like a teacher to us, but we are all grownups.” The high spirits out on the pitch exemplify how well the current system is working.