After a long injury break, Robin Koch fought his way back to the starting line-up at Leeds United. In conversation with SPOX and goal the national player draws an initial conclusion on his debut season in the Premier League – and comments on his goal of jumping on the EM train.
The first few months at Leeds United went like clockwork for Robin Koch. The defensive all-rounder, who came to Yorkshire from SC Freiburg for 13 million euros in August 2020, promptly advanced to become a regular under Marcelo Bielsa and played eleven games between September and November.
But then there was an international break to forget with the 6-0 debacle against Spain and a little later in the duel with Chelsea a blow to the right knee, which was already damaged before his transfer to the island, which was followed by an operation on the meniscus and a six-week forced break withdrew.
A tough but instructive time that lasted longer than originally expected due to a lack of training. Koch was supposed to miss 18 games before coming on for the first time in the final phase of a duel with Fulham FC. In the last two games in Brighton and against Tottenham Hotspur, he played 90 minutes.
“It’s good to be back in the starting XI. I’ve worked hard,” said Koch SPOX and goal. He still has his goal of getting one of the 26 German squad places for the European Championship in mind: “I’m back to 100 percent and fit for the European Championship.” In the last season’s games against Burnley FC, Southampton FC and West Bromwich Albion, he wanted to “get more match practice” in order to completely convince national coach Joachim Löw of himself.
Cook as a six: “Strongest quality in the building game”
“I see my strongest quality in the build-up game,” says the 24-year-old about himself. “For our game it is important to play our offensive forces as best as possible and thus to create dangerous goal situations. The coaching team wants these passes in offensive dangerous areas from me See. It was because of those qualities that the people in charge looked after me and because of the way Leeds United played, I chose that too, “he said. “The passing and build-up game, the game with the ball in general, is very important to us and that’s how we train it. That’s why I think I’ve improved again here at Leeds.”
But Koch does not only see himself challenged with the ball on his foot: “Defensive stability is just as important as creating chances to score. As a defensive player, you are challenged all the time here. Forwards and backwards. But our team is also characterized by that we always work together with all players against the ball. “
In their first season after promotion, the Peacocks currently occupy tenth place in the Premier League with 50 points. Even if nothing comes of participating in international business, Koch draws a positive conclusion – especially from a playful point of view.
“Anyone who has seen our games this season knows how intense they are. It goes back and forth and we give full throttle for 90 minutes. It’s very entertaining for the audience,” he says.
However, the varied and disciplined Bielsa football requires “a lot of strength and stamina”. Accordingly, they train hard. Koch and his colleagues cannot avoid “Murderball”, the infamous training game by “El Loco”.