If Gerardo Seoane got his ass stamped soon, Reiner Calmund wouldn’t be shocked. The former head coach of Bayer Leverkusen has been employing a playful metaphor to explain the process of firing a coach for years, and he is frequently quoted in the media. When Seoane’s Bayer squad was playing FC Porto on the road in the Champions League, Calmund recently commented about Seoane, “That’s the way it is in football: If you fail, there’s a stamp on your ass.”

The 43-year-old Swiss player’s circumstances weren’t any better when the 0:2 (0:0) loss was officially announced late Tuesday night. He may be sent packing from Leverkusen before the Bundesliga match against Schalke 04 the following Saturday, but they’d probably save him the postage.

A prompt release would no longer come as a surprise after Fernando Carro, managing director of Bayer’s football department, on Sunday forbade the coach from showing a loss in Porto on television. After all, the season had already been a complete failure before this most recent loss: elimination from the DFB Cup at third division Elversberg; finishing penultimate in the Bundesliga with just one win and five points from eight games; and now, the second defeat in the third game of the Champions League. All of this serves as a very appropriate euphemism for ongoing failure.

As Seoane’s replacement, former Bayern professional Xabi Alonso has already been traded.

Despite the fact that Porto’s first half was dramatic, no goals were scored. Both teams had goals disallowed, and Leverkusen’s Patrik Schick missed a penalty. Callum Hudson-alleged Odoi’s lead for Bayer in the 15th minute was nullified by Robert Andrich’s foul in midfield after winning the ball earlier. A handball by Porto’s defender David Carmo in his own penalty area in the 42nd minute went unpunished as well because the English referee first missed it before starting the advantageous counterattack.

Referee Anthony Taylor disallowed Porto’s goal from the sidelines during the celebratory celebration and also gave Leverkusen a penalty, which Schick couldn’t save because of goalie Costa in the 45th minute. Leverkusen, who was getting more and more dejected, lost all threat in the second half. Prior to Jeremie Frimpong receiving a second yellow card in the 88th minute and being forced off the pitch, Porto had a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Zaidu Sanusi (69′) and Galeno (87′). Leverkusen was generally excessively anxious and unimaginative. The string of setbacks and their coach’s approaching demise had an impact.

At the post-game press conference, Seoane stated matter-of-factly, “We didn’t able to perform as well in the second half as we did in the first.” Even though his squad played far better than it did in last Friday’s 4-0 Bundesliga loss at FC Bayern Munich, “We are quite upset with the result.” Seoane believed that the team’s emotional state played a part.

On Tuesday, the US-based sports network ESPN listed the Spaniard Xabi Alonso as a potential coach for Leverkusen. For three years, up until last May, the former Bayern Munich player served as the second team coach at Real Sociedad San Sebastian. The 40-year-old was purported to be Borussia Mönchengladbach’s head coach a year and a half ago. He played for Bayern Munich from 2014 to 2017 and finished his career there.

Seoane believes that Bayer’s tenure should finish after a year and a half. A third-place finish and Champions League qualification made the first season a huge success. But since the summer, nothing has worked. A coaching role in the Bundesliga is “not a civil servant job for life,” according to Bayer observer Calmund.

By Editor

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