⚽ E. Demirović (15), ⚽ E. Demirović (45), A. Engels (62)
FC Augsburg’s ex-captain Jeffrey Gouweleeuw reflected on his re-introduction into the Fuggerstädter starting XI after helping his team win their first league match of the season on Saturday afternoon.
|The WWK Arena.||Photo: Jøn123, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0|
Ahead of what is expected to be his final season with the club he’s represented for eight years (and captained for four), Dutch defender Jeffrey Gouweleeuw was forced to hand over the captain’s armband to striker Ermedin Demirovic of the current Bundesliga campaign. That, at least, is what some German footballing media sources reported. The 31-year-old – speaking to the Sky microphones after helping his team secure their first win of the season – wished to emphasize that he had done so voluntarily.
“That was my decision,” Gouweleeuw stressed, “A lot has happened recently, but that’s football. That’s life. I think you have to show character. A lot has been said and written, including a lot that’s the way it is. You have to deal with it.”
After not evening featuring in the matchday squad for the first three fixtures of the season, FCA trainer Enrico Maaßen turned to Gouweleeuw off the bench in the midst of the 0-3 “disaster” last week against Leipzig. The Bavarian Swabian’s were at least able to stabilize in the second half and concede no more goals to Marco Rose’s RB.
Gouweleeuw played from the start this time and went the full 90 minutes. Augsburg were able to maintain a lead – shockingly enough given their record playing with the lead this season – despite being reduced to ten-men following Arne Engels’ red card in the 62nd minute. The Dutchman anchored the back-line.
“I never doubted it,” Gouweleeuw told the Sky mics when asked about his return to Maaßen’s good graces, “When it gets stressful, that’s when I’m needed again. There comes a moment when I come in with my history [with the club]. I’m happy to have played a role in the win. Compliments to the team.”