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Arne Maier stoppt einen Ball mit der Brust

Maier: “Eager to take on a leadership role”

Confident ahead of matchday 29

First Team 12.04.2024, 09:07

Arne Maier is currently the man of the moment at FC Augsburg, with three goal contributions to his name in the side’s last four games. The 25-year-old was unlucky to not find the net again against TSG Hoffenheim after his strike was denied by the woodwork. Ahead of matchday 29’s clash against Union Berlin, Maier spoke about the defeat in Sinsheim, his current role within the team, and his personal progress over the three years he’s spent at FCA.

Arne, FC Augsburg’s five-game unbeaten streak was broken on Sunday after the team lost to TSG Hoffenheim.
I’m still feeling frustrated with the defeat, just like the rest of the team, because it could have been avoided. We defended too passively and conceded two goals as a result. When we changed the formation, we settled into the game, but still had to come back from behind. We had enough opportunities to turn the game around. Looking back, just like when we played Köln, we were missing that little bit of luck in the final third, for instance when I hit the post.

That would have been your fourth goal contribution in as many games. Do you agree that you’re currently in great form?
I’m really pleased to be making regular appearances in the starting XI. I faced the setback of my injury in the first half of the season, which is why it feels even better to now be able to help the team on the pitch with my goals and assists.

You sustained your injury just after the club appointed their new head coach. Did you have a conversation with Jess Thorup at the time?
Of course. I completed the first stage of my rehab in Berlin. When I returned to Augsburg, we had a discussion and agreed that we shouldn’t rush things, but should instead make sure that I was reintegrated into the team gradually.

You’re now in your third year at FCA. When you arrived in 2021, you said you wanted to take the next step in your career with the club. Do you think you’ve managed to do this?
I think so. I’m only 25, so am still one of the youngest players in the team and have a long way to go in my development. There have naturally been many ups and downs throughout my three years at the club, but as a whole, I would say that I’ve made a lot of progress, and not just on the pitch. I’ve matured as a person, and am now eager to take on a leadership role within the team.”

“My favourite position is the one I’m playing in currently”

You’ve been far more versatile at FCA than at your previous clubs. You mainly played on the right flank last season, whilst you’ve been back in the middle of the pitch this year. Where do you feel most comfortable?
My favourite position is the one I’m playing in currently. I’m really involved in the game as a left-sided number 8. However, I’ve also got no problem playing slightly further back or forward. I started the game as a number 10 against Köln and that also worked quite well as you know. Ultimately, the coach has the final say.

Finally, let’s take a look at the upcoming opposition. You’re kicking off matchday 29 against Union Berlin – what are your plans for Friday’s game?
It’s quite clear – we want to show a different side to our game than we did against Hoffenheim, and we need to be wide awake from the start. We’ve always done well in Friday evening games in the past, so I’m confident that we can pick up all three points.

You’re still in seventh despite the defeat last time out. What do you think is possible for the team this season?
We’re unlikely to be involved in a relegation battle anymore, so we can play with freedom. We want to pick up as many points as possible in the remaining games, and then we’ll see where things go. We’re definitely feeling positive.

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Arne Maier