"Three games, three wins – what more can you wish for?" asked Nicolai Müller after 1. FSV Mainz 05 secured a 2-0 victory against VfL Wolfsburg on Saturday.
Having previously beaten VfB Stuttgart 3-2 and SC Freiburg 2-1, Mainz are currently joint top of the standings and in splendid company on nine points alongside last season's treble winners FC Bayern München, UEFA Champions League finalists Borussia Dortmund and Bayer 04 Leverkusen. Müller himself is the Bundesliga's top scorer so far this season with four goals.
Thomas Tuchel, beginning his fifth season as coach despite not even turning 40 until Thursday, is not getting carried away. "We won't start dreaming now," he said. "We're enjoying the moment, but we will keep our feet on the ground."
Indeed, they found that out in 2010/11, when they won their first seven Bundesliga games, including a 2-1 victory at Bayern, but ended in fifth – still an impressive achievement which earned only a second European campaign, the first in 2005/06 having come through the Fair Play rankings. Three years ago players such as André Schürrle and Lewis Holtby were in the Mainz attack, a role in which Müller is now revelling.
"I'm not wasting any time thinking about my actions at the moment," explained the attacking midfielder. "I'm striking the ball well and simply enjoying it." Behind the easy and free flowing playing style currently deployed by Mainz stands a lot of hard work. "Our start to the season went well," defender Bo Svensson said. "We have experienced players and they all know how hard we had to work in order to secure these nine points. It's great to have those points, but we remain modest."
However, their performance is even more impressive considering that in the summer they lost key players in Andreas Ivanschitz, Jan Kirchhoff and Ádám Szalai. "The performance was very mature in all areas," said Tuchel after the win against Wolfsburg. "We know how to appreciate getting off to a good start like this."
Eric Choupo-Moting, who scored the opener against Wolfsburg, added: "We won't lift off mentally and neither will our fans. The euphoria is there, but that's completely normal. We deserved to win these games and would like to continue doing so."
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