Despite stay: No “keep it up” at Hertha BSC

Despite relegation

No “stop” at Hertha BSC


Tue 24/05/22 | 20:04 | Of To Oppermann

Picture: IMAGO / Jan Huebner

After staying up, Hertha looks to the future. Although his mistake was also the cause of the disastrous season, sports director Fredi Bobic is the biggest hope and the only constant in the next upheaval. By Till Oppermann

Fredi Bobic has recognized the signs of the times. “This relegation should have shown everyone that it was the last chance,” said the sporting director of the Bundesliga football club Hertha BSC the day after the relegation with a serious expression in a media round. In the last of 36 matches, Hertha’s players finally came together as a team and saved a memorable bad Bundesliga season.

Another sentence by Bobic sounds so much the more ominous: “It was a very cozy evening from which we can take a lot of positive things from.” For Hertha BSC is facing the next upheaval and the only certainty is that nothing can stay as it was.

Hertha must reinvent herself

First, Felix Magath announced his departure. He leaves Hertha with his assistant coaches Werner Leuthard and Mark Fotheringham. No problem for Bobic: “He was our savior, he was not the project.” Two other farewells have far greater consequences for the “Hertha Future” project. The morning after the victory in Hamburg, Hertha announced that longtime CFO Ingo Schiller would be leaving the club. The next hammer followed in the evening: after 14 years as chairman of Hertha BSC, Werner Gegenbauer announced his retirement. Numerous players could follow, as Bobic says, “No one is unsaleable.” Hertha must reinvent herself.

Three errors must be avoided

For the upheaval to succeed this summer, it is important to avoid three mistakes that have been fatal to Hertha in recent years. First, coaches were never bought because of their football idea. Second, transfers were rarely coordinated with said coaches. And thirdly, it was almost never possible to work quietly because new chaos hit the club every week.

“I did not expect the depth of the problems,” Bobic also groaned Tuesday. To ensure that this does not continue, the association must gather in the coming weeks and months.

In any case, solidarity with the passionate fans in Hamburg succeeded most recently. Investor Lars Windhorst appears to have won the internal power struggle against CFO Schiller and outgoing President Gegenbauer. Even though Gegenbauer stressed that it was never about personal differences between him and the lender, but only about disagreements between Hertha BSC and Windhorst’s company Tennor.

Somehow: Windhorst’s ego should no longer play a role at this point. Because no matter who takes over the chairmanship of the executive committee in the future – the investor, the president and the sports management must come together. “Ultimately, Hertha BSC is the most important thing,” Bobic said. This truism has all too often been lost between various vanities since Windhorst invested millions.

Wrong decisions

While Magath shamelessly praised Kevin-Prince Boateng for the successful line-up after the victory in Hamburg, Bobic spoke less selflessly. When asked about his transfer, which not only cut a good figure on the tactics board but also on the pitch, Bobic praised himself: “I said that already this summer. He will be a factor at some point.”

“Once upon a time” sounded a little different when the veteran was introduced last summer. Kevin-Prince Boateng, as Bobic was quoted as announcing the transfer, does not need a long period of adjustment. Eventually, 36 more matches were needed before the 35-year-old could help almost the entire distance for the first time.

Boateng is not the only manager’s decision to raise his eyebrows during the season. His transfers failed, both the dismissal of Pal Dardai and the engagement of Tayfun Korkut did not work, and there was rumbling in the office because Bobic was taking many new employees with him.

Hertha will still trust him. For Fredi Bobic, the club’s sole will be constant this summer.

Downloads match the game idea

Bobic promised on Tuesday that he would at least get support from a new coach over the next few days. Bobic expects an aggressive and offensive game idea from him: “In the past we were very passive, we want a more active team that plays louder and pushes.”

It sounds good at first, but his summer transfers need to be measured against this statement. For when Bobic says: “In Hamburg there were six newcomers on the pitch and we pressed on”, he does not say that with Santiago Ascacibar and Lucas Tousart two players took over the most important work that his predecessor Michael Preetz guided to Berlin. Especially since both are among the most lucrative at Hertha, and Bobic announces at the same time: “We need to keep track of staff costs.”

Hertha competes with herself

In addition, Hertha is lagging behind in terms of transfers. While the league rivals have been able to plan the first division for weeks, Hertha could not. The team around squad planner Dirk Dufner has at least worked on a plan in case of relegation in the last few weeks.

The former Bundesliga team, which had to relegate, proved that the late start of transfer activities is not necessarily a disadvantage: After 1. FC Köln, under the new coach Steffen Baumgart, was dependent on aggressive pressure football, the club recently reached the conference league. .

Fredi Bobic observed this closely. Nevertheless, no European dreams come from the Hertha office. “We wanted to compete with them at the top, but we did not quite succeed,” jokes Bobic. For the time being, Hertha BSC is primarily competing with its own flaws from the past.

Show: rbb24 special: Rescued – what now Hertha BSC ?, 24 May 2022, at 20.15

Contributed by Till Oppermann


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