Tayfun Korkut spoke of a team that has its problems, is not in its best shape and where “the atmosphere is not that good”. Until now, the Hertha BSC coach has been talking about Borussia Mönchengladbach. He then drew the bow and said of the extremely difficult situation with the next away opponent (Saturday 6:30 pm, live on Sky): “It’s similar to us.”
Gladbach vs Hertha, more disappointed expectations and more crisis than the duel between these two teams, the Bundesliga does not have to offer for now. This is reflected above all in the environment. Before the match, the fans are overcome in their defeatism: who has the most amateur leadership? Who worse coach? Who is the most insecure team? “Us!” shout many fans, looking at their club with conviction.
Now, it’s not a new phenomenon that emotional swings in fans can be very strong, in both directions. But there were also statements from some players last weekend that deviated significantly from the standard repertoire.
“I don’t know who is helping us either. Maybe God,” Borussia midfielder Christoph Kramer said immediately after the 2-3 lead, after a 2-0 lead, on Saturday night in the second last VfB Stuttgart Hertha’s central defender Marc Kempf had criticized “Larifari’s” attitude in the team a few hours earlier after the 4-1 bankruptcy declaration against Eintracht Frankfurt.
The game in Stuttgart hit Gladbach at least as hard as Hertha did against Frankfurt. “There’s a thousand construction sites going on right now,” Kramer said as part of the verbal sweep, in which he criticized just about everything that happened on the turf and, in his opinion, went wrong. Many understood this as a criticism of Adi Hütter’s work. The coach had come from Frankfurt for 7.5 million euros before the season.
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Sporting director Roland Virkus, who recently succeeded Max Eberl, has now announced that he thinks it would have been better if Kramer had announced all of this internally. Virkus said during the week: “The players should look at their own noses. It’s always easy to question the coach.” He has a plan A and pursues it: continue with Hütter. There was no crisis meeting after the defeat at VfB.
In Berlin there was one on Sunday morning after the Frankfurt game. With sports director Fredi Bobic and the team, without Korkut. More discussions and internal and public announcements to the team followed with varying degrees of severity. Ultimately, Bobic supports the coach as well. But not without the clear indication that there are points to be scored in Gladbach.
Korkut must not allow another defeat. With Hütter, who cannot be present at the game due to his corona infection and is represented by his assistant Christian Peintinger, in the event of a defeat it should also be dealt with in the way the team presented itself.
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The data, figures and facts here and there are, to put it mildly, worrying. Hertha is the worst team in the second half of the season, still chasing the first win in 2022, not so young anymore, and seems to be moving further and further away from it in terms of performance.
Borussia Mönchengladbach last kept a clean sheet in November
Gladbach, 15th in the second half of the table, have not kept a clean sheet in 13 games, more than any other Bundesliga team. The last time he did it was in November against Greuter Fürth at bottom. In the six home games since then, Borussia have always conceded at least two goals.
Staggering towards league two, that wasn’t always the case for both teams this season. Just as Hertha seemed to be on the right track in the first weeks after Korkut’s appointment, Gladbach have also had a period where things worked out as they should. The team had 14 points in seven games in the fall and gave up just five goals. The heady 5-0 victory against FC Bayern in the DFB Cup also fell at this stage. From today’s perspective, all of this seems almost surreal. Similar to Hertha’s 3-2 thrashing against Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga just before Christmas.
Bobic draws another parallel between traditional clubs. “There’s also a lot of noise in the area,” he says of Gladbach. At Borussia, sporting director Virkus has a lot to do in his quest to calm things down. The malaise is not as great as at Hertha, which the investor Lars Windhorst has repeatedly brought there, but the current level in Berlin can hardly be reached anywhere else anyway.
If Gladbach win on Saturday, it would be a good step in the right direction. If Hertha wins, that would calm things down a bit from a sporting point of view. Fredi Bobic puts it this way: “We have a great opportunity to draw and get closer to a club that certainly has other demands.” The Berliners are currently in 16th place in the table. four points behind the opponent.