So far, the 374 million euros that businessman Lars Windhorst injected into the capital club Hertha BSC have disappeared without significant effects. At least there is an increase in value now. Entertainment value skyrocketed on Sunday after Hertha announced that 68-year-old Felix Magath would take over as manager until the end of the season.
Even before the first wow in the social joke booths was overcome with the help of dating gags (“Is it April 1st today?”), the inevitable medicine balls came into play, accompanied by the forecast that the “Quälix ” or “Schleifer” Magath was Hertha: the players will now surely chase them to the Kreuzberg (66 meters) every day while forbidding them to drink and certainly also to breathe. So which players actually? Magath will scrap all the current ones to get 42 new ones next week.
It is part of Felix Magath’s ambivalence that he always ridiculed and cultivated Magath’s clichés at the same time. His trademark essence, inscrutability, is also a gesture of defiance on display: the ironic detachment from the craft that has made him rich, famous and cynical. But there is a grain of truth in every cliché and, ultimately, Magath is a worryingly reactionary manager, both in his work with youngsters and in his vision of modern football.
When he left VfL Wolfsburg in 2009, he likes to say that “everyone was devastated”.
There is no doubt that he was successful in it. When he redeemed VfL Wolfsburg in May 2009 by voluntarily saying goodbye to himself, “everyone was devastated”, he likes to say. But they were all German champions.
Solo: Eight games to go is a bad time to get fit at Hertha. Your usual player rollover fails due to the closed transfer window. Nobody should expect Magath to delve into the tactical details to stabilize the team formed by Hertha manager Fredi Bobic. And to put players with his aura into a cult-like state of loyalty, there probably isn’t enough time. Which leads to the question: What exactly should Magath do in Berlin now? He brings the experience of him, the calm of him. And ensure the discipline that has often been lacking lately. That would be a lot. But is that enough?
If the dismissal of coach Tayfun Korkut, whom he hired a few months ago, was an admission of a mistake by Hertha manager Bobic, then Magath’s commitment is an admission of far-reaching impotence. A liberation that you don’t know if it goes forwards or backwards. A risky investment somewhere between total loss and maximum return. Because of course that can also be considered possible: that Felix Magath save Hertha from relegation. Simply by stirring a cup of green tea with a steady hand.