|Quo vadis, Hertha?
||[Oct. 1st, 2009|01:49 pm]
HA HO HE - HERTHA BSC!
With the upcoming Euro League match vs Sporting Lisbon this evening, I would like to take a moment to reflect on the current situation at Hertha BSC Berlin.
Truth be told - I knew that this season would be really tough, especially since we were unable to sign Voro permanently, and had to sell Simunic. Pantelic is a different story, he wanted too much, the bosses disagreed, and he was a free-agent after this season. Ajax Amsterdam said "Thank you" and signed him. But I did not expect us to crash like that. I've been a Hertha fan since 1990, I've seen a lot of shitty times, but this season hurts more than any before since we were competing for Championship not too long ago. And now? Where are we now? Last ranked, holding up the so-called Red Lantern as high as possible. A promising start vs Hannover 96 (albeit more lucky than anything else) and a refreshing game against Gladbach left me optimistic. But what happened turned into a nightmare. Shameful losses vs Bochum, Mainz (after dominating them for the majority of the match) Freiburg and Hoffenheim let us crash to the very bottom of the league (I leave out the match vs Bremen, since the guys DID fight out there). A hard-fought victory in DFB Pokal vs fourth division team Preußen Münster (we defeated them in overtime) wasn't too surprising, since Hertha are known for being not exactly successful in that competition. The meager 1-1 vs Latvian side FK Ventspils, however, was an entirely different story. It should have never happened, with or without Drobny's injury. Ventspils probably was the easiest opponent in our group, and we just couldn't win against them. The sign of hope, however, was the comeback vs 1860 last week. We were down 0-2 vs Die Löwen, but Adrian Ramos and Valerij Domovchiyski brought us back. But still - that happened when they - a second division side - were running out of gas, and we should have totally finished them off in overtime. We didn't, and you know what happened. The following match vs TSG 1899 Hoffenheim was, mildly put, a fiasco. There was absolutely NO sign of fight, life and will to be seen in Hertha BSC. There was a tiny spark of hope glimming, namely Raffael's goal, but the spark couldn't lit the flame and we got thrashed.
I am really worried about my club ...
Our defense, last season one of the main reasons why we were so strong and surprising the rest of the league - only to fuck it up at the very end of the season -, is practically nowhere to be seen. Arne Friedrich is apparently still sulking about not having played a part in the last match at Karlsruhe (and that, my friends, is the ONLY big mistake Favre made last season, Arne was match-fit, but Favre decided against him. I think with Arne on the pitch the match might have had a different outcome, and, who knows, maybe we'd be playing CL now instead of "only" Euro League) and therefore decided to rebel against Favre (at least that is what I keep hearing, and if it's true, then I am sorry - but I lost all my respect for Arne. Step down as a captain and let someone else do the job, dammit!) by playing the same crap over and over again. Assistant coach Gämperle said that apparently, (some of) the players were laughing (at Favre) on the way back home from matches, didn't take him seriously and poked fun at him and his (adorable) Swiss accent. I don't think Gämperle is making things up here ... So a player mutiny against the coach? Wouldn't be the first time in the history of football, to be honest, and frankly, I am rather disappointed. The unity and harmony we had last season have ceased entirely. Instead there are a bunch of selfish children on the pitch who are wearing The Shirt, but not LIVING it. For me, as a fan who earns only a small amount of money per month and spends the majority of this money on memorabilia and tickets to travel around the country to cheer them on - and who also is a member of Hertha BSC -, it feels like betrayal. Dishonesty is something I don't respond to very well.
The alleged mutiny of Arne (and probably also Patrick Ebert, that is what I read on hertha-inside.de's forum) is one reason for the way things are currently going at the Hertha camp.
We are in debt, the amount is 35 million €, and that deficit makes it, of course, difficult to sign quality players permanently. Even when we sold Simunic and got 7 mio for him, we failed in finding an adequate player who could fill up his role. We are no Manchester City or Chelsea FC who have a billionaire opening his check book at any given chance to sign top players. However, who knows what might have happened had we reached CL instead of Euro League. I think we would have been able to keep at least Voronin. Next, we have no goalie who could replace Jaroslav Drobny should he get injured. After Christopher Gäng's injury, there's only Sascha Burchert (19) left, and, to be honest, I felt sorry for him in the Freiburg match. Now we quickly signed Timo Ochs, who once was playing in Austria's league, but didn't come from a club. So he lacks match experience. Can HE help us at this point? I am not really sure. His debut at Hoffenheim last Sunday wasn't exactly a success, but then again, the whole team fucked up once again, and what can you do as a goalie if your defense decides to be mutineers?? And, since I already mentioned the striker problem, here's another comment on that: why in God's name did we sign Artur Wichniarek AGAIN? His first stint at Hertha BSC was a total fiasco, to be precise, four goals in more than forty matches are, well, d'uh. So it is of course tough on him to gain the fans' love, and, looking at the matches he's been playing so far this season, it's understandable that the fans are not exactly happy about having him back. We also signed Colombian striker Adrian Ramos, he made it to the Colombian NT, but is he ready for Germany's top league? We shall see. At least he seems to be slightly better than King Artur.
It was not the first time that we had a horrendous record of signing players. In fact, this is one of the reasons - if not THE reason - why we have this huge deficit. In the past, we signed players who cost a lot but didn't really show up there. Fredi Bobic comes to my mind. Talents coming from the Under 23 hardly find recognition. Ibrahima Traore would be an example. NO ONE cared about him, and now he's putting on one hell of a show at FC Augsburg. Also - why did we put Rodnei and Chermiti on loan? I don't get it. Hertha's way of doing transfers was, is and will always be a mystery to me. *sigh*
Now, on Monday early evening, Lucien Favre was sacked. Since then, a bazillion names are linked to us. The biggest jokes, imo, were Lothar Matthäus and Berti Vogts (the latter having been at Leverkusen a couple of years ago, and I don't think he was very successful there, while the former one would have been the epitome of embarrassment). Right now, the favourites are Hans Meyer and Friedhelm Funkel, both know how to deal with clubs fighting against relegation. Some also mentioned Mirko Slomka, but I for one don't see that happen - he was at Schalke 04 before, and we once had an ex-Schalke coach. We all know how that ended ......... we need someone who can motivate the players again, who is able to light that flame and the fire in Hertha BSC again. I don't know who that will be in the end, but I hope Michael Preetz will come up with a solution.
That said, Preetz also won't travel to Lisbon with the team. He will stay in Berlin and hopefully be able to present the new manager at the beginning of next week. For the time being, U23 coach Karsten Heine will do the job.
I do not really believe that we will win in Lisbon, I'd be more than surprised if we did. A draw would be fantastic, and maybe THAT will give the players the little sense of achievement they so urgently need. The next league match is vs Hamburger SV on Sunday. Frankly, I don't have a lot of expectations, I can only hope they won't steamroll us like Hoffenheim and Freiburg did. I hope for a decent result the players can gain confidence from. But then again - we're the clear underdog in that match, and you should never write an underdog off. I've seen it happen before - the outsider winning against the clear favourite. Miracles do happen every once and a while, and I do believe the Hertha Miracle is about to start. We don't have anything to lose, we just have to BELIEVE.
Finally ... no matter what happens at the end of the season: relegation (heaven forbid!) or avoiding relegation - I will stick to Hertha BSC, because Liebe kennt keine Liga!. :o)
HA HO HE!
x posted to diebundesliga