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Hertha BSC in the relegation: Only Magath stays cool

2022-05-15T07:49:58.034Z

Hertha BSC seemed saved several times in the previous weeks, but now the club has to worry about staying up. While the environment sinks into tears, the trainer resorts to a counter-strategy.



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Hertha player Marco Richter in misery

Photo:

LEON KUEGELER / REUTERS

It was the final minutes of this game in Dortmund when the tension erupted in a relieving cheer from the Hertha fans.

A large proportion of the supporters in the away block threw up their arms, but their perspective was poor.

The ball, which they had already seen in the goal, had only set the Dortmund goal net in motion from the outside.

Hope died as it came, BVB won 2-1, relegation competitor VfB Stuttgart won at the same time at the last minute, and Hertha BSC, already so close to staying up in the league, now has to go into relegation.

Hertha players burst into tears on the pitch, Hertha employees sobbed in the stands, the away block was frozen.

The season ends the way it had to end.

An undramatic conclusion would simply not have suited this club, this season either.

Worst case scenario?

Not for Magath

The scenery after the defeat at Borussia Dortmund fulfilled all the conditions for a "worst-case scenario" that Felix Magath was later confronted with in the press conference.

However, the Berlin coach rejected this gloomy choice of words.

Instead, Magath painted the next option in pink-colored sentences, which will actually be the last one - relegation.

"I'm rather reassured," said the coach with a view to the two games against the third-placed team in the 2nd division, first on Thursday in their own Olympic Stadium, before going to Bremen, Hamburg or Darmstadt four days later.

»Our team presented itself here as a Bundesliga club.

That's why I'm confident.«

Felix Magath was also signed in March to be the calming influence in a club that is excited enough.

The power struggle between investor Lars Windhorst and President Werner Gegenbauer smolders, the supporters of the competition react with malice to the failure of the club, which against all ambitions only plays against relegation.

Balance sheet solid, but not outstanding

Magath, who will be 69 in July, played his intended role to perfection on Saturday.

He sold it as a success that there is still the option of a rescue.

Dias may be an easy-to-see strategy, but it still seems psychologically adept.

Anyone who listened to the coach on Saturday could have thought that the Berliners had miraculously been lifted from 17th place in the table to 16th.

But already in mid-March, Hertha – like now after the end of the season – was level on points with VfB Stuttgart.

Arminia from Bielefeld, who ended up in 17th place and has to be relegated straight away, was only two points better then.

However, the East Westphalians have not won a game since Magath started working in Berlin and scored ten out of a possible 24 points.

This is a decent, but not outstanding balance sheet - also massively clouded by the setbacks of the past two weeks.

Neck blows just before the final whistle

At Arminia, who now have to be relegated directly, Hertha led 1-0 for a long time on matchday 32.

This result would have been enough for direct relegation.

The team conceded the equalizer late in the 90th minute.

A week later against Mainz 05 in the fully occupied Olympic Stadium, Hertha held a 1-1 draw until the final phase, which would also have saved the game, the game was lost 1-2.

A 1-0 lead was lost in Dortmund, Youssoufa Moukoko scored the winning goal for BVB in the 84th minute.

The »very good performance«, which Magath attested to his team for the game in second place, has to be put into perspective on several points.

BVB played for a long time without any inspiration and dynamism on the offensive.

Hertha held the lead for a long time with a penalty goal from Ishak Belfodil in the 18th minute.

When Borussia then decided to give sports director Michael Zorc and long-time captain Marcel Schmelzer a sportingly worthy farewell, it was all over for Hertha, who was rarely on the ball and only got 60 percent of their passes to teammates.

»Just tick off«

"I can get upset now or just tick it off," said Magath about the last day of the game, which went so badly for his club.

He snapped it off, demonstrating a calm that is in complete contrast to the nerve-wracking tasks the club now face.

Ten years ago, Hertha was already represented as a Bundesliga club in the relegation.

She failed under memorable circumstances at Fortuna Düsseldorf and was relegated.

The coach was the then 73-year-old Otto Rehhagel.

A quite old man who hadn't worked in the Bundesliga for a long time and who had been brought in to save the club from relegation.

To be the calming pole in a club excited enough.

Source: spiegel

All sports articles on 2022-05-15

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