Sandro Schwarz’s last direct point of contact with the Bundesliga was a good two and a half years ago – and had a lot to do with Berlin. Schwarz coached FSV Mainz 05, lost 2-3 with the team at home and was released the next day in November 2019. Opponent was 1. FC Union.
From now on Schwarz will have a lot to do with the Bundesliga again and a lot more to do with Berlin than before. On Thursday morning, Hertha BSC announced that the 43-year-old would become the new coach, as expected. He signed until 2024. Schwarz is to be officially presented on June 20, after his vacation.
“I really want to help shape the restart at Hertha BSC. The club has had a difficult time,” Schwarz said in a statement. The difficult time will last for almost three years and almost led to the second division. It was only in the relegation that trainer Felix Magath managed to stay up in the league. The fact that the Berliners needed three coaches in one season, before Magath, Pal Dardai and Tayfun Korkut, was recorded by sporting director Fredi Bobic as “a personal defeat”.
Now things have to get better in Bobic’s second year at Hertha. With significantly less noise away from the lawn and more sporting success. Say at least once again a season with buffer to the relegation battle. After the next upheaval in the Black squad, this should be ensured.
In addition to the technical qualities, the requirements profile focused on “enthusiasm, passion and emotionality”, says Bobic. Black showed these qualities at Mainz and at Dynamo Moscow. In addition, Bobic had demanded that Hertha finally play more attractively and offensively. Black stands for high pressing, quick transitions and intense football that keeps the opponent busy.
Schwarz’s career as a Bundesliga coach has been a little over two years, and he played 85 competitive games with Mainz from the summer of 2017. 14th place after the first season, 12th place after the second, far away from the relegation zone in terms of points. In the third it was soon over for Black, before that, for example, there was a 0: 8 at RB Leipzig.
All in all, this is not a high-class record, but Schwarz rarely had it easy in Mainz. On the one hand, there were almost constant quarrels in the leadership. And Schwarz was born in Mainz and was a player in the second division for the club for a long time. The term matter of the heart is now often used, but it certainly applied to Schwarz. Nevertheless, skepticism prevailed in the environment. Quite a few fans associated his name with the relegation of the second team from the third division. Interestingly, there was a lot of respect from many coaches from this league for his way of playing football.
Among other things, a strong performance in front of several hundred fans in March 2018 was remembered. The supporters went into the meeting grumbling – the result was a solidarity. Mainly thanks to the highly emotional black. And in the summer of 2019, the coach found very clear words about several people who had made racist slogans in the stands before a friendly. He didn’t want to make a big deal about it afterwards. The reaction was natural for him.
Black is considered a very open and authentic type. He moves at eye level with the players. But when things go wrong, he can make clear announcements. It is said that the Mainz team stood behind the coach until the end, despite the lack of results in the end. A team as a unit, Hertha had been missing that for a very long time, among other things, in the past season.
Even at his last station, Dynamo Moscow, Schwarz enjoyed a very high reputation among his team. He started in autumn 2020, extended the contract to 2024 last winter and led midfield team Dynamo to the top of the league. He relied on many players from his own youth.
He had already acted similarly in Mainz. One of the big talents back then was Suat Serdar. The 25-year-old is now under contract with Hertha BSC. He often had to play in unfamiliar positions for the Berliners and has only been able to fulfill the experience to a limited extent.
Unlike fellow coaches Markus Gisdol (Lok Moscow) and Daniel Farke (FK Krasnodar) or former Hertha professional Andrej Voronin, his assistant coach at Dynamo, Schwarz did not leave the country immediately after the start of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine.
He justified this with the responsibility towards the people in the club. Last Sunday, Dynamo lost the cup final against Spartak Moscow 1-2, after which the coach announced his resignation. The club then published a video of the fans celebrating him – and let him go on a free transfer despite the two-year contract.