It didn’t work out at Eintracht Braunschweig last weekend either. In the third second division game, the team remained without a goal for the third time. The zero in front of the colon in the “Goals” column is a unique selling point for the bottom team in the league.
What didn’t work against Hamburger SV, 1. FC Heidenheim and Darmstadt 98 worked breathtakingly well in the DFB Cup. Eintracht scored four goals against Hertha BSC (4:4) and then advanced on penalties.
Hertha then tried the derby at the start of the Bundesliga. With modest success – again also in defence: 1: 3 at 1. FC Union, that’s seven goals conceded in the first 210 minutes of competitive games. “From the 60th minute we didn’t defend well enough, we had big gaps,” said coach Sandro Schwarz after the game against Braunschweig. “The opponent was better in terms of tackle strength and readiness,” said Schwarz after the game against Union.
It was reminiscent of last season, when the defense was a construction site for a long time. Consequence: 71 goals conceded, the second worst figure in the league and the second highest number in Hertha’s Bundesliga history. Only in 1990/91 there were more (84). Black had nothing to do with the past playing time. “The basic mood doesn’t depend on what it was like last year or two years ago,” says the 43-year-old. There are enough tasks at the moment.
In the spring, the Berliners had stabilized defensively. Under Felix Magath the line of defense was quite solid, mostly with Peter Pekarik, Dedryck Boyata, Marc Kempf and Marvin Plattenhardt. There were only eleven goals conceded in ten games, including four against Union.
Now Jonjoe Kenny, new from Everton FC, plays on the right side. He still clearly lacks security and coordination with his teammates. Plattenhardt acts solidly on the left, but there is a huge crunch in central defense. Even Braunschweig plunged Boyata and Kempf from one embarrassment to the next. Kempf was also quite indisposed against Union in many situations.
With homegrown Jordan Torunarigha seeing his future elsewhere and now playing for KAA Gent in Belgium, Marton Dardai would be an alternative. Dardai only made short appearances in the second half of the season.
Filip Uremovic acted at Kempf’s side at Union. Rubin Kazan’s newcomer didn’t do everything right by a long shot, but he also had some good scenes. And Uremovic, who had missed some time injured in the pre-season, could not be expected to stabilize the shaky defense on his own on his debut.
“In one situation or another he could have solved it better in terms of individual duel behavior. But he has presence and charisma,” says Schwarz: “We have a lot of confidence in him.” The coach should continue to rely on Uremovic in the future.
Ex-captain Boyata was – unlike defensive talent Linus Gechter – not even in the squad in the derby. Sports manager Fredi Bobic said in the “double pass” at Sport1: “It’s not that we have the feeling that he’s currently helping us.” There is much to be said for a change from the Belgian, who needs match practice to recommend himself for the World Cup.
Of course, the defense is rarely solely responsible when the defense is a problem area. Simple ball losses on the offensive, for example, invited the opponents to counterattack. Nevertheless, the first conclusion is sobering: individual mistakes, easy goals conceded. “Uncompromising when defending,” demands Black. And Captain Plattenhardt says: We have to fix the problems next week.” Eintracht Frankfurt comes on Saturday.