At Sandro Schwarz’s first public appearance in Berlin, there was a lot of talk about structure and order. “I’m a very orderly person,” says the new Hertha BSC coach. But Schwarz, 43, provides a good example of the fact that order and passion do not have to be mutually exclusive.
When the media round of questions was about Hertha’s Bundesliga start at the beginning of August, he burst out before the term derby was mentioned or the opponent, 1. FC Union, was even mentioned. “Great game!” says Schwarz. “Great game, folks!”
Passion and order, courage and structure – that’s exactly what Fredi Bobic hopes for. Sandro Schwarz is the fourth coach in his one-year tenure as sporting director at Hertha; the third after Tayfun Korkut and Felix Magath, whom he chose himself.
There were various candidates for the post, reports Bobic, but things developed in the direction of Black early on. “We know each other,” says Hertha’s sporting director. At the beginning of the Corona period – Bobic was still working for Eintracht Frankfurt – they met for the first time. He found Schwarz to be “very empathetic” and also got the impression that “people tick in a similar way”, and not just when it comes to football. “Right now he is the right man for this time and this situation,” says Bobic.
Again, this situation is not easy. Not for Hertha and therefore also not for Schwarz, who worked his way up from youth coach to the U23s to the professionals at his home club, FSV Mainz 05, and who most recently worked for Dynamo Moscow. Hertha has had a complicated season in the Bundesliga, with three coaches and the rescue only in the relegation; In addition, the squad is once again facing an upheaval. After the upheaval two years ago. And the upheaval last summer.
While he was still in Moscow, Schwarz watched the relegation against Hamburger SV on television, “as a Hertha fan”, as he puts it. At that point it was already clear that he would move to Berlin – and a different outcome of the relegation would not have changed that. “It was very impressive how courageously the team played in such a pressure game,” says Schwarz about the second leg against HSV, which secured Hertha’s place in the Bundesliga.
As in Hamburg, the team should perform regularly in the future. That’s another reason why the choice fell on Schwarz, who worked as a player under Jürgen Klopp and was socialized through the Mainz school. “Our game should be very intense,” says the new coach. “It should be courageous, very active and well structured against the ball – that will be the basis.” Bobic warns that this process will take time. “It can’t be done in four or five weeks.”
Especially not with the events that Black has to deal with in the next few weeks. On Wednesday – after two days of performance tests and medical examinations – he will be able to work with his squad on the training ground for the first time; with a squad, however, which is at best a provisional one. “The squad isn’t complete yet,” says Bobic. “There will be movement and a lot of rumours.”
The national players will not start training for another two weeks, and many players who have been loaned out so far will ideally only return to Berlin to leave immediately – assuming that other clubs are interested. Apparently that is the case for Eduard Löwen, who was last loaned out to VfL Bochum. The midfielder is in concrete negotiations and is therefore not in Berlin.
Santiago Ascacibar also wants to leave Hertha, which he told the club in the second half of last season. So far, however, there is no potential buyer.
Kevin-Prince Boateng, 35, will probably stay for that. It’s only about little things in the contract, reports Bobic. Completion is expected in the next few days.
It won’t happen that quickly with other personal details. “The transfer market is still very sluggish,” reports Bobic. “The southerners are still asleep.” In addition, it is not about wishes, but about what is realistically feasible. Taking in more money than spending, “those are the guidelines,” confirms Hertha’s managing director. The personnel budget must also be reduced. But he’s not afraid of that.
The situation is only a bit unfair for the coach, Bobic admits. Much is uncertain. who stays Who comes? And especially when? In many cases, things have come a long way, explains Bobic, but it may still take some time before they are implemented. Before he can make transfers himself, Hertha’s sporting director will first have to sell players. “Of course we hope that the players we would like to have are still on the market.”