What is that for a question, Djibril Sow must have thought. On Tuesday, a reporter from the Eintracht professional wanted to know who would coach the Frankfurt team at the Europa League home game against Fenerbahce Istanbul on Thursday (9 p.m. in the FAZ live ticker for the Europa League and on TVNOW)? In the press conference room of the World Cup arena, Sow looked around in confusion and, out of sheer uncertainty, failed to react because he suspected that Oliver Glasner would not be the right answer.
Indeed: At the start of the international round, the 47-year-old Austrian is banned from the service of the Hessians by the UEFA disciplinary committee. Head coach Glasner therefore has to take a seat in the stands and is represented by his assistant coach Michael Angerschmid. “Oh, I didn’t know that either,” Sow said then. The Swiss international left the meeting with the media at lunchtime with a new level of knowledge.
Too long a break
When Glasner was still a coach at VfL Wolfsburg, he and his team returned too late after the half-time break in the play-off game against AEK Athens at the beginning of October 2020. Back then, not for the first time, but for the third time. After a warning in the first incident, as well as a suspension on probation and a fine for the club as a second sanction, the head coach apparently let it come down to it.
Only a quarter of an hour after the end of the game, Glasner will be able to join the team in Frankfurt on Thursday (game start: 9 p.m.). At the moment it doesn’t play that big a role anymore, said Sow about the absence of his superior. “Because you can hardly hear the coach through the spectators in the stadium anyway.”
The Eintracht executives had knowledge of Glasner’s suspension in the Europa League opening match before the signing of Glasner this summer. Sports director Markus Krösche is not able to judge the background, but he assesses the judgment “basically” as a “severe punishment”.
“Quality player” in attack
With only three points collected from four games, Eintracht, without a win in the Bundesliga, got off to a bad start. Especially when it comes to scoring goals, things are not yet working as expected. In the duels with Augsburg (0: 0), Bielefeld and Stuttgart (each 1: 1), the Frankfurters only get three hits. But he thinks “it can still be a great season,” said Sow. “Last season we only had a lot of draws and not that many goals. But at some point it came and we won the games. “
In terms of breadth, Sow sees Eintracht “qualitatively perhaps even better than in the previous round. They are all quality players who we have in front. ”Rafael Borré, Jesper Lindström and Sam Lammers are still without a goal. Despite the false start, Sow is “fun to come here every day”. It is his great wish that the Fenerbahce game will be the turning point and the “initial spark” for a successful season.
Like in the 2018/2019 season, when the Frankfurt 2-1 in Marseille under the then head coach Adi Hütter caused the trend to reverse after a disappointing start to the season. For disciplinary reasons, no spectators were allowed in France at the time. During the pandemic, the Hessians can play in front of 25,000 spectators in a duel with the top Turkish club, which includes the former German national player Mesut Özil.
Even if the stadium will only be half full, Sow expects another “electrifying football night. Europe League. In the evening. Under floodlights – we all know that these are special evenings in Frankfurt, ”said Sow. “We want to dominate the game. We’re at home, that’s our stadium. ”It“ doesn’t matter ”how many Fenerbahce supporters will be in the stadium on Thursday.