IThe 5-0 defeat at Bayern only one day after the result hit Hertha BSC like an unexpected downpour. On Sunday morning, coach Pal Dardai faced the journalists when the weather was bad, as he usually does after games.
At around the same time, Hertha’s managing director Carsten Schmidt was sitting six hundred kilometers away on the Sport 1 program “Doppelpass”. What both men then said should occupy the Berlin Bundesliga club intensively in the coming days.
Immediately after the game, Dardai had called his team’s performance “shocking”. Hertha is bottom of the table after three defeats. With a night’s gap, he sounded even more disaffected. Especially when it comes to his own position. “Hertha BSC has probably been looking for a great coach for a long time. Pal is a nice little trainer. He helps out as long as it should be. If a really great coach is here, Pal immediately goes back to the U16 and does his thing as before. I don’t want to be a burden here. “
“Thanks for the clear words”
It had sounded something like that when Dardai had to give up his job as a professional coach a little over two years ago. At that time he took a break before starting to work as a youth coach at the club again. Dardai has an open-ended contract with Hertha that allows him to return to the next generation in the event of a resignation from the professionals. He has often emphasized how much he enjoys working at the academy.
It is different with the professionals at the moment. Dardai is regarded as an understanding of players, as someone who can get a cabin behind him, but with Hertha’s current team he has reached his limits, which has recently provoked some violent reactions from the impulsive coach. He accused striker Matheus Cunha of strolling after the opening defeat in Cologne (1: 3). Cunha has now been sold to Atlético Madrid, Hertha received 30 million euros for him, but no equivalent replacement.
Internally, Dardai had vehemently requested reinforcements, especially for the offensive outside positions. So far, the club has not been able to fulfill his wish. On the contrary: on Monday morning it was officially announced that winger Dodi Lukebakio would also leave the club – for a year on loan to Bundesliga rivals VfL Wolfsburg. “We know that it is not an easy situation for Pal,” said sports director Arne Friedrich before the game in Munich.
Dardai is only moderately convinced of the existing players, which he indicated again on Sunday: “I said last season that I would not do this because it was impossible to save this team. Then they persuaded me, then I did it. And it was exactly as I said it would be. Not getting off was half a miracle. ”Dardai repeated that his team missed everything in Munich. After the unsuccessful start to the season with three defeats, he said: “We are psychologically not in the best position.”
When asked about the trainer’s words, CEO Schmidt reacted on television with severe criticism. “I think that we didn’t have the deficits against Wolfsburg and Cologne in psychology, but partly in tactics and partly in readiness.” Schmidt added that he was sure that Dardai would find recipes “to turn it around again “. But the fact that the coach is still in office after the international break can be considered questionable.
Sports director Friedrich wrote on social media: “We will use the international break, realign ourselves and draw the right insights! What we delivered today must not and will not be repeated! “
Ironically, Lars Windhorst soon got in touch. “Thanks for the clear words. I fully agree, ”wrote Hertha’s investor, who has provided the club with 375 million euros over the past two years.
Even Dardai’s continued employment after remaining in class hung in the balance for a long time. The coach has now confirmed that: “In the summer it didn’t say that I necessarily do it,” he said, before speculating that the club was looking for “a great coach”. Hertha has been looking for that since Windhorst began to financially support the club in summer 2019.
Jürgen Klinsmann tried unsuccessfully at Hertha, names like José Mourinho or André Villas-Boas circulated for a long time and stood for the new aspiration. This criticized Dardai now clearly: “If we say that this team is a Champions League or Europa League aspirant, we have a problem,” he said. Hertha wanted to advance into these regions as quickly as possible, but wrong personnel decisions, especially in the coaching position, prevented that.
Dardai is Hertha’s fifth coach in the past two years. The workforce was also changed one decision-making level higher, Schmidt came as the new general manager, and Fredi Bobic was signed as the successor to long-time sports director Michael Preetz this summer. Many Berliners associated not only success with Bobic, but also finally quieter times again. This hope, it currently looks like, will not come true for the time being.