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Hamburg on the Brink | Nick Bidwell

Defeat at Leverkusen was the tenth league recreation with no win for coach Bernd Hollerbach’s aspect and they’re now six factors from security

Nick Bidwell’s Notes from Germany

“Earlier than time runs out, we’ll be searching you thru town ” The tag-line from a Hollywood action-hero blockbuster? No, simply Hamburg followers deploying a banner to threaten their very own gamers throughout a 2-1 dwelling loss to Leverkusen.

Whereas such senseless rhetoric by no means may be acceptable, nobody needs to be shocked sure variety of Hamburg hot-heads have gone manner too far. HSV, the one staff to have performed in each Bundesliga season for the reason that league was based in 1963, are getting ready to their first-ever relegation, a dangerous state of affairs which has left everybody on the Volksparkstadion trying to apportion blame.

Over the previous few years, Hamburg have specialised in dodging the bullet, profitable relegation/promotion play-offs in 2013-14 and 2014-15 and solely staying up final season because of a last-ditch win over Wolfsburg on the ultimate weekend of the marketing campaign. Nevertheless few predict one other eleventh-hour miracle.

Defeat by the hands of Leverkusen was HSV’s tenth league recreation with no win and now six factors off security, they’re very a lot working out of time to haul themselves clear.

Worrying instances certainly for newly-appointed ‘Rothosen’ (Pink Quick) coach Bernd Hollerbach, who since taking up from the sacked Markus Gisdol in late January, has seen his aspect decide up a mere two factors. For all Hollerbach’s preventing speak, the signs of decay very a lot stay: the lethargy, the concern, the crass defending, achingly-slow transitions and powder puff front-line.

Whether or not or not it’s coaches, gamers or directors, HSV has develop into the German footballing equal of a black gap, a dank, miserable place the place competence and stable reputations abruptly start to shrivel.

Not one in all their three main summer time signings (winger Andre Hahn, keeper Julian Pollersbeck and centre-back Rick van Drongelen) has made a big contribution and inevitably director of sport Jens Todt is feeling the warmth.

With the second division looming, nerves have gotten frayed within the boardroom too. The membership’s chief monetary backer, businessman Klaus-Michael Kühne, has criticised administration for ignoring the January switch window and in response to native media reviews, an abortive coup lately passed off, a failed try and pressure out Todt and chief government Heribert Bruchhagen.

The pair are usually not prone to final lengthy although. Newly-elected HSV president Bernd Hoffmann – who from 2003-2011 was the membership’s CEO – needs some big-name faces alongside him and could also be tempted to usher in former Hamburg playmaker and coach Felix Magath or ex-Hannover and Koln sporting director Jorg Schmadtke.

“Carrying on as earlier than can’t be choice,” says Hoffmann. “We’ve to reverse the pattern. If we do go down, we’ll cry our eyes out for per week. Then we’ll decide ourselves up and write a brand new chapter within the membership’s historical past.”

What We Discovered This Week
1. Lay it once more.
Borussia Mönchengladbach are to utterly relay their pitch after a current league recreation with Dortmund (a 1-Zero defeat) successfully was ruined by the poor state of the turf. Two of essentially the most technical sides within the Bundesliga ought to have produced a real spectacle. As a substitute, a farce ensued, with gamers frequently slipping and slick mixture play rendered unimaginable.”For some time it was like an ice skating contest,” stated Dortmund attacker Mario Gotze. “The pitch was nearly pretty much as good as in my backyard.”

2. Form up or ship out.
Undermined this season by a lack of kind and a persistent groin harm, Schalke’s Algerian midfielder Nabil Bentaleb has been instructed by Royal Blue administration to enhance his angle. “If we win 5-Zero and Nabil solely performs for half-an-hour, he then behaves as if we’d misplaced 5-Zero,” declared Schalke director of sport Christian Heidel. “If everyone reacted like that, we’d have a extremely large downside. He has to vary. That’s the one manner.”

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