Hertha BSC wants to stay in the league on its own. Coach Felix Magath highly values Saturday’s rival Mainz 05 – but absolutely nothing about the fragmentation that occurred on the penultimate match day.
Watch match day 33 finish due to conflict: Felix Magath and Freddy Bobek (right).
Getty Images for the Football Association
“I was surprised and I think it was a mistake to split the penultimate round,” Magath told a news conference on Friday. Previous practice of playing all games at the same time on the penultimate day “proved”. Magath says the fact that this has been abandoned “disgusts me”. “Now we have a situation where some play on Friday and some on Sunday and we are on Saturday. We are in the middle of it. One can speculate that could cause problems.”
The background is of an economic nature with the design of television contracts. “It’s been discussed very diversely. Of course, it has positive economic implications,” said Freddy Bobic, managing director of Hertha. “It’s decided that way. We can’t change that now. It’s not decided by three or four people, but by 36 clubs. And the majority wins in the end.”
The two competitors, Bielefeld and Stuttgart, play the day before and after Berlin. But Magath wants to look at his own game and nowhere else: “For me it’s about what Hertha BSC does – not what Bayern Munich or VFL Bochum (opponents of Stuttgart and Bielefeld) do. It’s not about other clubs, it’s about Unfortunately, we weren’t able to take full advantage of the opportunity in Bielefeld to qualify for the First Division. Now we have to do it again. It will be difficult enough.”
His criticism of Bayern last Saturday after their 3-1 defeat in Mainz (“The season lasts until the last game of all teams. I don’t know why the team can then say we won’t play until the end of the game. The season is over this season and ends three weeks ago. It doesn’t serve the league.” The German or the competition.”) The coach put it into perspective on Friday: “It was right after our match in Bielefeld. I went through it without knowing the facts. Based on the result, the week before, there was a rumor that Bayern were using amateur players, and of course a champion team. Germany after 31 games has the right to celebrate, something like that is part of it and it’s normal. Who played such a great season like Bayern can celebrate too. That was far from reality for me.”
“The team is ready”
The coach believes that the blow he received last week in the neck, when Hertha conceded a 1-1 draw shortly before the end of the match in Bielefeld, has been overcome: “The team was very disappointed after the final whistle last week. They wanted to achieve everything. It’s clear. We talked about it and the way the team trained, I’m convinced that the team is ready.” Magath is working on the fact that in town and around Table 15, some consider the relegation nearly over due to the constellation of stars – and made a vociferous emotional plea on Friday for the Mainz game: “I’ve played a lot in the past few days and taken up the motto: ‘You can do it’ This atmosphere – according to the motto: “I’m already done” – also characterizes the players.
But: “It’s our last home game of the season, there are 70,000 spectators, it feels tingly. This season has not been thrown well and happy. Tomorrow we need 90 minutes of commitment, 90 minutes of passion – then we can say goodbye to All fans.” Bobic described the expected large backdrop as “fantastic for Berlin, where the crowds are packed”. The plan is clear: “We have to achieve our smallest goal – and then we hope to celebrate together.”
All other topics, including those related to the future of the coach and various professionals, were evaded by the 1996 European champions on Friday: “Someone writes, then writes the next. Then there is speculation. The only person who has to deal with it in the end, I’m sitting here. Besides our current coach, it is also about respect. We have to convey the joy of tomorrow’s match today and not talk about the coach or the player who will remain.”
Mainz for Magath “one of the best clubs in the Bundesliga”
Behind the scenes, Herta is working on the future, which also envisions replacing the coaching position – perhaps with Sandro Schwartz (Dynamo Moscow, Kicker replied exclusively about Herta’s interest). Presently, the poor season should find a reasonable restorative end. Magath openly warned of Saturday’s rival Mainz: “Mainz is playing good football this season, they have a very good coach and he has a lot of quality in the team. Mainz is one of the best Bundesliga clubs for me. I admire the way the team plays.”
The fact that Magath’s time in Berlin tends to come to an end after the final matches against Mainz and Dortmund doesn’t get the old man out of his cool: “We only talked about the fact that my commitment would last until the end of the season. I’m glad Freddie gave me the mandate. I think it went well. So far. I’m not worried about what happened in June or July.”
He was “in a good position where he doesn’t have to do anything – I can imagine sitting back and waiting to call again next March”. Wait and see – that’s how Magath often did. He wasn’t driving badly.