After 0:1 against HSV in the relegation zone: The big disappointment at Hertha BSC – Sport

He summed up the last season of the still nearly full Olympic Stadium before the entire evening’s crowd left in an almost frightening way. In the western part of the field, near the midfield, Tim Walter gathered his team around him. The Hamburg SV coach was surrounded by his players. The circle they formed looked like a heart with a little imagination.

In Hertha BSC, on the other hand, signs of degeneration were noticeable. A few players disappeared right into the basement of the field, captain Dedrick Boyata, as always, as one of the first up front. Others stood together in small groups. Linus Geister, 18 and still a member of Team Ur-Herthaner, sat on the bench and extended his legs, exhausted in body and mind.

A team with a heart against a group of people: It was in the same game that the second division team from Hamburg won 1-0 (0-0).

Nothing has been decided yet. After the first landing meeting, Berliners repeatedly noted a break. “Everything is still open,” Hertha coach Felix Magath, for example. “It doesn’t mean we’re going to Hamburg without a chance.”

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Herta left the second leg on Monday, another 90 minutes to set things right. But all references to her seemed more obedient than she was really convinced. The effect of the defeat was much deeper than the narrow score might suggest. After all: Berliners will certainly not suffer from the weight of expectations in the second leg. Nothing is expected of them anymore.

Hertha fans held out long after the final whistle, especially those in the eastern stands. Perhaps they were waiting for the team to thank them for their vociferous support. But no one came. It was only when the ranks weakened that Niklas Stark appeared. After seven years at Hertha, the match against HSV was his last home game on the Olympic Stadium. Stark’s contract will not be renewed. An empty beer glass passed in front of him on the tartan track, but other than that there was plenty of applause for the former national player, who was not officially adopted by Hertha.

“I’m a bit surprised now,” said coach Magath at the press conference, the fact that except for Stark no player entered the curve. Perhaps it wasn’t the only upsetting thing about this frustrating evening. Magat sat in his seat, apparently, apathetic, most of the time—as if he had only now realized what he was really up to.

In confusion? Felix Magath during rehearsals the next day to go touchdown.Photo: Koch / Imago

“We acted like the Bundesliga team, but so did HSV,” Magath said. The second part of his statement reflected reality better than the first. At HSV, who struggled to finish third in the second division and thus made relegation, one clue was recognizable, in their coach’s handwriting, even if the streak wasn’t always sharp. The opportunity was blocked in Hertha – and the hope of an individual performance from players such as Belvodel or Jovic. Hope was very weak.

The team’s impotence, long known, has once again emerged against HSV. The team completely lacks creativity and footballing spirit. Not good conditions for the second leg, as goalkeeper Marcel Lutka is likely to be missing. Hertha must win in Hamburg to stay ahead.

Magath was asked about the shortcomings of the attack. “We’ve already started practicing today,” he replied with a hint of sarcasm. “We now have three days to continue training to improve in attack.”

Felix Magath has lost a lot of his aura in the past few weeks

Not so long ago, Magath was about to be canonized in Hertha. But it wasn’t long ago that Hertha was certain to stay in the Bundesliga. Meanwhile, after a few false statements and equally bizarre personal decisions, the 68-year-old’s canonization was again referred to the responsible bodies for detailed examination.

In the nine matches under his management, Magath was forced to make six substitutions during the break – only one was due to injury. The Hertha coach also corrected one of his surprise decisions against HSV after just 45 minutes: Magath sent 19-year-old Luca Volschlager off the field, who was allowed to play for the first time.

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Hertha is proving to be a more and more dysfunctional club: players are getting worse, previously praised coaches can’t suddenly move forward, and even a fully experienced coach like Felix Magath seems not to be immune to this toxic environment.

Warned over and over in a relatively comfortable position, which almost led to a landing, Magath suddenly seemed extraordinarily optimistic, almost euphoric, in the lead-up to the duel with HSV. Ambiguity has always been part of his concept. But Hertha’s team, still searching for itself, could simply overwhelm him.

The morning after the defeat, all memories of landing around the Olympic Stadium had already been erased. Preparations were underway for the cup final. Nearby, Hertha’s team trained, for which Monday’s final in Hamburg is supposed to be one thing: a final. As always, Felix Magath followed the unit with the appropriate distance. A little over an hour later, he left the field alone with a weary step and bowed his head.

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