IThere was still a reward at the end. The German team chef Nils Walbrecht prepared burgers on Monday evening in the team hotel next to the Rosenborg Trondheims football stadium. The last evening in dark central Norway should be remembered – aside from the sporty side. In the morning after the rather embarrassing 28:27 victory over the second-class Latvians at the European Championship, the German handball professionals headed for Vaernes Airport, 35 minutes outside. Little by little they strolled to the gate in their dark team suits and white shirts – many with big headphones too.
At eleven o'clock they flew to Vienna by charter flight. With many doubts. And it was also certain that everyone was happy to leave Trondheim after a week and three weak performances. The players and coaches had already made this clear on Monday evening: "A little more light," hoped national coach Christian Prokop. Leader Hendrik Pekeler expects more spectators and a better atmosphere in the main round in Vienna. "Although that should not be an excuse for our performance." In fact, the games in the Trondheim spectrum on the Nidelva river were not particularly atmospheric until Norway appeared with Sander Sagosen and delighted 9000 fans. On Monday evening there were 3,500 spectators in the arena.
Sailed under the wrong flag?
From Thursday on, four opponents are waiting in the capital of Austria every two days (each in the F.A.Z.live ticker for the European Handball Championship), and the first game against Belarus is endgame for Prokop's selection. If the Belarusian selection overseen by experienced Yuri Schewzow is not defeated, the chances of reaching the semi-finals in Stockholm are passé. The duel with Croatia is scheduled for Saturday. On Monday it goes against Austria and on Wednesday against the Czech Republic. "I don't want to move away from the goals because the team deserves to be believed," said Prokop after the tremor win over the Latvians. But as before, the national coach reminded of a few injuries caused by injuries that significantly weakened his team: “I asked that expectations remain realistic. And of course we were shown that in the preliminary round. ”
Prokop now addressed the deficits in the team unusually clearly. "Of course you can also see that we are not yet in the performance spheres that were needed for a semi-final," he said. “It is not the first choice for positions everywhere, that's for sure. But these are good guys. ”Playmaker Fabian Wiede is particularly missing, but so are the half-rights holders Steffen Weinhold and Franz Semper. But: Did the German Handball Federation (DHB) sail to Norway under the false flag, so to speak? With this team, is a place in the top four an unrealistic goal? In this respect, Prokop built on the reasons why it will definitely be difficult to get to Stockholm with this squad. On the other hand, he also said that his team "now" is not ready to beat Spain and Croatia. But possibly in a few days? Or in a year? At first there was a vague feeling of this German national team and their coach.
. (tagsToTranslate) Hendrik Pekeler (t) Christian Prokop (t) Patrick Wiencek (t) Nils Walbrecht (t) Juri Schewzow (t) DHB (t) Teamhotel