The less edifying season for Hertha BSC can still end with a record this Saturday. Of course it would be a sad record. If the Berliners lose their final league game at VfL Wolfsburg this Saturday (3.30 p.m., live on Sky), it would be the seventh time in a row that Hertha has ended a season with a defeat. No club has managed that in the 60 years of the Bundesliga.
It would fit in with a season in which Hertha’s team has all too often historically done poorly – and in the end it wouldn’t matter. The relegation has been certain since last weekend. For Hertha it’s just a matter of leaving a reasonably good impression after ten years in the Bundesliga. “It wouldn’t be nice to go on holiday with a really bad game,” said coach Pal Dardai. “We’re not letting up.”
Even the Hungarian found the current circumstances difficult. It was “a real shitty week,” he said. Nothing is at stake in the season finale, apart from the fact that VfL Wolfsburg still wants to secure a place in the European Cup. The players were reliable and punctual, reported Dardai, but he didn’t see “the last aggressiveness” in the exercises on the training ground.
Hertha’s last Bundesliga game for the time being will take place under unusual conditions. Also in terms of personnel. Dardai has to do without a number of players, possibly the entire central defense. Marton Dardai (calf problems) and Filip Uremovic (concussion) are definitely out. Marc Kempf (bruised ribs) and Agustin Rogel (muscular problems) are questionable.
“We are prepared,” said coach Dardai. “We have enough good youth players. We will defend well.” Pascal Klemens, 18 years old and previously captain of Hertha’s U 19, could celebrate his Bundesliga debut in Wolfsburg. In January he was with the pros at a training camp in the USA. In case of doubt, Joel da Silva Kiala, 19 years old and otherwise a defender for the U23s in the regional league, would play at his side. “We have no other,” said Dardai.
In the new season, Hertha’s own offspring will play a more important role. But that doesn’t mean that Dardai will call on all of them against Wolfsburg to see how they fare at this level. “It’s a different kind of music,” said the Hungarian. But maybe there will be an opportunity to substitute one or the other youth player in the course of the game.
We sit down and discuss it together – everything after the last game.
Hertha’s sports director Benjamin Weber on deciding who will coach the team next season
Ibrahim Maza, for example, only 17 years old and currently one of the most gifted talents from Hertha’s academy. During training during the week, coach Dardai even asked the team to applaud the young offensive player. Maza took a long ball out of the air with his heel behind his back, passed it down his run and then hit the goal with a precise shot.
So far, the teenager has been on a short assignment for the professionals. He now has a good chance of auditioning again in Wolfsburg, again as a joker. Dardai is thinking of a kind of job sharing with Stevan Jovetic, who will, however, start on the offensive. “He gave everything to me,” said Hertha’s coach about the Montenegrin, whose contract is expiring and who will definitely leave Hertha after two years. The same applies to Chidera Ejuke, who is on loan from CSKA Moscow.
A lot is up in the air at Hertha
Otherwise a lot is still up in the air. Peter Pekarik, now almost 37, should stay with Hertha; first another season as a player with the professionals and then, if he wants, in another position.
Also for Kevin-Prince Boateng, who misses the game in Wolfsburg due to knee problems, “there will definitely be a place at Hertha,” announced sports director Benjamin Weber. It is still unclear when Boateng will start his new job at the club. It depends on whether he decides to continue his footballing career (but not at Hertha).
Of the loaned players, Marten Winkler (Waldhof Mannheim) and Linus Gechter (Eintracht Braunschweig) are sure to return; Santiago Ascacibar (Estudiantes de la Plata) stays in Argentina, Omar Alderete at Getafe FC. “The situation is still open for the others,” said Weber.
This also applies to the trainer position, the filling of which is decisive for the other personnel decisions. Pal Dardai remains a promising candidate. According to information from the Tagesspiegel, Florian Kohfeldt, who was last traded as an alternative, does not play a role in Hertha’s considerations.
Dardai has already submitted a written analysis of his short tenure, as announced a week ago after the 1-1 draw against Bochum. “We’ll sit down and discuss it together – everything after the last game,” announced Weber. Hertha doesn’t have much time to lose.
#farewell #unusual #conditions