Eintracht Frankfurt overwinters in sixth place after a catastrophic start to the season and is applying for a new season in Europe. Coach Oliver Glasner proves his class; with targeted transfers great things would be possible. The team check.
Eintracht Frankfurt starts the new year sixth in the Bundesliga and is already in the second round of the Europa League. A starting position that seemed completely unrealistic a few months ago. Trainer Oliver Glasner has continued to develop himself and his team. But it wasn’t easy. The team checks at a glance.
This is how the first half of the season went
First very bumpy; then like a piece: after the losses of coach Adi Hütter; sports director Fredi Bobic; top scorer André Silva and Amin Younes’ Stinky Playmaker Boots the new trainer Oliver Glasner had to clean up the broken pieces in the summer and fight against a lot of resistance. On the embarrassing from the DFB-Pokal at third division Waldhof Mannheim ten league games followed with only one win and at the latest after the 2-0 defeat in Bochum actually fear of degradation. That was at the end of October.
Since then; the Hessians have not only made it to the group winners in the second round of the Europa League; but have also won six of the seven remaining Bundesliga matches. With a mix of mentality leading to six stoppage time goals in all competitions; physical strength and continued football development; the former troubled kids stormed into the top third of the table. “I can’t really believe it;” even coach Glasner was surprised. “That was a very; very good first half of the season.” But also one with very; very big teething problems.
Who’s coming; who’s going?
There are currently no fixed entrances or exits at Eintracht; but that will change towards the end of the transfer deadline. At the top of the shopping list: striker Randal Kolo Muani of FC Nantes and attacking talent Faride Alidou of Hamburger SV. Eintracht should already agree with both players. Since both would be transfer-free in the summer; the moment of the substitution is still open. Another option is Racing Strasbourg’s French left back Anthony Caci; who could sign Eintracht for free after the season.
One thing is clear: despite the increase in the offensive; a real striker would drastically increase the quality of the team again. Sam Lammers; who was brought in for this job; turns out to be a bad buy; while temporary nine-year-old Rafael Borré has his strengths more in preparation. Muani; who has long been the focus of Frankfurt and for whom Eintracht had already made an offer; could close the biggest gap in the line-up and provide more flexibility and a goal risk. A counterpart to Filip Kostic on the right would also increase the chances in Europe; but this construction site has almost become a tradition at Eintracht.
In return; ex-national player Younes; who has been on leave for months; would have to leave the club. Also in the case of Fabio Blanco it remains exciting. The Spanish top talent lost it with coach Glasner and in turn insists on an exit. Ending the misunderstanding would be best for both parties.
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Coach Glasner also had to find his way this season – and in Frankfurt. The Austrian; who calmly led VfL Wolfsburg to the Champions League and then left due to disagreements with director Jörg Schmadtke; had to adjust his ambitions and goals very quickly in the initial phase and slow down a bit. After the major change of personnel in the summer; his ideas initially inhibited rather than helped the team. At times it almost seemed that this coach was too good for his players.
It’s all the more believable for Glasner to never lose faith and turn things around with flying colors. He and the team; as the numerous cheers after last-minute goals prove; grew closer and closer and fought their way out of the crisis together. Initially with willpower and (forced) luck; at some point with football lessons. Especially in the overall victories against Leverkusen; in Gladbach and against Mainz the handwriting of the trainer was clearly visible. Thanks to Glasner; Eintracht has grown into a top team. Now it’s time to confirm this form.
Expectations for the season
It’s one of those things about expectations in Frankfurt. After the catastrophic start to the season; everyone would have been happy with a midfield position and a few Europa League highlights; but the furious final sprint has now sparked hope. Third place is just two points away. Victories over table neighbors Freiburg; Leverkusen; Union Berlin and Mainz and the coup at FC Bayern show that the Hessians are in a European Cup place for a reason. Suddenly; even the Champions League does not seem out of the question.
The conditions for the really big hit: Eintracht strikes in the transfer market and presents a real scorer. The defense and the double six are spared injuries. And the theoretically better teams from Leipzig; Gladbach and Wolfsburg; which are currently crawling around the second half of the table; are not all starting a successful catch-up race. Eintracht is a good candidate for the European competition. Who would have thought that in October?
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