Image source: telex.hu
After February 2015, the management of Hertha BSC decided in January 2021 that there is no more suitable coach than Pál Dárdai to lead the Berlin club out of the pit. In 2015, he had to face completely different problems than now, then the pot was empty, weak players made up the team, he had to find harmony with them. Now there’s a serious investor, there are a lot of good-natured players who haven’t teamed up as a team, even though four coaches have tried to knead them together. As CEO Carsten Schmidt noted, the primary task is to create unity, this is what the Hungarian coach is expected to do.
Another opportunity for the 44-year-old Dárdai, as well as the crisis of the club’s management, attracted the attention of almost every newspaper. The largest professional magazine, Kicker, vividly puts it this way , preparing for the most difficult mission of a Hungarian professional’s life. He won’t be alone, his former teammate Arne Friedrich is the sports director and Andreas Neuendorf is his second coach. They pulled together 666 matches at Hertha, but now a completely different match is coming, the paper recalls. The title of the note is telling: Back to the Future.
“The new coach needs to drive vanity and selfishness out of the locker room, off the field, for this talented but extremely whimsical team to perform well. The team has many soloists but no unity. It won’t be an easy thing for a team to show results because they play against five opponents (Frankfurt, Bayern, Stuttgart, Leipzig, Wolfsburg) against whom he ran just one point in the first round. ”
The article recalls one of Dárdai’s statements back in the
spring of 2019, when he offered that if he was a barrier to development, he would step aside, he loved the club so much.
After 21 months, it turned out it wasn’t him who hindered progress, but the sports director Michael Preetz, who was removed on Sunday, with whom he had a cool relationship from the start. There was something about the two characters that didn’t fit together.
Dárdai also defeated BL-player Mönchengladbach (4-2) and BL-winning Bayern Munich (2-0) in his final full season, yet they didn’t trust him after reaching a ups and downs in 11th place. He overcame this insult, rejecting Cologne’s specific offer, for example. He was also quickly forgotten that when he took over the team, Hertha had little money, modestly received television royalties, but millions of euros came because of better performance, as UEFA also referred money for international cup appearances.
Now he has to fit in a project that is unique, because investor Lars Windhorst wants to put Berlin on the Champions League map, if all the major European cities are already there, only the German capital is missing from the circuit.
76 percent of Kicker voters believe Dárdai will do his job again, and Hertha could be at the forefront next year as well.