News : Horst Hrubesch becomes HSV trainer: hero from the past – sport
Daniel Thioune, 46, understood early on what is essential for a Hamburger SV coach, what this fragile and tradition-laden club would need: resistance. From day one this became the leitmotif of his doing and creating, a kind of mantra, a solution formula for almost every problem in the tough everyday life of the second division. The robust playing style of the opponents? It is important to remain “resistant”, Thioune explained in press rounds and in front of the television cameras, over and over again. The pressure of having to step up? The incalculable impact of the environment? Remain resistant.
In theory that sounded plausible, but HSV remains a machine of attrition that has so far turned every coach and every noble request through its mill. Even Thioune could not stop the metamorphosis of HSV, the dwarfing of a former giant. The once insurmountable Bundesliga veteran has evidently become an insurmountable second division, for the third year in a row.
“We have to do everything we can to straighten out the crap we screwed up,” said Hrubesch
On Monday, the club announced that Thioune had been released from his duties, three game days before the end of the season. Horst Hrubesch, 70, hero from the past, former champion striker and European Cup winner will take over on an interim basis. His footprint is immortalized in front of the Volkspark as a bronze reminiscence of better times. Now he is supposed to save what can probably no longer be saved.
Or, as Hrubesch was quoted in an interview on the club’s website: “We have to do everything we can to straighten out the crap we screwed up.”
You can’t be sure whether Hrubesch only meant the past few weeks or the past decade of HSV. But basically it doesn’t matter, the drama is the same year after year, it differs at most in nuances. All the more since the club had to go into the second division three years ago: HSV had a strong start into the season again, the fans and the environment were euphoric, the accountants had already chosen the clear promotion favorites.
Thioune, who came from VfL Osnabrück in the summer, is a brilliant rhetorician, he seemed to be able to stabilize the fragile structure solely through his aura. HSV had also hoped for inspiration from him, a new beginning with the prospect of a long-term commitment in the Hanseatic city. In a sense, Thioune was a bad check on a future of unfulfilled wishes. A young coach who should form a team with young and hungry players without losing sight of the challenges of the present. And the counter-model to his predecessor on the dugout, the experienced Dieter Hecking, who in the preseason sometimes looked as if he was taking note of the failure quite unmoved.
But even Thioune could not prevent the obligatory spring break. At HSV, a balance of horror is revealed again: only three wins from the past 14 games, including inexplicable bankruptcies like the other day against Sandhausen, which had only been released from a two-week quarantine a few days earlier. HSV, currently third in the table, is one of the weakest teams in the entire second division in the second half of the season. Mathematically, advancement is still possible, but this requires a lot of effort from the competition, who are sometimes allowed to play a few catch-up games.
Sports director Jonas Boldt steered Hrubesch back to HSV
Hrubesch, who was not even present at the virtual press conference that was scheduled on Monday afternoon on the occasion of the change of coach, should now ensure a final mobilization of the forces. Only Jonas Boldt, the sports director of HSV, sat on the podium. And it could stay that way for now, at least that’s how his explanations can be understood. Hrubesch’s place was “in the cabin,” said Boldt: from now on he would be happy to take over communication with the public himself.
And then the sports director also lectured extensively on the pros and cons of the decision to part with a coach three game days before the end, who apparently had not reached the team for a few weeks. “We saw the danger that the season would come to a close and that we would break even more,” said Boldt, who had also perceived a “growing distance” between Thioune and his team.
Last year it was Boldt himself who got into his car and visited Hrubesch at home in Boostedt to convince him to return to HSV after a few years in various positions at the German Football Association (DFB). Hrubesch became a junior director, he was attracted by the prospect of building something sustainable in an old place of work.
Eye contact was now enough, according to Boldt, to win Hrubesch for an interlude that will definitely end on the last day of this season. The former “headball monster” will then move back into the second link at its own request. As the first promotion coach in the history of HSV? “We are realistic and know that it will be difficult,” said Boldt, “but we will do everything for it. And that is exactly what Horst is spraying.”