Stefan Kuntz at the U21: The right coach - Sport
- Stefan Kuntz, as U21 coach, has formed a squad that will draw against Austria for the semi-finals and qualify for the Olympics on Sunday.
- His players describe their coach as someone to whom each one of them is important.
- Kuntz is a motivating type of trainer whose tastes tend not to depend on the academic interpretation of the game.
Markus Schubert is not the most sought after international at the European Under-21 Championship, but that does not mean he has nothing to say. "Schubi does not blow anything out," said striker Luca Waldschmidt, laughing as they pull the goalkeeper on the team, saying that rumors of rumors about him are online. Schubert did not reveal where he would leave second division Dynamo Dresden when, like Waldschmidt, he sat in a round of talks with journalists during the week in the team hotel in Fagagna, a suburb of Udine. He told for a story that is important for the advancement of the U21, for the development of talent, in a sense, for German football. It was about his coach.
Schubert is the third goalkeeper, so it is almost irrelevant for the tournament, as he is on it. But Stefan Kuntz, said Schubert, it was important how the third goalkeeper is doing. "He talks a lot to individual players, whether they're in the starting lineup or not, so there's a casual conversation next to the training ground or while eating, and it makes me feel like you're important."
If you watched Kuntz, 56, in the first tournament week of the European Championship, you got a coherent picture. In the press conference before the 3-1 draw against Denmark, he sat next to Jonathan Tah and greeted the captain after a successful response with the ghetto sofa. After the game, he hinted that he had helped the two-time scorer Marco Richter, among other things, to eat healthier, which is a reason for its huge rise in form. Benjamin Henrichs sat next to him in the press conference before the 6: 1 against Serbia, they whispered and laughed, then put the coach briefly his head on the player's shoulder. During the game on Thursday, he cheered with Richter, who scored again, with an agreed hand signal that both did not want to explain. Waldschmidt, who scored three goals against Serbia and has now played four goals as the tournament's top scorer for Germany's draw against Austria on Sunday for the semi-finals and qualifying for the Olympics in 2020, praised the tips of former striker Kuntz at the finals.
Kuntz stands for a realignment at the DFB
You can usually find it when players get along with their coach. The unusual thing is that the coach said earlier about himself, the coaching job was not the right one for him, then to start a moderately successful functionary career and 2016 as successor to Horst Hrubesch at the German U21 again to become a coach, amazed the Public: Kuntz, why that?
Meanwhile, Kuntz is among other things for a realignment of the German Football Association (DFB), from which they hope in future in the offspring again the success that just does not stay in the younger vintages. Kuntz is the coach who became European champions in 2017 with the U21. And he is the coach whose team played exciting football against Serbia on Thursday.
Kuntz won the European Championship in 1996 with the national team, he was a professional and at the same time a police officer, the sports show accompanied him at a traffic control. He was twice Bundesliga top scorer and invented a jubilee: the Kuntz saw. He is a type of trainer whose preferences were the maxim of many of his colleagues in recent years, academic interpretation of the game rather does not count.
When he declared the decision for goalkeeper Alexander Nübel a few days ago, he reported on talks with goalkeeper coach Klaus Thomforde about "defense of space" and "goal defense". He had to ask from time to time. When he was asked about the tactical reasons for the mercilessly superior victory against Serbia, he put forward his answer: "Ah, this is now going into footballing." When Meikel Schönweitz, head coach of the junior teams at the DFB in charge of the junior team, talks about the coaches at the DFB, then he uses a word especially like, it sounds like from the mothball of football: "mentality". The absence of the right mentality, he has identified as an important reason that the U17 and the U19 just have no great success. As co-coach for the U15, the DFB has recently signed on to Heiko Westermann, as coach for the U18 Christian Wörns, two former defenders of the national team. Wörns calls Schönweitz a "mentality monster".