AThey finally came on Saturday, the hour and a half of truth. At 3.30 p.m. (F.A.Z. live ticker for the Bundesliga and Sky), the preparation for the second half of the season for Frankfurt Eintracht ends in Sinsheim and talking is no longer gold, but action. Then the declarations of intent from the past few weeks, some of which have been formulated quite drastically, must be honored against TSG Hoffenheim. Trainer Adi Hütter spoke of “putting the brakes on”, of “stop, it doesn’t work”, of a “real break” when he was asked on several occasions what the winter break should do so that the downward trend did not quite reach the table basement leads.
Eintracht a relegation candidate? Not only national coach Joachim Löw refers this idea to the country Utopia because the substance of the Frankfurt squad is so large. But sometimes reality is more cruel than the worst nightmare. Why does Eintracht overcome the negative series and get back on its feet? First of all, the personnel situation. Goalkeeper Kevin Trapp returns to the field and has already demonstrated his value as a motivator and role model during the preparation. The national goalkeeper also made an excellent impression in the exercises after his long injury break. David Abraham will also stabilize the defense after he has served his red card because of the check against Freiburg coach Christian Streich. These two leading players can now be used by anyone who starts to doubt themselves and their team again when games go bad, as was often the case towards the end of the first half of the season.
In addition, three professionals have again worked out the physical prerequisites to be able to do something special for the team that they were not able to do recently. Sebastian Rode, Makoto Hasebe and Bas Dost are obviously in the form that enables them to be top performers. It is not at all certain that Hasebe will find a place in the starting line-up. Everything suggests that Hütter is changing the defense from a chain of three to a chain of four, and there is no position in the Libero, which the Japanese knows how to fill so well. Hasebe has yet to show whether he is still dynamic enough to stand his man on the six in defensive midfield at almost 36 years of age. In any case, at 34, he was still.
The Japanese, with his overview and his ability to play steep passes, would at any rate fit well in the Frankfurt game, which has been suffering from a certain lack of imagination for a long time. Especially when Rode pauses and Sow has to run the baton more often, which he treats more like a chopstick.
The Swiss, who has the best running values of all Frankfurt professionals, is very popular with Trainer Hütter. It is fairly certain that Sow, who shares a common past at Young Boys Bern with Hütter, is in the starting line-up for Hoffenheim. However, he could also advance to the offensive midfield as Kamada is still missing injured. Which would leave a space for Hasebe, as the Alternative Six Kohr in Florida made no progress and Fernandes and Torro will only be fit again in a few weeks.