Eintracht Frankfurt didn’t reward themselves against SC Freiburg – once again because of the lack of a goal threat. The only classic nine in the squad should help and should get his chance soon.
Gets his unexpected chance at Eintracht: Lucas Alario. IMAGO/Hartenfelser
Only three chances to score in 90 minutes. The 0-0 draw against the sports club on Sunday evening was an example of Eintracht’s current situation. The defense is stable, the midfield pleases with playful solutions, but as soon as the game approaches the opponent’s penalty area, not much happens. Once Fares Chaibi, twice Omar Marmoush, that was it, there were no more notable deals. “It’s a shame because the effort isn’t rewarded. The boys invest a lot, play it well, but the final punch is missing at the moment. It’s unsatisfactory for everyone,” Dino Toppmöller summed up the day after the game.
While the starting eleven from Sunday trained in the weight room, the coach led the replacement training in the morning. The current hopeful took another step forward: Lucas Alario. “It shouldn’t be too long before he can be an option,” explains Toppmöller, who tailored the style of play in training to suit the Argentine: “We deliberately played at a higher intensity and played on a larger field, so that the running distances were larger “The small field isn’t always that demanding when it comes to running skills. We know that he’s good there because he has a lot of goalscoring actions.”
Alario has the “feeling”, Toppmöller has a “good feeling”
Alario was last on the Bundesliga pitch in April, but at that time and in the months before that it was only short appearances. The 30-year-old played the last 90 minutes in October 2022. After knee surgery in June, he is now on the home stretch before his comeback. A few months ago, hardly anyone would have believed that Alario, of all people, would be the one to take down Eintracht’s load. His first year in Frankfurt was forgettable. But the last week of August, which was extremely unfortunate from a sporting perspective, with the sale of Randal Kolo Muani and the loan of Rafael Borré, pushed the ex-Leverkusen player back up the internal rankings.
Despite the lack of match practice, Toppmöller trusts Alario to be able to provide immediate help. “If he gets a chance in the penalty area, I would definitely have a good feeling because he is simply a good goalscorer. We saw that again in training today. Having this feeling, where can the ball possibly go? Can he “Slide through at the second post? You can see that instinct in him,” explains the 42-year-old, who misses exactly that in many others: “There were situations in training where I go crazy if you’re not there as a striker, because it’s easy goals are gifts.”
Alario must seize the unexpected opportunity
“Today was a step forward because he showed that he can work at a high level of intensity. If he can cope with it well and continue the workload, he will soon be an option,” says Toppmöller about Alario. But just because the alternatives are currently rare doesn’t mean a free pass for the striker, who has scored 43 goals in 146 Bundesliga games so far. He has to take advantage of the unexpected opportunity. “It’s up to him. It’s not like we’re saying we’re giving anyone a gift. Everyone has to prove themselves. Football is a team sport. The boys have to feel that he’s ready to step on the gas and for the boys to work together,” says Toppmöller.
There was definitely fire in the training session. After a somewhat rough foul by Jessic Ngankam on Alario, Makoto Hasebe even had to mediate the dispute. “We want emotions, energy, power, a foul is part of it,” Toppmöller downplays the situation. An apology from Ngankam would still have been appropriate.
Toppmöller demands more crosses and shots
But even if Alario actually gains a foothold in the Bundesliga again, there is still a problem. He can only take advantage of the chances he gets. “We have to force more situations and create scoring chances with more crosses into the box and shots,” demands Toppmöller. “I thought it was better yesterday, we have to increase the frequency even more, then you’ll have more actions that then become dangerous.”
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