Coach Walter receives suspension: how does Hamburger SV throw away promotion this time?

Coach Walter receives suspension
How does Hamburger SV throw away promotion this time?

The Dino of the Bundesliga threatens to become the Dino of the second Bundesliga after relegation in 2018. Whenever spring comes, HSV collapses and botches the rise. Also in 2023 the nerves are on edge. When KSC went bankrupt, coach Tim Walter was sent off.

After all, Tim Walter was insightful. “I apologized to my team. I don’t think I did them any favors. I have to keep myself under control,” said the coach of second division soccer team Hamburger SV. Otherwise an advocate of discipline, he was not in control of himself in the 2:4 against KSC in Karlsruhe and saw the red card. And as if that wasn’t annoying enough, the 47-year-old talked to the assistant referee Christof Günsch before his departure, tapping his chest several times with his right index finger. The red card was preceded by “a skirmish between two banks, which happens every week, so it’s not that dramatic,” explained Walter. “The referee saw it a little differently.”

Daniel Heuer Fernandes (left) conceded another goal.

(Photo: picture alliance/dpa)

At least he will have to watch the north duel on Saturday (1 p.m. / Sky) against Holstein Kiel from the stands. His finger attack against the assistant referee resulted in a ban for the Kiel hit and a fine of 8,000 euros. But the sometimes desolate performance of Hamburg before the break had more of an impact than the coach’s temperament. The game left questions: Is the almost obligatory second-division break coming again? Does the aspirant for promotion lack leadership players? Can you hold your nerves?

Again and again frightening burglaries

In favor of HSV, the questions about the impressions of the game cannot be answered necessarily. “That was one of the worst things HSV ever did in my time. We have to take credit for that,” Walter told Sky TV about the first half. “Total disaster,” Robert Glatzel scolded the camera about the first half. That “had nothing at all to do with the 2nd division”. After all, the 29-year-old had briefly fueled hopes of a comeback with his two goals after the break and was the only one from his team to stand out.

It was Hamburg’s second frightening half-time performance within a month. In the game against promotion rivals 1. FC Heidenheim on March 11, they were also 3-0 down at the break. As in Karlsruhe, the gap should have been even higher. In Heidenheim, the North Germans still managed a 3:3. “We can’t always catch up on that either,” said coach Walter about the 3-0 break in Karlsruhe.

It was worrying that Sebastian Schonlau’s absence revealed such a dependency on the injured captain and defense chief. The 28-year-old was missing not only as a stabilizer on the defensive, but also as a leader on the pitch. No one at HSV came close to being able to go ahead. Not even replacement captain Jonas Meffert. He and many of his teammates were more concerned with themselves than the toxic opponent. “There was simply too much missing,” Meffert admitted to the team’s performance.

How is HSV messing it up this season?

The defeat against KSC was the first after seven games. But in the games since the start of the second half of the season, Hamburg have repeatedly shown weaknesses. Apart from the 3-0 win over 1. FC Nürnberg the week before, there was hardly a convincing performance. Teams like KSC put HSV, who are better at football, under pressure with high stakes and a simple game.

Since the relegation of HSV in 2018, the club had lost its good starting position in the second half of the season three times in a row and missed the eagerly awaited return to the Bundesliga in fourth place. HSV also experienced a dip in form last year, but recovered again and only failed in the relegation. In tabular form, the danger of déjà vu currently appears manageable. Hamburg are second, one point behind Darmstadt 98 and one point ahead of Heidenheim. What is almost more important: The lead over fourth-placed SC Paderborn is eight points ten games before the end of the season – still. In front of the NDR microphone, Walter was still convinced: “Those who say ‘HSV, always 2nd division’, they don’t know that we’ll be playing in the first division next year.”

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