With a surprising comparison
Darmstadt coach feels unwanted in the Bundesliga
September 23, 2023, 1:50 p.m
Five games, four defeats, 18th place: SV Darmstadt 98 got off to a bad start to the season. Coach Torsten Lieberknecht now chooses a surprising comparison to express that the Lilies do not feel particularly warmly received in the Bundesliga.
It’s been almost exactly ten years since Torsten Lieberknecht put his anger into flowery words. “There were moments when you realized you were this little piss club,” complained the then coach of Eintracht Braunschweig at the end of August 2013 after a 4-0 defeat against Hamburger SV, which was still a Bundesliga duel at the time. “You are this piss club that doesn’t have this perception even among the referees,” said Lieberknecht on the NDR microphone, believing that his team was being systematically disadvantaged: “If they are 50:50 decisions, they always go for the big ones.”
Braunschweig and HSV are now second division, while Lieberknecht led SV Darmstadt 98 back to the first division last season. However, the 50-year-old doesn’t seem to feel particularly welcome there, as he made a remarkable comparison on the DAZN microphone. The Bundesliga is something like a “club vacation,” said Lieberknecht: “The same faces have been coming to the club for 25 or 30 years – and then at some point a few new guests come along and then we just look: How do they behave? What do they wear?” So far, so understandable: The Darmstadt team is under observation as newcomers; after all, it is only their third Bundesliga season in the last 40 years.
It got off to a miserable start with four defeats from five games, especially since the only point win came from a 3-3 draw against Gladbach, in which SVD was still leading 3-0 at half-time. Due to the recent 1:3 (1:2) at VfB Stuttgart, the Lilies slipped to 18th and last place in the table due to goal difference. For Lieberknecht, the referees also played their part. “Then you have the bartender who sits in the basement in Cologne,” he said, referring to the video referee based in the Rhine metropolis, “and also has an opinion and says: ‘Watch out, the new guests aren’t quite what they are we imagine that.'”
“Darmstadt was disadvantaged twice”
Lieberknecht has the feeling that SV Darmstadt 98 is a kind of uninvited guest in the Bundesliga and may even be disadvantaged. The impressions from the defeat in Stuttgart are less likely to play a role, but rather the referee decisions from the 3:3 against Gladbach and the 1:5 in Leverkusen will continue to have an impact. Gladbach’s comeback was preceded by a harsh dismissal against Matej Maglica shortly after the start of the second half, initiated by the video referee.
In Leverkusen, two Darmstadt players collided heads immediately before the 1-0 lead and fell to the ground, visibly dazed, without the referee interrupting the game. The “Hessenschau” sums it up: “The people of Darmstadt, this can also be stated objectively, were disadvantaged twice and were right to be upset.”
Lieberknecht expressed this excitement not only on DAZN, but also on the ARD microphone. Because of certain things “on and off the pitch,” his team had to “present itself a little more snotty,” said the Darmstadt coach. When asked about the club vacation comparison, he reiterated that the SVD probably doesn’t fit in there: “You notice that every now and then, we noticed that last week, we noticed that today. Some club bosses at the bar might have something against it.”
“We may need a new suit,” said Lieberknecht, summing up what his team could now change. Ten years ago, the Braunschweig team he coached were relegated at the end of the season as bottom of the table. The Lilies are still a long way away from that, especially since there are still 29 games on the schedule and therefore plenty of chances of getting out of the relegation zone.
“We want to do a lot of things too well and are sometimes over-motivated,” said Lieberknecht, also self-critically. “I think we showed that we can pose problems for opponents. But it wasn’t enough.” The statistics Meanwhile, Darmstadt showed a clear inferiority on this Friday evening. The Lilies didn’t get a single shot on goal, which is quite remarkable given the final score of 1:3 – although Stuttgart’s Dan-Axel Zagadou scored with a failed defensive action for the SVD, which also dropped significantly in the number of duels won (88:121).