DFB-Pokal 1st round – “A disaster”: Hertha BSC and the next cup drama

DFB Cup 1st round

Braunschweig (dpa) – No footballer in the world would want to give such an interview after the first major game for his new club. “It was terrible, a disaster,” said Hertha’s goalkeeper Alexander Schwolow of TV broadcaster Sky. It was, “A nightmare game!”

The 28-year-old Schwolow moved from SC Freiburg to Hertha BSC in Berlin a few weeks ago and only knows with absolute certainty since this Friday evening that he is the new number one in goal there this season. But then he made such a debut – with five goals against a newly promoted second division. The Bundesliga favorite was 4: 5 (2: 3) at Eintracht Braunschweig in the first round of the DFB Cup. “Everything went wrong, which could also go wrong”, Schwolow complained.

This sentence applies regularly to Hertha BSC and this competition. Ever since the 1985 Cup Final was awarded to Berlin, the club has been committed to achieving this with its professional team. But something almost always goes dramatically wrong along the way: albeit in an embarrassing way like in 2012 with regional competition team Wormatia Worms. Or bitter like 2017 in the penalty shootout against eventual cup winner Borussia Dortmund.

The only new thing about this year and the nine-goal spectacle in Braunschweig was that the peak of the fall has increased since Hertha, thanks to its investor Lars Windhorst, is no longer a middle class club, but wants to become a “Big City Club” with international standards. . When this football year ends on December 23 with the second round of the cup, the entrepreneur has invested a total of 374 million euros in the German champions of 1930 and 1931 since 2019. This raises expectations that were again far undermined on Friday.

“It is a great disappointment for us,” said coach Bruno Labbadia. His team overtook a 0: 2 and a 2: 3. Sometimes she was so oppressively superior that her coach on the sidelines had ‘the feeling: we are on the move, everyone is handy, everyone is there’. But in the end there were five goals from Braunschweig from Martin Kobylanski (2nd / 44th / 67th), Maximilian Mittelstädt (17th / own goal) and Suleiman Abdullahi (73rd) on the scoreboard, but only four goals from Berlin from Dodi Lukebakio (23rd). / 83.), Matheus Cunha (29) and Peter Pekarik (65). “We couldn’t make up for the many individual mistakes we made today,” said Labbadia.

The Hertha coach had already pointed out the dilemma after several defeats in the preparation period: many would only see the Windhorst millions, but not what happened on the field. And in fact, many clubs want to be as well equipped financially as Hertha, especially in the Corona crisis. But just a week before the start of the Bundesliga season, hardly anyone has as many construction sites to work on as this ambitious club.

Labbadia is still waiting for reinforcements for the attack, an attacking wing position and the central midfield. After the departure of Vedad Ibisevic, Per Skjelbred or Marko Grujic, he still has not been able to form stable new axes. For this, Hertha needs something that it cannot buy with its investor’s money, namely time. “We have more money available now. But the clubs in front of us have been spending it for ten years. That means they have a ten-year lead and we won’t catch up in one year. Not even in two. That’s impossible,” said Labbadia in a “Tagesspiegel” interview.

The defeat in Braunschweig does not make it any easier. She will increase the pressure for the first Bundesliga game next Saturday at Werder Bremen. “We are developing,” said Labbadia. “That’s why today is a shame.”

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