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do a lot with little

Hertha’s task for the winter transfer phase

do a lot with little


Mon 26.12.22 | 11:44 am | Of Marc Schwitzky

Photo: IMAGO/Contrast

Hertha BSC are only in 15th place this winter. In order to take more distance from the relegation zone in the new year, the transfer period could also be used. Where should Fredi Bobic play and which players does he have on the list? By Marc Schwitzky

Almost the first half of the season with Sandro Schwarz as coach is over. The conclusion for Hertha BSC is mixed. A clearly visible playful as well as human evolution of the team are only 14 points from the first 15 games. For the good performances to be better reflected in the number of points, transfers in the next winter transfer period could also be a way.

rbb | 24 is checking where the capital club could possibly strengthen and if there are any concrete rumours.

Where were Hertha’s problems in the first 15 games of the season?

In order to narrow the area of ​​​​possible reinforcements, it must first be determined in which disciplines Hertha has so far suffered glaring deficits. Attributes that are important for your own game idea are particularly decisive for this: Coach Schwarz has established a system for blues and whites that is mainly defined by (early) ball acquisition and moments of subsequent switching. Some automatisms already work remarkably well. For example, Hertha is the second-best team in the league when it comes to ball interception.

The main deficits of your own game are particularly evident in the lack of precision. Black taught his team in manuals how to get the opponent’s possession into the desired areas in order to win the ball back afterwards. Players now also know where the ball should be played when blocking – processes are in place.

However, there is a lack of passport security and efficiency to reward one’s own efforts. Hertha is 15th in the Bundesliga for successful short passes and 14th for long balls. The team plays the third fewest key passes (passes leading to a goal) in the league after Augsburg and Schalke. In many games, the blues and whites have put themselves in promising attacking situations, only to waste crucial passes. Result: centre-forward Wilfried Kanga receives too few assists and too often it depends on the individual actions of Dodi Lukebakio, for example.

Hertha misses a solid anchor six

In addition to Capitals’ error-prone passing game, it’s notable that Hertha have the league’s fourth-most lost balls after a technical error in ball handling. Imprecise passes and too many unnecessary turnovers are the main problems of the Berlin game. Ivan Sunjic, on loan from Birmingham before the season, isn’t having a bad season as the man behind Suat Serdar and Lucas Tousart, but his lack of possession is glaring.

In many games, it is noticed that Hertha lacks a safe playmaker and good passer in central midfield who can give the game balance and structure. He would need a so-called “anchor six” in Hertha. Someone who disciplines their position in defensive midfield, has a good overview and above all aspires to a progressive passing game. With Jean-Philippe Gbamin at Mainz 05 and Nikola Moro at Dinamo Moscow, Schwarz had exactly these six anchors at his previous stations.

Hertha lacks squad width

Another problem of the “old lady” is the lack of team width in some places. For example, Hertha is very dependent on Serdar. Coach Schwarz’s favorite pupil is the only ‘ball driver’ in the Hertha team who is blessed with such ball security, goal danger and depth in his own game. With Vladimir Darida, the Serdar backup has now been sold.

Officials must therefore act urgently here. Aissa Laidouni (26, Ferencvaros Budapest) has recently been linked with Hertha as a good type of player. With his contract expiring in 2023, the Tunisian would be exactly someone for Bobic’s pattern to prey on, but with his strong performance at the last World Cup, Laidouni has likely attracted other interested parties as well.

Kanga would need competition

Hertha is also a bit unbusy in the central storm. Schwarz and Bobic stress how happy they are with newcomer Kanga despite only scoring two goals so far. Nevertheless, real competition could do Ivorians good. Davie Selke could leave the club in winter, with Jessic Ngankam prone to injury making planning difficult.

According to the media, Florian Niederlechner should be a specific subject at Hertha, but probably only for the coming summer. Here, officials must calculate whether the risk of “only” entering the second half of the season with Kanga and prospect players like Ngankam and Derry Scherhant may be too great and react if necessary in the transfer market.

Little money: Hertha must be tactical

Basically, Hertha have to be very careful with their money during the transfer winter. Although everything should be explored to make the main objective – relegation – more likely, but due to the extremely tight economic situation, manager Bobic has few options.

Last winter’s transfer activity gives a taste of what Hertha can tap into: players whose contracts expire this summer or who no longer play a role at their clubs and are therefore cheap to find. Or prospective transfers that are not emergency aid. It will therefore only be selective reinforcements. Also because the existing squad still has untapped potential and there are no blatantly bad appointments to any position.

Reinforcements in your own ranks?

“Internal newcomers” are also a problem. Local players Lukas Ullrich and Julian Eitschberger are to be offered prospects for the upcoming season, Ensar Aksakal has just signed a professional contract and Nader El-Jindaoui has now auditioned for Schwarz on several occasions. It is possible that Hertha will also strengthen in their own ranks.

After all, players like Deyovaisyo Zeefuik, Peter Pekarik, Maximilian Mittelstädt, Myziane Maolida or a Selke could leave the club in winter to generate transfers and reduce salary costs. Darida and Dong-jun Lee have already started. Training club Hertha BSC will – and should – fill these squad gaps with their own talents.

Contributed by Marc Schwitzky


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