Handball World Cup: Controversial national team cut pays off

A lot of hopes were placed in him when he was hired as national handball coach three years ago – but also some discussions.

After the 2020 EM, the DHB made a surprising and at the time also controversial personal decision: the young Christian Prokop, who had long been considered the man of the future, was deprived of his confidence, and Gislason, who was 19 years his senior, took over – a signal that did not please everyone, despite Gislason’s merits.

With seven German league titles and three Champions League victories with THW Kiel, the 63-year-old Icelander had a reputation for success. So far, however, he has also failed to achieve a great result with the national team – the chaos of Corona last year, injuries or cancellations of important players made his job considerably more difficult .

Does today’s quarter-final duel with France (from 8:30 p.m. LIVETICKER) mark the turning point? Either way, there are plenty of positive signals that the much-discussed personal coup with Gislason is now bearing fruit. (SERVICE: How to watch France Germany on free TV)

Alfred Gislason formed a powerful team

Even though the minimum target has only been met at the tournament in Poland and Sweden, there’s no denying that Germany are on the right track under Gislason.

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Gislason has formed a harmonious unit from the personnel he has, who now face the absolute best nations.

But how did the national coach do this, when some experts did not see the German team capable of making the World Cup a particular success? (NEWS: Everything you need to know about the Handball World Cup)

– Virtually no negative influence

While previous tournaments were still characterized by corona infections in the team, numerous criticisms from outside or similar disturbing factors, this time the team can work undisturbed.

Of course, thanks to successes and good performances, there is no reason to be negative. The minor injuries suffered by Kai Häfner before the start of the tournament and Andreas Wolff after the match against Qatar, as well as Paul Drux suffering from a cold and his absence against Norway, were manageable. Christian Schwarzer’s comments on handball referees were the most upset.

“The atmosphere is focused on performance, but also on joy. In this regard, Alfred is our boss”, explained assistant coach Erik Wudtke of the day. Everyone involved emphasizes the positive atmosphere and team spirit.

No player gives an unsatisfied impression. It is always due to the influence of the coach.

“He now has the squad he wanted up front – maybe except for Fabian Wiede. Otherwise he always had to struggle with a few rejections,” Jannik Kohlbacher said. SPORT1-Require another aspect. (The top scorers of the Handball World Championship)

– Meticulous

When it comes to handball, Gislason hardly deceives anyone.

The 63-year-old, who was a professional himself, has 30 years of coaching experience in his home country of Iceland and in the German Bundesliga. From 2008 to 2019, he shaped one of the most successful eras in the history of the sport at THW Kiel. (DATA: Handball World Cup groups and tables)

“We can’t train so much, but overall all the processes are very well structured and we always feel very well prepared for the next opponent because they prepare us for all eventualities,” explained Steinert.

“You can’t train that much, but overall all the processes are very well structured and you always feel very well prepared for the next opponent because they prepare us for all eventualities,” explained Steinert.

The scrutiny of other teams has always set Gislason apart.

Although the video evaluation is no longer as excessive as it used to be, Kohlbacher pointed out: “We have long sessions where he prepares us for the opponents with a lot of video material.” (The best handball world cup goalkeepers)

So far, Gislason hasn’t done much wrong.

– management style

Gislason enjoys the utmost respect and human encouragement from the players and those around DHB – who may have grown a little when he decided to carry on following the tragic death of his wife Kara from cancer in 2021 .

From the perspective of virtually all observers, Gislason exemplifies exactly the right attitude for the team with his style. Assistant Coach Wudtke describes: Gislason always comes into games with the necessary emotion and tension, otherwise “he’s relaxed and at peace. Gislason shows some slack because he’s happy with the things the team is achieving. He reflects sovereignty and self-confidence, which also carries over to his team.

Gislason strikes the right balance between discipline and freedom for the actors under his direction. “He’s relaxed enough to allow us to play football in training,” Wolff summed up with a smile.

DHB goalkeeper Andreas Wolff had to accept a bad blow to the head from Johannes Golla in training.  As usual, that didn't bother the 31-year-old.

DHB goalkeeper Andreas Wolff receives a blow to the head from Golla in football

That Gislason has faith in his boys was evidenced by the much-quoted announcement during a break in the game against Argentina. “Play whatever you want! was his request. (ARTICLE: Gislason’s New Love After His Wife’s Death)

Gislason gives his players some freedom on the pitch. He takes care of the direction and the tactics, the rest is regulated by the creativity of the players, led by playmaker Juri Knorr.

Nevertheless, Christoph Steinert pointed out SPORT1-Requirement: “He has a very authoritative aura, which in itself provides structure and order. This is a huge advantage.

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