Union Berlin’s possible new coaches
The fisherman and his successor
Footsteps as big as a Berlin district and a sporting task that is only slightly smaller. Urs Fischer’s successor at Union Berlin is taking on a difficult legacy. But who can and should (better not) become one? By Ilja Behnisch
Bad people don’t have songs, they say, so why not just turn to singing when times are tough? And lo and behold, Nina Hagen has always known it, as in her club anthem, which recently turned 25 years old 1. FC Union Berlin sings: “On and on, on and on, Iron Union”.
They can still mourn a little about Union, thanks to the international break, but then something should happen to them soon Successor for the Swiss, who wrote one of the biggest success stories in 60 years of the Bundesliga with the Köpenick team. But who should it be? Who is eligible and why, or better yet, not? And because there are more candidates than Berlin has twin towns (18), here is a service offer in group form.
Former national coach
Law Löw and Hansi Flick would have probably had time and at least they had already proven that they could do it. Löw, who comes from the Black Forest, has the advantage of being quasi-Swiss, which may make the transition easier. He could also continue his strange series of experiments at Union, which he carried out during the last European Championship Kevin Volland started when he moved the striker to the left-back.
In terms of sport and probably also personality, Löw and Flick fit Union as well as a hex wrench fits yoghurt. Also ex-national coach, available and a Union match made in football heaven on the other hand, would be the Italian Antonio Conte. Who of course would never come to such a comparatively tiny club and which would also be much, much (much (much)) too expensive. On the other hand, you get that from Leonardo Bonucci also said.
To have something Karsten Heine and Frank Pagelsdorf together? They are available, they have already been Union coaches and they have a better points average than Urs Fischer. In his 224 games for Union he has 1.53 points per game, while Heine has 1.8 (in 50 games) and Pagelsdorf even has 2.46 points (in 69 games). Ranked slightly behind Fischer Uwe Neuhaus (1.48 points per game), who is also available and has even more games under his belt than the Swiss (253). The disadvantage: in couple relationships, this is called boomerang love and not only does it sound stupid, it also rarely works.
Strictly speaking, you can only think of sensible candidates here Steffen Baumgart come to mind. On the other hand, the man also wears T-shirts in winter and also carries an aura around him during Bundesliga games, as if he actually urgently needs to get back to his truck with scheduled freight, which is waiting for him in front of the stadium gates with the engine running. In short: Baumgart is his very own group and the perfect Union coach.
And who knows, if his Cologne team goes down with drums and trumpets on the next match day against FC Bayern Munich and Baumgart then becomes the Rhenish Fischer, then the way would be clear for the Union member with more than just a suitcase in Berlin. But this time, what will probably be said at some point is something that was bound to happen, will probably come too early this time. Timing is just not a city in China. (Sorry.)
Bruno Labbadia, Tayfun Korkut, Sandro Black — all available. Mockers might now claim: with good reason! On the other hand, at least Labbadia and Schwarz have proven outside of Berlin that they can be successful in the Bundesliga. In addition, all three are very nice and probably hyper-motivated to prove that they can conquer the capital.
Another plus point: In addition to the ex-Hertha players Lucas Tousart and Alexander Schwolow, who would make life easier, the three may still be organized in existing rental or even ownership relationships in Berlin. Given the city’s housing market, this is a point that should not be underestimated. If this all seems too far-fetched, there’s just one word to answer: Felix Magath.
The usual suspects with Bundesliga experience
Ralph Hasenhüttl, André Breitenreiter, Markus Weinzierl, Bo Svensson, Thomas Reis, Oliver Glasner. To name just a small selection. And then one after the other. Hasenhüttl, who was recently relegated with Southampton and was previously successful in Leipzig and Ingolstadt, would be a suitable candidate, but probably wants to stay in his dream country, England. Breitenreiter and Weinzierl seem to fit less (see Löw/Flick).
Svensson definitely doesn’t want to get back in the saddle so soon after the end in Mainz. Reis, who did a great job in Bochum, could fit in, but after his recent loss to Schalke, he may also need an extra two to two hundred rounds on the golf course. That leaves Oliver Glasner, who worked brilliantly in Wolfsburg (Champions League qualification) and Frankfurt (Europa League win) and has a pleasantly easygoing attitude to life since he almost died in 2011 as a result of a concussion suffered in the game.
Glasner could bring exactly the different speech into the Union dressing room that the team now needs and that Urs Fischer said goodbye to. The question remains whether Union seems attractive enough to him. But just ask someone may seem a size too bigworked out very well for Union around five and a half years ago.
Now Oliver Ruhnert, Union’s sports director, and Co. could of course succumb to the temptation to be particularly progressive, especially in times of need. Just do something different, something unexpected! Appointing a U19 coach (Hello, Mr. Grote!), for example. Or anyone else who only knows the Bundesliga or first division football from television. Or you can rely on the tried and tested: Switzerland!
Lucien Favre would be free, a good friend of Urs Fischer, who sat in with him during Favre’s Hertha days. Favre is a football expert off Pep Guardiola’s shelf and once proved at Borussia Mönchengladbach that he can raise the dead. However, Favre is also considered odder than the oddball. Who’s pretty weird. The Swiss former national coach is also available Vladimir Petkovic, which in turn isn’t weird at all, but not particularly good either. Otherwise on the list and at least blessed with super names: Heiri Eggerschwiler, Marco Schällibaum and Gian Luca Privitelli. In this sense: “On and on, on and on, Iron Union.”
Broadcast: rbb24 Inforadio, November 16, 2023, 9:15 a.m
The post first appeared on www.rbb24.de