What is to become of Hertha Berlin after yet another 'firing and hiring' this season?
When Markus Babel was given his marching orders in December, Michael Preetz hardly had any idea about the storm that was to follow.
Hertha Berlin, the champions of the second division in Germany, the 2.Bundesliga had settled quietly back into the Bundesliga. They were in mid-table and had produced some good results including a 1-2 victory over Borussia Dortmund, the defending champions. Babel’s ambitions however led his mind away from Berlin, a team he felt he had gotten the maximum out of.
Thus, Babel refused to extend his contract and paid the price. Wait- Babel didn’t pay the price; rather, Berlin did. In other words, Michael Preetz suffered. He hired a good manager in Michael Skibbe. Yet, Skibbe wasn’t the one fitted for the situation. He is easily the worst manager in the history of the club. His record reads: five losses in five matches in charge.
Hoffenheim drew against Mainz today after taking the lead. Their second game under their new manager ended just as the first one had as a result. The manager standing close to the turf of the home side today was….Babel. Yes, Babel indeed found another job. His ambition is to someday manage the big boys of his hometown, Bayern Munich.
Hertha is meanwhile in fifteenth spot, two points ahead of the relegation zone. Another slip up could see them ‘join the party’ as far as the relegation zone is concerned. And tomorrow, the assignment they have couldn’t be any more difficult to say the least. They face the strongest side in the Bundesliga at the moment, a team they have already beaten this season, Dortmund.
Dortmund has their own problems to deal with. Mario Goetze, the brightest spot in the team is injured. Shinji Kagawa sustained an injury last week and will be unavailable for this fixture. Yet, one has to question just how much genuine effort Dortmund will require to swat away a down-trodden, manager-less Hertha side.
Hertha has in fact hired a new manager- a man who goes by the name of Otto Rehhagel. Is Rehhagel really the fire fighter that Hertha needs? Or has Preetz once again made a mistake by hiring the right manager for the wrong job?
Tomorrow, Hertha will perhaps fight for a point- they really cannot expect anything more against a rampant Dortmund side. The Bayern Munich fans will keep an eye on that game at-least until it turns into the inevitable goal-fest that Dortmund should serve up. They will be watching their team. Bayern, try to overcome Freiburg, a side they hammered seven past earlier in the season.
All Munich natives in love with the sport will also be watching, amongst them perhaps Markus Babel. Babel might have been able to do his home-team a favour by stifling the leaders. However, now the job will fall on the shoulders of the interim manager at Berlin.
And, finally what is to become of Hertha if this managerial change does not work out? One thing is for sure- the manager will suffer less than the general manager if it doesn’t work out. Expect Preetz to be out of a job this summer if Rehhagel fails to extinguish the fire.
Feb 18, 201209:30
||Olympiastadion Berlin (Berlin)