Eintracht sporting director Markus Krösche wants to keep the team together and “play a good role in third place” this season.
Frankfurt am Main – It is almost certain that Hrvoje Smolcic did not know that he had written Eintracht history on Sunday evening at the Weserstadion in Bremen. From where? But the fact is: with the 2-2 draw, the first goal ever scored in a league match with Frankfurt, the Croatian defender made his parent club (and himself) the record holder in the German premium class, as the The 23-year-old is the 281st Eintracht player in the 60-year history of the Bundesliga to score in the opponent’s box. No other club has so many different goalscorers, not even FC Schalke 04, which has been ahead for a long time and has now finally been dethroned
Of course this is just a petitesse, a minor statistical gimmick, not worth talking about. If you look at the overall situation of the season so far, completely different facts and developments matter. This is a good keyword. It is quite obvious that Eintracht since the start of the season no longer has much in common with Eintracht after 19 matchdays. There is a different team on the pitch, confident, strong, carrying forward an idea and playing football with a clear vision. And someone who doesn’t let adversity throw him off course and doesn’t lose faith in his own strength. Not after setbacks like the 2-0 defeat in Bremen, which somehow fell suddenly in a matter of minutes. The team continues to play undaunted and in the end they reward themselves with a 2-2 draw.
Markus Krösche sets goal of the season for Eintracht Frankfurt
This clearly speaks to the morale and mentality of the team. The fact that the sports management is still not satisfied with the result underlines the club’s claims. Sporting director Markus Krösche was annoyed by the draw despite the small comeback. “Overall we lost two points.”
In 19 competitive matches, Eintracht left the field as losers only twice, won ten matches, remained unbeaten in eight matches, is in the third round of the DFB Cup, secured a winter advance in the Conference League and in Si consolidates seventh place in the Bundesliga. It is within striking distance of the international charts.
But Krösche does not create additional pressure. The focus this season should clearly be on development. There is no doubt that he has ambitions to play regularly at international level with Eintracht, but “this year I won’t go ahead and say: this must be our aim.” After all, the upheaval was huge. “We want to play a good role in the upper third,” he says.
The Eintracht team should remain together “two, three, four years”.
And then, in the next step, build a team that is always able to attack the European markets. Precisely for this reason there should be no major upheavals in the program – unlike this year, “a good time” for it, as Krösche thinks. Because the team should be rejuvenated and refreshed. And we must not forget that players like Kolo Muani, Lindström, Kamada, Ndicka and Sow “have their own career plans” and want to change. “It’s normal in football.”
In the near future, however, the team should remain united for the moment: “we want to keep the team together for two, three, four years and we aim to give continuity to the squad”.
Krösche was clear that the changes in the squad and coaching bench would not take effect immediately. “We knew it would take us longer to find ourselves at the beginning,” he summed up. But even at the beginning of the season, when the situation was unstable and stagnant, he “didn’t get nervous”. The interaction between coach and team, the meticulousness of coach Dino Toppmöller, his speech but also the structure and principles on the pitch: all this made the sporting director optimistic that the direction he was taking was the right one. “You have to give the coach time,” says the 43-year-old. A new trainer needs three or four months to implement his ideas. This wasn’t just the case for Toppmöller, it also took Oliver Glasner’s team about the same time to be able to put the coach’s ideas into practice. “This time,” says Krösche, “it went a little faster. Of course we are happy about it.”
Krösche praises Eintracht coach Toppmöller: “A man of conviction”
The head of sport is sincerely impressed by Toppmöller’s work. The football teacher is a “convict” who “always has the bigger picture in mind” and reacts to what he sees. And he doesn’t pay attention to the names, he follows his path with coherence. “He is very clear, he has rules and principles,” emphasizes Krösche. “This creates a culture of performance and the willingness to perform. It’s good for us.
The sporting director can feel confirmed that he made the decision in May to part ways early with Oliver Glasner. “We achieved something extraordinary that will always unite us,” says Krösche referring to the epochal Europa League victory. But at that moment he came to the conclusion that a new path had to be taken. “I’m happy that it works and that we made a lot of the right decisions.”
But he feels no satisfaction, even if the coach did not garner any points of sympathy from the general public when he first announced his separation as coach and then lost striker Randal Kolo Muani on the last day of the transfer period without be able to sign a replacement. “I can’t take into account what people say, I have to make decisions that may seem incomprehensible or unpopular.” As a person in charge, he cannot have the goal “to be loved by everyone or to make decisions that are good for everyone.”
In any case, the sporting director will strengthen the team in the winter too, not only in attack, but also in midfield and defense. And something could also happen on the fiscal front: dissatisfied players like Lucas Alario or Kristijan Jakic are potential candidates, and Jens Petter Hauge is also under examination.