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Football and personal management

Ulrich Spranger
Ulrich Spranger
I am a fan of Eintracht Frankfurt, whether they are in the first or second Bundesliga, and I never miss a game. Yesterday, Frankfurt "lost" 3:3 against Freiburg with 35:10 goal kicks. How can something like that happen? Eintracht has a highly praised management, and the players have had weeks for individual training. The coaches could also ponder the situation.

So I take the time and work on my shortcomings as a player. Let's take Mijat Gacinovic as an example, a very likeable guy whom the fans love, at least since his goal run at the cup win, and because he plays team-oriented, has a great overview and doesn't duck away, even when forming a wall. What he takes for the club is enormous. But when he, with a few exceptions, makes a shot on goal, the defenders might as well go and play somewhere else. Because the ball will go next to the goal or be shot directly into the goalkeeper's arms.

I'm sure he’s aware of that. But you could have come up with the idea yourself, or as a coach, during the Corona break: Hey, for the next eight weeks you do nothing else but shoot at a goal wall, because you can already do everything else. You could also simulate stress situations. And when you hit eight out of ten, then you can play again.

A Danny da Costa, for example, also a crowd favorite, has his problems with flank shooting. That’s something that can be learned, that's "only" technique. Improve weaknesses. Doesn't anyone tell him that? I can think of enough other examples now, but we’re talking about a matter of principle.

Moving on. If I as a coach have the toughest defender in the top European leagues, namely Martin Hinteregger, shouldn't we consider whether he would be better off in the attack if the other forwards don’t score? Maybe he's not fast enough for that, but Alex Meier hasn't won any races either. Like Martin Hinteregger, however, he has the shooting technique down pat and is a master of positional play in front of goal. That's more than what our other forwards bring to the table.

People from this age group in my company also come up to me and ask what they need to improve in order to make the same money as XYZ. What kind of training should I do? I imagine that even a soccer player will be asked by his child or wife why he only makes one million a year and not twenty, like Ronaldo? Eintracht Frankfurt can then no longer afford such players. So, does the club have an interest in keeping the players at a lower level of performance? No, of course not, you also want to sell players at a high price, so individual weaknesses have to be eliminated.

Whether the boys ask their boss, or perhaps their advisor, or their fans instead, they could definitely find out what the problem is and then work on it. Some people say: Aww, the players are "fat" enough. I don't think so. It's very hard to get into the first Bundesliga, they still have to train anyway, then practice what they have to improve on. Every young person needs somebody who tells him the flat-out truth, at least professionally. Regardless if you play in the Bundesliga or work in wholesale.

If, in the end, it is up to your psyche, you can also be helped there. Is it objectionable to seek help to deal with weaknesses? I'd say not.

The Corona period in particular was a huge opportunity for footballers to improve themselves individually. In the case of Eintracht Frankfurt this was unfortunately missed out on. Maybe you can think about it during summer break. And then next time win against Freiburg, please, 35:3, thank you! Oh no, in my mind Martin Hinteregger is missing from the defense, then 35:6, I'll take that too. Let's go!
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