Eintracht sporting director Markus Krösche wants to keep the team together and “play a good role in third place” this season.
Frankfurt am Main – Hrvoje Smolcic was almost certainly unaware that he made history at Eintracht on Sunday night at the Weserstadion in Bremen. From where? But the fact is: with the equalizer that made it 2-2, the first goal the Croatian defender scored in a league game for Frankfurt, he made his home club (and himself) the record holder in the premium class German, as the 23-year-old is the 281st Eintracht player in the Bundesliga’s 60-year history to score in the opponent’s box. No other club has so many different top scorers, not even FC Schalke 04, who were ahead for a long time and have now finally been dethroned
Of course, this is just a petitesse, a small statistical trick, not worth mentioning. When looking at the general situation of the season so far, completely different facts and developments count. That’s a good keyword. It is quite obvious that Eintracht from the beginning of the season no longer has much in common with Eintracht after 19 rounds. There is a different team on the field, self-confident, strong, pursuing an idea and playing football with a clear vision. And someone who doesn’t let adversity divert her from her path and doesn’t lose faith in her own strength. Not after setbacks like a 2-0 defeat in Bremen, which somehow happened out of nowhere within a few minutes. The team continued to play relentlessly and finally rewarded themselves with a 2-2 draw.
Markus Krösche sets season target for Eintracht Frankfurt
This clearly speaks to the morale and mentality of the team. The fact that the sporting management is still not satisfied with the result reinforces the club’s claims. Sporting director Markus Krösche was angered by the draw despite the small recovery. “Overall, we lost two points.”
In 19 official games, Eintracht only left the field as losers twice, won ten games, is unbeaten in eight games, is in the third round of the DFB Cup, secured an early winter in the Conference League and in the Bundesliga seventh place was consolidated . It is within walking distance of the international ranks.
But Krösche doesn’t create any additional pressure. The focus this season must clearly be on development. There is no doubt he has ambitions to play regularly internationally for Eintracht, but “I’m not going forward this year and saying: that has to be our aim”. “We want to play a good role in the top third,” he says.
The Eintracht team should stay together for “two, three, four years”.
And then, in the next stage, put together a team that is always capable of attacking the European places. This is exactly why there shouldn’t be any major shake-ups in the line-up – unlike this year, “a good time” for that, as Krösche thinks. Because the team must be rejuvenated and renewed. And it should not be forgotten that players like Kolo Muani, Lindström, Kamada, Ndicka and Sow “have their own career plans” and wanted to change. “This is normal in football.”
In the near future, however, the team should remain together for now, “we want to keep the team together for two, three, four years and we plan to continue the cast”.
Krösche made it clear that the changes to the squad and coaching staff would not take effect immediately. “We knew that at the beginning it would take longer to meet,” he summarized. But even at the beginning of the season, when things were booming and stagnant, he “wasn’t nervous.” The interaction between coach and team, the rigor of coach Dino Toppmöller, his speech and also the structure and principles on the field – all of this left 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, Oliver Glasner’s team also took almost the same time to implement the coach’s ideas. “This time,” says Krösche, “it was a little faster. Of course we are happy about that.”
Krösche praises Eintracht coach Toppmöller: “A man of conviction”
The sport’s boss is honestly impressed with Toppmöller’s work. The football teacher is a “convictionist” who “always has the big picture” in mind and reacts to what he sees. And he doesn’t pay attention to names, he follows his path consistently. “It is very clear, it has rules and principles”, emphasizes Krösche. “This creates a culture of performance and desire to perform. He is good for us.”
The sporting director can be sure that he made the decision in May to part ways early with Oliver Glasner. “We achieved something extraordinary that will always connect us,” says Krösche, referring to the historic Europa League victory. But at that time he came to the conclusion that a new path needed to be taken. “I’m glad it’s working and we made a lot of the right decisions.”
But he does not feel any satisfaction, even though the coach did not gain any sympathy points from the general public when he first announced the separation from the coach and then lost striker Randal Kolo Muani on the last day of the transfer period without being able to sign a replacement. “I can’t take into account what people say, I have to make decisions that may not seem understandable or unpopular.” As a person in charge, he cannot aim to “be loved by everyone or make decisions that serve all the fallen.” .”
In any case, the sporting director will reinforce the team again in the winter, not only in attack, but also in midfield and defense. And something could also happen on the fiscal side: dissatisfied players like Lucas Alario or Kristijan Jakic are potential candidates, and Jens Petter Hauge is also under scrutiny.