Nick Bidwell’s Notes from Germany: Eintracht Suffer Cup Hangover
It did not take long for the euphoria to fade away at Eintracht Frankfurt after their sensational German Cup final victory over hot favourites Bayern Munich.
Rather than prolonging the celebrations of Eintracht’s first trophy in three decades, the Waldstadion faithful have been brought back down to earth with a bump, force fed a diet of bad news.
A double whammy if ever there was one. First the announcement that the club would not be offering a new contract to hugely-popular striker Alexander Meier, thus ending his magnificent 14-year association with the Eagles. Then a second body blow – the shock sale to Dortmund of rising star wide-man Marius Wolf.
Wolf will be very badly missed indeed. Last season, his first full season in the Bundesliga, the 23-year-old arguably was the most exciting young player in the country, a combustible package of bright ideas, boldness, speed and full-on commitment.
What’s more, he can deliver in a wide variety of positions: right-wing – his usual role with Eintracht – left-flank, central midfield, right-back or even as a man-marker in the middle of the park, snapping at the heels of the opposition playmaker. He is happy just to play and compete and this boundless enthusiasm should render him very popular in Dortmund.
“We see him as a footballer with great development potential and a bright future,” explained Dortmund general manager Michael Zorc. His combination of ability and outstanding mentality, makes him the perfect player for us.”
Zorc also would have been pleased that he did not have to break the bank for Wolf, needing only to activate a paltry five million euro release clause. Highway robbery in modern-day form.
Just in case Eintracht fans do not feel persecuted enough, rumours abound that another of the club’s A-listers, Croat left-wing flyer Ante Rebic could be the next out of the door, possibly moving to Bayern, where he will be linking up again with his former Frankfurt boss Niko Kovac.
Plenty of food thought for new Frankfurt coach Adi Hütter, who recently swopped Swiss champions Young Boys for the German financial capital. He has a major rebuild on his hands.
What We Learned This Week
1. Khedira’s confessional
German national team midfielder Sami Khedira, one of the key on-field lieutenants of Bundestrainer Joachim Löw, has admitted in a TV interview that disillusionment with injury problems led to him contemplating retirement three years ago. ” I wanted to rub shoulders with the best and at the time wasn’t in a position to do so, ” the 31-year-old told the ZDF channel. ” I wasn’t finding it fun any more. ”
2. Lewandowski: please release me.
Pini Zahavi, the agent of goal-hungry Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski, has made it clear that his client is determined to quit the Bundesliga champions this summer. Tracked by a host top-ranking European clubs, Lewandowski is contractually a Bayern player for the next three years and the Bavarians insist he is not for sale in any circumstances. ” Robert feels that a change and a new challenge is what he needs in his career, ” explained Zahvi in an interview with Sport Bild magazine. ” The people in authority at Bayern (president Uli Hoeness and chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge) both had great playing careers. They should understand Robert’s situation. ”
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