After the defeat in Stuttgart: HSV only has a small glimmer of hope

Status: 06/02/2023 12:24 p.m

For Hamburger SV after the 0:3 in the relegation first leg at VfB Stuttgart, the hope of returning to the Bundesliga is almost gone. HSV coach Tim Walter and his team swear they have a chance in the second leg on Monday evening.

Walter knew what was important now. It was about saving something after the 3-0 defeat in the relegation first leg at Bundesliga club VfB Stuttgart, to immediately cherish and nurture the tender little plant of hope so that it didn’t wither on the spot. And so the strong man with the mottled gray beard walked off, comforted some of his players as he walked across the lawn before calling his boys together.

They quickly formed a large circle, in the center of which Walter quickly moved and turned to look his players and all team members in the eye as often as possible.

HSV coach Walter quickly took on the role of motivator

Conveniently, he was able to vent his annoyance about the course of the game in these minutes. She met a TV cameraman who dared to get a little too close to that circle. With wide-open eyes and a forefinger pointing into the distance, the HSV coach made it clear to him that this wouldn’t quite fit right now.

After this disruption, Walter was quickly back in the role of motivator, who swore his players that there would be a second leg on Monday evening (8.45 p.m., in the live center on and that there would also be a chance to do better than in the 90 minutes at the third last in the Bundesliga.

“My hope is the Volkspark.”
— HSV coach Tim Walter

Walter also conjured up this possibility in an interview with NDR: “We have already experienced so many situations in which we have repeatedly been hit in the face. And we are not giving up now either. We will be back and will also be there on Monday behind our viewers trying to make the impossible possible.”

He then pointed out the reason for his hope. When asked what specifically gave him courage for the second duel with the clearly superior opponent, he replied: “Honestly, my hope is the Volkspark.”

Hamburg needs the “Miracle of the Elbe”

The HSV fans, that’s apparently his calculation, should carry the team on Monday evening, push it to a completely different altitude and then – probably also with a good pinch of fortune – create the “miracle of the Elbe” on a perfect June evening. Sounds bold. And – to be honest – not really realistic compared to HSV’s performance on Thursday evening.

Actually, there are only four ranks between the two teams when lining up the first and second division tables. But in the first leg it looked for long stretches as if a European Cup aspirant was playing against a relegation candidate in the second division. Since the reintroduction of relegation 14 years ago, no second division team has been so clearly inferior in a first leg. In general, the statistics speak against the lower-class club. This only prevailed three times.

Sandhausen effect noticeable at HSV

In the HSV team, the intense experience last Sunday, when promotion was celebrated in Sandhausen, probably had a strong psychological impact on the players despite all the negatives. Heidenheim went up on the last second division match day, Hamburg had to go into the season extension. On the other hand: Even without the Sandhausen effect, the qualitative difference between the teams would probably have been reflected in the result.

With more determination and consistency in scoring, Stuttgart could have easily put the lid on even in the first leg. Even a win with a five-goal difference was possible. From the point of view of Hamburg, the differences in speed were particularly frightening. This did not only mean the start before the next duel. Stuttgart was mentally much faster, and the combinations in their own ranks as well as the shifting of the game were much quicker than with the North Germans.

HSV professionals partly overwhelmed

And in its ranks, many players had to realize that they had to stretch enormously in order to be able to keep up with the first division professionals in the second leg. For example right-back Moritz Heyer, who seemed overwhelmed and who, with increasing playing time, radiated the fear of making mistakes.

Or Bakery Jatta: In the second division it may be enough to pick up the pace, chase the ball and ultimately lose the opponent. He was “cooked” several times against Stuttgart, as it is called in player jargon. And game designer Sonny Kittel was finally more present after about an hour of play.

Ultimately, the Hamburgers could thank their keeper Daniel Heuer Fernandes for the fact that there was still a minimal chance for the second leg. This was then immediately emphasized by the players, such as captain Sebastian Schonlau: “We won’t stop until the last minute of this season has been played. We still have 90 minutes to go.”

“Love is stronger than results.”
— Tim Walter

It sounds like perseverance slogans, according to the motto: It’s not over yet, and with your own fans behind you – who knows? The HSV supporters did a lot in Stuttgart to take the pressure off the team. “No matter what happens,” said a large banner in front of the guest curve.

Walter was so impressed by the support from the fans that he even ventured a trip into philosophy when judging it. “We have become a great unit. Love is stronger than results,” said the 47-year-old. There are many indications that Walter and his team will feel this love of the supporters in the context of second division games in the coming season.

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Hamburg Journal | 06/02/2023 | 19:30 o’clock