Offensive too harmless: Eintracht Frankfurt is desperately looking for the “go-to guy”

As of: September 25, 2023 3:43 p.m

Eintracht Frankfurt is far too harmless on offense after the departure of Randal Kolo Muani. Coach Dino Toppmöller is tearing his hair out because of the lack of a killer instinct; he currently doesn’t have a solution for the center of the attack.

It’s almost a running joke that people keep asking about Lucas Alario in press meetings with Dino Toppmöller. The Argentine, who has not set foot since his move from Bayer Leverkusen last summer and has never been able to live up to the great expectations placed on him, is still the secret hope for Eintracht Frankfurt’s attack. “It shouldn’t be too long before he can be an option,” said Toppmöller on Monday. However, he didn’t sound really enthusiastic about it.

Alario needs to change his game

Alario, who had knee surgery in May and is still lacking fitness, has already proven his ability to score goals during his time in Leverkusen. However, since he is an old-school center forward and is not considered a running prodigy, his chances with Toppmöller are likely to be slim. “Using opportunities is one thing, getting opportunities is another,” the Frankfurt coach emphasized meaningfully. “There are no gifts from us. Lucas has to prove himself on the training field.”

Trend: If Alario doesn’t change fundamentally and discover a fighter’s heart within himself, he will have a very difficult time. The former national player will probably get a few minutes due to the shortage, the urgently needed solution in the nine position Despite his killer instinct, the 30-year-old isn’t. It would have been too nice too.

The missing goals spoil the overall impression

Because last but not least the zero number against SC Freiburg on Sunday made it clear once again how much the Hessians are after Departure of Randal Kolo Muani a clipper is missing. In terms of football, things looked a lot better than at the start of the season. As soon as the final third of the field approaches, it becomes too imprecise, too hectic and simply too harmless. “Our effort is not being rewarded, the final punch is missing at the moment,” admitted Toppmöller. “We’re missing a ‘go-to guy’ in the box.”

Toppmöller, who was a striker himself and regularly demonstrates his finishing qualities after training sessions, is still desperately looking for a goalscorer. The fact that too many opportunities are missed even in training or that things are often switched off too early almost drove him crazy again on Monday. “We often receive gifts, but then we just watch. These are situations where I go crazy,” he said. A feeling that is currently very present in and around the club.

Toppmöller wants to force it

Despite all the positive approaches and the joy that youngsters like Hugo Larsson, Willian Pacho and Paxten Aaaronson are permanent fixtures in the team, there is currently a certain dissatisfaction among the Hessians. “Goals are the icing on the cake,” said Toppmöller. “This is unsatisfactory for everyone.”

Eintracht is certainly not much worse in quality than VfB Stuttgart or their upcoming opponents VfL Wolfsburg. The big difference: The Hessians don’t have a striker like Serhou Guirassy or Jonas Wind. The fact that Leverkusen’s Victor Boniface was a serious candidate to succeed Kolo Muani a few weeks ago doesn’t make things any better. “We just have to force it now,” said Toppmöller.

His recipe: get the ball into the penalty area as often as possible and have as many players as possible in the penalty area. “This thing has to go in the box.” However, it is still unclear who exactly should use the passes in the front line.

Desperately looking for nine

Omar Marmoush, who also started as the only striker against Freiburg, can play to his strengths on the wing or as a hanging striker. According to Toppmöller, Jessic Ngankam, who has the right stature, is not fit enough for 90 minutes. The 18-year-old young striker Nacho Ferri, who celebrated his Bundesliga debut on Sunday, still needs too long in the crucial moments. “The one second he has with the U21s, he doesn’t have with us.”

What remains? “Either someone has to develop now,” summarized Toppmöller and then came to a halt. “Or we can substitute ourselves.” So there isn’t much hope for a quick improvement on the offensive end.