DThis three-man defense was never allowed to audition for the Europa League winners. And the Frankfurters, who have to be flexible, will often no longer present themselves in this line-up. The biggest personal surprise was in the Champions League home game against Olympique Marseille Hrvoje Smolcic, which was won 2-1. Not because the 22-year-old Croatian played, but where he played.
Smolcic slipped into the role of Primus Makoto Hasebe (38 years old), who has been missing from Frankfurt for some time due to injury in his prime function as a game strategist. In football’s premier class, Smolcic was in the starting lineup for the first time – and that in the central position in the back three, because Hasebe’s deputy Tuta also had to pass due to his suspension. In Frankfurt, left-footed Smolcic had not been seen as a centerpiece on the defensive.
His neighbor Kristijan Jakic had also given the sweeper in the lively changing personnel arrangement. This time, however, the 25-year-old Croatian moved to the right-hand side as a right-footed defender; At least not for the first time this season. And Evan Ndicka? The Frenchman (23) kept his usual place on the left; As expected, the top dog was not part of the interplay that had become necessary.
Glasner does not complain
As far as his defensive formation is concerned, Oliver Glasner has become an improvisation artist in Frankfurt. Again and again it turns out differently than planned and desired by the coach. But the Austrian doesn’t complain about that, he always takes on the challenge anew in a sporty way, without excitement. As if by magic, he has made the right personnel decisions in most cases. In this respect, too, Glasner is a great asset to Eintracht.
The coach was asked at the press conference late on Wednesday evening what was the key to the fact that his conversion work worked so well. “I don’t know,” he replied, and after a brief pause for thought he had an explanation for Eintracht’s remarkable diversity. “The character of the boys is great, they do their job with everything they have.”
The successful inventor Glasner was “mega proud” of his team and spoke of a “great team effort. If there is a team win, it was a team win today.” And further: “Many cannot imagine what we have achieved. Everyone put themselves at the service of the team. The dedication and passion with which the boys support each other is unbelievable,” said the football coach, describing the many advantages of the Eintracht success community with the greatest appreciation for what has been achieved.
These also include the willingness of the players to mentally engage in tasks on the pitch that are unfamiliar to them and not to perceive the respective requirement as a burden. In this context, Glasner mentioned the term “open minded”. The trainer advises his pros almost every day to be open to new things.