Everything was actually ready for the turning point at the troubled 1. FC Union Berlin. In front of more than 72,000 people in the Berlin Olympic Stadium, the series of defeats should have finally ended with a strong performance against the Italian champions SSC Napoli. Instead, it scored the next big hit.
“When I see what the team put in, how passionately they played, it’s really brutal,” said coach Urs Fischer after the 0-1 (0-0) – the ninth defeat in a row. On Saturday in the Bundesliga against Werder Bremen (3:30 p.m./Sky) there is a lot of pressure on the team to succeed – and also on their coach.
Robin Gosens lay on the pitch after the game as if knocked out, other players vented their frustration in different ways. David Fofana refused to shake Fischer’s hand after he was substituted – and later apologized on Instagram. Trimmel did not want to exaggerate the incident. “Situations like this with David also happen in football,” said the Austrian. There are no significant discrepancies in the cabin.
Reservist Bonucci dissatisfied
Reports about Italy’s European champion Leonardo Bonucci, who has been on the bench since Robin Knoche’s return, also caused a stir. During the game, transfer expert Fabrizio Romano reported that the 36-year-old was extremely dissatisfied and wanted to talk to Fischer about his situation. “Of course he is dissatisfied. I hope that all my players really want to play,” said the coach. But he was surprised because he only recently spoke to Bonucci.
And the Italian also sent a clear message on social media: “First of all the team!” (German: The team first), he wrote on Instagram about a picture of his teammates in a circle. “Without being surprised, I’m reading made-up stories about myself again,” the 36-year-old wrote in a story. “I have constructive conversations with the coach every day, I was received very well and we all definitely want to get out of this situation, especially for the fans, who are exceptional in their cohesion and dedication.”
Captain Christopher Trimmel emphasized that to achieve this they had to “finally get into the Bundesliga”. After all, that is the club’s core business. That’s why the game in Bremen will be much more crucial for Fischer’s future.
A defeat against Naples doesn’t necessarily come as a surprise. Now it is painful, but the Köpenickers interpreted it as an encouragement. “If we continue like this, for me it is only a matter of time before we win again. If you perform like this against world-class teams like Naples, we will get the points again at some point,” said Trimmel.
Union played courageously, had the better chances and hardly let anything happen. “We left our hearts on the pitch. We brought all the virtues that characterize us onto the pitch,” said midfielder Rani Khedira on DAZN. But the problems of the last few weeks were also there: too often promising counterattack opportunities fell victim to inaccuracy. In the decisive 0-1, the Berliners cleared the ball poorly and then couldn’t get into the duels.
Leaders strengthen Fischer
After the transfer offensive in the summer, the Iron Men have more egos to balance. The expectations have increased significantly, at least from the outside, and nobody at Union will want to be satisfied with a season of relegation battle after the notable reinforcements to the squad.
His leading players once again supported Fischer. The Swiss is still reaching the team, said Trimmel. “You can see it. We played a good game. You can see it in the way we played,” he said. Khedira praised: “He always stayed with himself, always humble. He is always objective in his analysis.” It doesn’t help to sugarcoat the situation. “You have to work, shut up and put it on the pitch.”