Röhl at the finish line and in the spotlight: “I prepared for ten years”
Danny Röhl has reached his goal for the time being: the 34-year-old is working as head coach for the first time. He approaches his new role at Kellerkind Sheffield Wednesday with optimism.
Second time in England, first time in the front row: Danny Röhl.
Southampton FC via Getty Images
“I prepared for this job for ten years,” says Danny Röhl in his first interview, which his new employer conducted with him after signing the contract. Ten years of preparation – that’s what he refers to his first position as head coach after working in the second row for many years.
And that under definitely bigger coaches and for bigger clubs. With Hansi Flick, he won the treble with FC Bayern in 2020 and went through a mixed and ultimately leaden time alongside him with the German national team. His involvement in Leipzig (2011-2018) and his first experience in England in Southampton under Ralph Hasenhüttl (2018/19) were formative.
I learned from Hasenhüttl how much passion you can pack into a coaching job like this. And above all, I learned from Hansi Flick how to lead a team.
“In Leipzig we literally started from scratch and turned RB into a Champions League club. I learned from Hasenhüttl how much passion you can put into a coaching job like this. And from Hansi Flick I learned, above all, how to be a “Leading a team, especially when there are a lot of great players, is how you give them self-confidence, but also take the human side into account,” Röhl recalls of his years of apprenticeship.
“Everyone dreams of being a part of it”
These should now be over – and the task at the bottom of the Championship is a “real challenge”, as he says, but: “Sheffield Wednesday is such a traditional club, everyone dreams of being a part of it.” In the last seven days – the time of negotiations with the club’s officials – he watched a lot of videos of the Owls’ games, “and that showed me how much passion there is in this club and in this stadium.”
This was particularly evident during the dramatic promotion last May, when in the semi-final of the promotion round Peterborough were eliminated on penalties at their home Hillsborough Stadium (5:3 iE after 0:4 in the first leg) and the final at Wembley in the 123rd minute against Barnsley could be won 1-0. The solidarity was like “a family and we need that again now to build something special.”
Because there isn’t much cheer, hustle and bustle around Hillsborough at the moment. Three points after eleven match days means 24th place. Ironically, a 0-0 draw against Huddersfield, coached by Sheffield’s promotion coach Darren Moore last year, cleared the way for Röhl, who follows the Spaniard Xisco Munoz at the Owls.
Memories of Arsenal
Sheffield Wednesday games
Röhl approaches the mission of staying in the league optimistically: “My previous experiences help me. We started in Southampton under similar circumstances, we had to play against Arsenal and achieved a 3-2 home win,” says Röhl, remembering his time at the Saints . “I think in a week I can prepare the team so that we can all move convincingly in one direction. And then we will be successful. For sure.”
The style of play he is aiming for should be full of intensity: “I want my team to be active and very aggressive. I have clear ideas about build-up play and counter-pressing – and that’s exactly what we will be training in the next few days.”
Because that’s exactly what Röhl has been missing since leaving the DFB. But when Röhl’s debut at FC Watford comes around, everything will be different for him for the first time in more than ten years. Spotlight instead of second row.
Also listen to the podcast “kicker meets DAZN” with Danny Röhl from March 2022: