Eintracht Frankfurt’s fans have become a tad spoiled. That’s at least the feeling among some of the fans themselves. After two brilliant years fighting for the top spots under Niko Kovac, they might find themselves in some state of normality again. However, the reality is that nobody really knows how this first season without Kovac, this first season with Adolf Hütter, will even go. It’s very unclear, very uncertain, and many fans are concerned with the dreadful preseason that the eagles from Main performed.
It could very well be a tough season for Die Adler. After a sensatonal cup win, they face the difficult challenge of Europa League, something that has killed off hope in even much bigger teams. It’s a challenge, an extra motivation but also an extra workload for a squads not often formed to cope with just that. Frankfurt’s squad is different, however, as it has quite sensational depth on all positions. But will the essential quality be enough to compete on two fronts?
With Boateng gone, Mascarell sold to Schalke and Marius Wolf being robbed from them by a clever Borussia Dortmund, they stand without leaders and without clear talismans. Rebic is mayhaps the one clear talisman-type player left from that winning squad under Kovac. The replacements have been doubtful. Lucas Torró was drafted in from Osasuna to cover for the sad loss of Omar Mascarell. Torró has never had a full season in a European top tier and while his potential ability is undoubtable, his current quality has been questioned by many in vicinity of the club.
It looks to be an uncertain season am Main, people are dreading the possibility of a drop. Only time will tell how well Hütter can adapt his new squad to his successful ideas.
Managerial Background – Adolf Hütter
Adolf Hütter came to Frankfurt from Young Boys where he managed to win the league, and subsequently break the Basel-infused deadlock that Swiss football had experienced. A coach with a clear attacking mentality, in some ways Niko Kovac philosophical antagonist. Tries to move the ball as well as the players, a bit of juego de posicion mixed with Nagelsmann-like pressing mannerism. If things work out and they fix the problem with leadership, then this season could prove jovial for them.
The Frankfurt transfer window has been doubtful. Key players have been let go of, unproven quality has been brought in. Nicolai Müller and Filip Kostic from HSV are the only proven ones, while players ike Lucas Torró, Evan N’Dicka and Frederik Rönnow have completed the bunch. They managed to keep Ante Rebic, despite clear interest from a vast array of bigger clubs, which must be seen as a successful move from die Adler.
The expactations are high, albeit not as high as they were before the summer even had begun. This season has now been seen in a new light, gravely high expectations have been revised and the fans only expect a mid-table finish instead of another year of European fighting. This will be highly achievable, but they will need to find strength in their immense depth to make it happen.
Strongest XI (4-4-2)
Rönnow- Da Costa, Salcedo, Abraham, Willems- Kostic, Gacinovic, Hasebe, Rebic- Jovic, Pacienca.
By Axel Falk.