Hertha BSC: Mr. Dardai bathes and mows the lawn – sport

Pal Dardai knows how to use the keyboard of the relegation battle very well, he knows little else as a coach. Because whenever Hertha BSC is in trouble, Dardai is brought out like a “frozen pizza”. That’s what he is called in a podcast called “HaHoHä”, which is very humorous by the way, the title of which is a corruption of the famous battle cry “Ha, ho, he”.

Dardai, 47, has saved Hertha twice before, in 2015 and 2021, and in doing so he followed patterns that can now be observed again: the defeatist invocation of darkness (“heavier than ever”) is followed by at least one striking, disciplining one The coach’s action, this time it was Croatian midfielder Ivan Sunjic (“Fuck off!”). And at the end, as a sort of climax, relaxation and optimism are on display. Were Hertha the titanic and this season the iceberg, Dardai would be the one-man orchestra trying to calm the panic of Berliners on their way to the dinghies.

This Saturday makes a guest appearance at the bottom of the table, Hertha BSC, in the 15th table. VfB Stuttgart, who has a cup semi-final against Frankfurt in the bones. Anyone who thought Dardai would have used this Wednesday game to intensively observe their opponents was wrong. Why should he have sat “hectically” in front of the television, Dardai asked the day after Stuttgart’s 2: 3, there were enough technical aids. He also has other important things to do.

Dardai sees the cup game of Saturday’s opponent for half a time – then he goes to sleep

“I scarified yesterday because finally there was a day when you could clean the lawn,” reported Dardai: “After that I was really exhausted, drank my wine spritzer, smoked my cigar and bathed.” Then he went in front of the TV and – after all – watched the first half of the VfB Cup game. And then? “Halftime: Pal goes to sleep. As always.” Without panic.

All this does not mean that the Hertha coach is not aware of the starting position. On the contrary: “Four games, four wins” is Dardai’s motto for the end of the season. In the press conference he repeated it so often that at the end he even brandished an imaginary conductor’s cane – as a gestural invitation to the audience to say his refrain. In fact, Hertha has no choice but to aim for the maximum in the last few games (against Stuttgart and Bochum, in Cologne and in Wolfsburg). Only: four games, four wins?

The saving shore is six points away before kick-off against Stuttgart because Hertha have only won five in 30 games – and never two wins in a row. Neighbors Union want Hertha to stay in the league, because the people of Köpenick have grown fond of the derby. And coach Sebastian Hoeneß, once a youth player at Hertha, also keeps his fingers crossed for Saturday’s opponent VfB: “If there is a constellation that we win the game and they still stay in, I would probably welcome that,” he said. But it is very likely that this is not possible.

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