The weeks of prediction and speculation are finally over! 83 days after the end of 2020/21, the 59th Bundesliga season is about to get underway. Hertha begin their campaign on Sunday (17:30 CEST) against 1. FC Köln. “Our hunger for success is clear, and we are together as a squad, which I like, because that is exactly what we need. We must be in this together!” Fredi Bobic is looking forward to the first matchday of the season for the Blue-and-Whites. herthabsc.com have collated the comments from our managing director for sport as well as from head coach Pál Dárdai following Friday’s press conference, where the pair, both dressed in our new district shirts, discussed...
... the squad for Sunday:
Pál Dárdai: Almost all are available for the weekend, including our returning Olympians, who are in contention for a place in the starting line-up. Matheus Cunha has carried himself well in training. He bleeds Hertha BSC and we are so happy to have him. He possesses qualities that only a few other players in the world possess and he is fit to play. Dedryck Boyata will decide himself whether or not he is able to play, we have a good relationship and I trust him and his judgement.
... 1. FC Köln:
Fredi Bobic: Köln will be spurred on by their fans, which won’t be easy for us. But sometimes, when an entire stadium is against you, it can inspire you. Our opponents have put a difficult season behind them and have made some positive changes. They are unpredictable; I’m not interested by what happened in the Pokal, at the end of the day, it’s about getting to the next round, which is exactly what they did. They are a strong opponent, but we are going into it with a positive mindset and full of confidence, and we want to come away with something.
...their impressions of the team:
Pál Dárdai: Before the Pokal game I said to the lads jokingly, that I was waiting for us to have a bit of a wobble, because of how smoothly our pre-season had gone. We worked very hard, but we were quite hesitant, something which affected us last season. A good start is extremely important and the lads have done what was necessary to put us on that path, everyone in the team is working hard to keep us there, and we have improved our coaching staff tremendously. But when all is said and done, what counts in this sport are results at the weekend.
Fredi Bobic: Our team is eager to succeed. Pál and his staff have brought the team together, and this was evident towards the end of last season. The team are growing as a unit; you can see their hunger to succeed, as well as their togetherness, which I am very happy about, because that is exactly what we need. We must be in this together!
...new signing Marco Richter:
Pál Dárdai: We didn’t just sign Marco Richter for the sake of it; we need his bold, brave approach, his readiness, his good finishing. Players like this are very much helpful to us! He must, of course, arrive firstly, and he is getting lots of advice, but I’ll definitely be taking him with me to Cologne.
Fredi Bobic: With players like Marco, Pál has more chances to change the game. Marco can create chances, score goals and set them up. Of course, he first has to get a better understanding of how we want to play, but over time he can be a real asset to us.
... the current transfer window:
Fredi Bobic: We must be very creative in the transfer market and react quickly. I am happy at this stage to have done some deals despite the various international tournaments. There is not much money moving around the market at the moment, it is very gritty. Many European clubs have financial issues, there are more swap deals taking place. I am sure there is more to come – including here at Hertha. We want to improve and create a strong squad, but, for the time being, I am absolutely content.