DHamburger SV has parted ways with coach Tim Walter after a good two and a half years. The team, which finished third in the second Bundesliga, announced the move on Monday after an internal decision was made the night before. The six-time German champions have already failed five times in their attempt to finally return to the Bundesliga. After the sporting failures of the last few months, HSV management sees the danger of not achieving its big goal this season. This was the downfall of 48-year-old Walter.
“After the disappointing home defeat to Hannover 96, we analyzed the situation and decided that we needed to make changes so as not to jeopardize our goals for the season,” said HSV board member Jonas Boldt. “Our swings in performance in recent games have been too great and we are not entirely confident that we will achieve the necessary balance and consistency in our play in this constellation over the next few weeks.”
Before Christmas, Walter was already on edge and was especially criticized by the supervisory board. He then received another clear order from sporting director Jonas Boldt and sporting director Klaus Costa to stabilize his team. However, eight goals conceded in the first two home matches of the new year against Karlsruhe (3:4) and Hannover 96 (3:4) showed that the coach was unable to do this.
Lots of problems in HSV
Walter moved to HSV in the summer of 2021. In the last 40 years, only three coaches have spent longer in the ejection seat in Hamburg: Ernst Happel (1981–1987), Benno Möllmann (1992–1995) and Frank Pagelsdorf (1997–2001). Walter’s work and self-confident behavior in Hamburg were perceived ambiguously from the first day. On the one hand, he failed relegation twice with HSV: in 2022 against Hertha, in 2023 against Stuttgart.
Lack of stability in the team, a risky style of play, a tendency to make mistakes in defense: the former Bayern youth coach was unable to control all these problems in his third season. On the other hand, Walter and sporting director Jonas Boldt have created a sense of unity and continuity at HSV that the chronically troubled club has not experienced for many years.
“Tim and his boys lived at our HSV, identified completely with the mission and the club, and played a key role in shaping the path we took,” Boldt said. Most players supported Walter’s attacking game until the end. Even after a second relegation defeat this summer, it took only minutes for Boldt to publicly endorse the manager.
Now this trust is exhausted. Although the squad had strengthened again in the sixth year of the second division and was nominally significantly better than all promotion competitors, HSV had lost all sovereignty. After a successful start to the season, there were defeats from small clubs (1:2 in Osnabrück), from famous opponents (3:4 against Hannover) and in the German Cup (reaching the 1/8 finals at Hertha).
“I would like to continue to contribute together to achieve our goal for the season,” said Walter himself. “I would like to thank HSV, the office and the outstanding fans for more than two and a half years of excellent cooperation.” According to Walter, his assistants were Julian Hübner and Filip Tapalović, who were released with immediate effect. It is not yet clear who will succeed Elbe. Merlin Polzin will initially look after the team temporarily and prepare them for Saturday’s away game (13:00 live on FAZ for the 2nd Bundesliga and on Sky) against Hansa Rostock; it can also stay longer. But Tim Walter is now part of HSV history.
Source: Frantfurter Allgemeine
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