Coach Tim Walter has to leave Hamburger SV. But he also leaves traces. Sports director Jonas Boldt is initially relying on an internal rather than a prominent solution for his successor.
With serious faces and visibly embarrassed, the Hamburger SV players went to the training ground right next to the Volksparkstadion. There, in the afternoon, the previous assistant coach, Merlin Polzin, faced them in a new role.
After the second division football team separated from the previous head coach Tim Walter, the 33-year-old will initially look after the third-place team and will be in charge on the bench in the game at FC Hansa Rostock on Saturday (1 p.m./Sky).
“He definitely gets the chance, and with full conviction,” said sports director Jonas Boldt about Polzin at a press conference shortly before the practice session. He is therefore initially relying on an internal solution rather than a prominent one. Most recently, the ex-Cologne coach and avowed HSV fan Steffen Baumgart was considered a possible candidate. According to information from the German Press Agency, there has not yet been any contact.
Boldt: Don’t “commit to a time frame”
Polzin has helped shape a lot in the last three and a half years, said the sports director. “Hence the belief that we have great coaching talent here.” According to Boldt, the fact that he has just acquired the pro license required for the Bundesliga does not pose a problem with the regulations.
The sports director admitted that discussions are also being held with other coaches at the same time – Raphael Wicky is also being discussed. “We don’t want to commit to any specific time frame,” said the 42-year-old. “Of course we will consider what could be medium and long-term solutions. Merlin Polzin will definitely play a role in this.”
In the morning, Hamburger SV announced that it had separated from Walter after more than two and a half years. In addition to the 48-year-old, his assistants Julian Hübner and Filip Tapalovic were also released with immediate effect.
Walter-Aus is not unexpected
“Releasing Tim is a decision that was definitely not easy for me,” admitted Boldt. “Recently, however, we have noticed that stability and conviction have been lost to some extent. We therefore feel compelled to act.”
The decision was not unexpected. Three days earlier, after the wild 3:4 in the northern duel against Hannover 96, the sports director had already indirectly moved away from Walter. Now the execution has been announced. The management no longer trusted the trainer to successfully implement the advancement project.
Walter had been informed personally by Boldt. The coach was disappointed with the decision. “I would have liked to continue to contribute to achieving our season goal together,” he said in the HSV statement.
Before Christmas, Walter was already in question. After analyzing the first half of the season, Boldt and sports director Claus Costa gave him a clear order to stabilize his team defensively. The team made enough of a spectacle on offense, in keeping with Walter’s style of play.
Growing uncertainty in the team
But eight goals conceded in the first two home games of the new year against Karlsruher SC (3:4) and Hannover 96 (3:4) made it clear that the team had regressed rather than made progress. And Boldt saw growing uncertainty among the players.
Even though Walter didn’t achieve the big goal, he achieved a lot in the two and a half years. He identified with the club, the city, the fans. And the city and the fans identified with the club. “He lived the club with all his heart and soul,” said Boldt.
As third in the table, HSV is still in the middle of the promotion race. The main task now will be to bring consistency to the team. More stability and less spectacle – that is now, initially, the task and opportunity for Polzin.
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