Eintracht Frankfurt in Mainz: the kings of Europe with the latest energy performances hessenschau.de

The Mainz match reveals the strengths and weaknesses of the entire first half of the season: shaky defence, excellent individual skills and willpower. The main man rages first and then rages. Our analysis in five points.

Ron Ulrich

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12:45 minutes

The complete Eintracht PK after the game against Mainz

Oliver Glasner

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Eintracht Frankfurt plays 1-1 draw in Mainz 05 and spends the winter in fourth place in the Bundesliga. The game emphasized the weaknesses, but also the strengths of the team.

1. A totally messed up first half

Thousands of Frankfurters made the trip to Mainz for the last game of the year and made themselves heard loudly. And yet you kept hearing a Frankfurter, who was not in the block, but on the sidelines. Head coach Oliver Glasner gestured in anger, screamed and threw away a plastic billboard. “We were not good enough in the first half to stay upright here. We had a tackle rate of 30 percent at halftime and were therefore behind,” Glasner said after the game, calmly at that moment.

His team didn’t get into the game at all in the first half, lacked coordination and the usual drive forward in the game. Long balls on Mainz’s three defensive edges (Stefan Bell 1.92 m; Alexander Hack 1.93 m; Edimilson Fernandes 1.87 m) criticized Sebastian Rode as the worst possible recipe from Frankfurt – and like in Lisbon it was only with the captain who in the 59th minute again something like structure in the attack attempts.

This inevitably raises fundamental questions as to whether Eintracht, alongside part-time workers Rode and soon-to-be 39-year-old Makoto Hasebe, will not have to include other veteran players in their ranks when it comes to the knockout stages of the Champions League. “As always, I will give my expertise where we still have potential,” Glasner said after the game regarding the transfer window. But one point in the analysis will be clear: “If we find a flaw in this first half of the season, it is the high number of goals conceded.” Eintracht caught the second most of all teams from the first half of the table with 24 goals. And in Mainz alone there could have been three more…

2. An excellent goalkeeper

…if Eintracht didn’t have one of the best goalkeepers in the league, maybe even in Europe at the moment. Kevin Trapp made two excellent saves for the 0:1 and prevented the hosts from taking a bigger lead in the second half. Trapp now leads the team with his charisma (some would say he exudes security!), his saves and also his announcements (like in Bochum towards Tuta). Without him, Eintracht would not have won the Europa League and probably conceded ten more goals. In the first half of the season, the goalkeeper has ironed out a number of discrepancies in the rear so far.

For with all the talent, Tuta and Evan N’Dicka revealed that they were not yet capable of leading the chain of defense. This brought Glasner back to his experiment with the back four in the first series, resorting to Hasebe and eventually reinventing the all-rounder Kristijan Jakic. The Croat represents the sacrifice and mentality of this Eintracht-Elf.

3. An energy performance

After just over an hour in Mainz, Eintracht showed that they can improve at any moment – despite an incredible program in their bones. “I want to congratulate the team,” Glasner said after addressing the shortcomings of the first half. “It was our 24th league game in the last three months, it was an energetic performance today,” said Glasner, pointing out how the team could defend itself against the unpleasant Mainz.

Just like in Lisbon or Augsburg, the Frankfurters gave an answer to the backlog, they were not discouraged. “We are confident because we know we can come back,” goalkeeper Trapp said after the game. At the end of the game in Mainz, the Eintracht players looked even fresher and more alive than their opponents. It was the tenth “English week” in a row for the national players, with only Djibril Sow playing 24 competitive games for Frankfurt (20 full-distance) since August and playing Mario Götze’s opening ball for the equalizing goal in Mainz.

4. The Elevated Individual Class

And Götze symbolized the progress of harmony with an action. He moved into the right space and directed the ball with a brilliant touch right through the barrel of Randal Kolo Muani. The Frenchman shook off his opponents inimitably like with the 2-1 win in Lisbon and pushed through for the equalizer. There were two top actions that made the previously unfortunate performance of the two extra talents forgotten. With Muani and Götze, Eintracht made two of the best Bundesliga transfers of the summer. Only Jamal Musiala of Bayern has scored more points than Muani.

That the automatisms work as well as in the 1:1 is remarkable, especially considering the short training time. “Our average training time over the past few weeks was 35 minutes. It was also new to me: how can you develop as a team with almost no training time?” Glasner commented afterwards. He attributed the improvement of his team to the curiosity and ambition of his players. “If you have such great guys, then it works.” In addition to the great talent, Eintracht Frankfurt also showed great appetite this fall.

5. The best Eintracht year in many, many years

Before the final whistle, fans of Eintracht Frankfurt unfurled a banner that read: “Thank you – Kings of Europe!” And who would have thought that the Hessians would give more than one encore after the historic win in the Europa League by reaching the eighth finals in the premier league, remaining in fourth place and in the DFB Cup? “It was the best Eintracht year in many, many years,” Trapp said afterwards. Not only the supporters, but also the players and those in charge will enjoy the break and the look back at the year 2022 – not always just professionally, Glasner revealed. In Frankfurt he has already shown that he can enjoy it.

After all, transfer speculation about Kamada, N’Dicka or Lindstrom will soon disrupt the idyll in the urban forest this winter. In the coming year, it will be especially important for Frankfurt to fend off the (international) desires for the club’s main man, which are likely to arise. The man who first became terribly upset in Mainz and then enthusiastically raved about his team.

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