Wo is Oliver Bierhoff actually inside? Since the German national team said goodbye to a European Championship two weeks ago, i.e. what felt like an eternity, at which they had not missed football Europe any further, the DFB director has disappeared. To be more precise: Bierhoff never appeared again after the end of the German football illusions. Because the most important person responsible for sport in the German Football Association (DFB), responsible for the national teams and the new academy, had already launched his own competition many months before the European Championship: to make yourself invisible – to get as far as possible to differentiate from Joachim Löw.
But last but not least: to distract from his own and equally gross misjudgments. The following can now be said without envy: The plan of the ego tactician has worked. At least on his own behalf, Bierhoff did a great job. But if you remove the magic hat from the DFB director, you can see with all clarity that the core area for which he is responsible at the DFB has come down to the dog. The four-time world champion has disappeared somewhere in the European midfield. And not just since this summer, but for over three years.
Bierhoff’s record is also bleak when it comes to what is probably the more important question of how Germans identify with their national team. Even experts from the big German companies, who invest the most money in sponsoring in this country, openly criticized before the EM that Bierhoff’s marketing strategy under the motto “The Team” had only led to the isolation of the German national team from their fans. Especially on this issue, there could be a change of course in the German Football Association (DFB).
Change of course in marketing
“Regardless of current discussions about possible sponsorship contracts and appearances of the national team, it is certainly not wrong if you take the restart with a new national coach as an opportunity to think fundamentally about the public positioning”, says DFB interim president Peter Peters of the FAZ also Peters It should not have escaped the fact that the appearance, which many fans still associate with the concept of “The Team”, has contributed significantly to the national team’s loss of reputation.
In a representative survey for the “Bundesliga Barometer” (5249 participants), 87.7 percent of the supporters now agree with the statement that, in addition to Löw, the DFB director must resign to clear the way for a change. The fans are fed up with the claim “The team”. 92.9 percent would not miss this slogan if it were abolished.
“The marketing of the national team is already in the relevant division of the DFB-GmbH under the leadership of Holger Blask – and I am sure that a lot of considerations will be given there. I am of the opinion that we have to think about a change of course in this context, ”said DFB interim president Peters. Change of course. For Peters, this is the key word for another failure.
But until the end, Bierhoff hardly acknowledged the realities that he himself helped to create. Even at the one-hour final press conference after the European Championship in the round of 16 – which he gave alongside rather than with the outgoing Joachim Löw – the DFB director pretended that times hadn’t really changed that much. And you could just keep dreaming the old dreams by simply swapping the national coach.
“We as Germany have the claim to always play at the front,” says Bierhoff. But where does the DFB director get his confidence from? Hardly from the results of the national team and the results of his own work. There are two main questions that arise in the direction of Bierhoff after two consecutive tournaments: What went wrong under his responsibility? How can it get better? But Bierhoff has not yet asked himself these questions on his own account, at least not in public.