Uncertainty over Bert van Marwijk
Bert van Marwijk confirmed he had agreed a two-year contract with Hamburg on Saturday -- but there are claims the agreement could collapse over his desire to appoint Andreas Moller as his assistant.
Hamburg dismissed coach Thorsten Fink last week after a dismal start to the new season, and this weekend they slumped to a 2-0 defeat at home to northern rivals Werder Bremen.
Former Borussia Dortmund coach Van Marwijk, out of work since resigning as Netherlands coach in June last year, had looked set to take the reins when he told Dutch TV show NOS Studio Sport on Saturday: “Hamburg got in touch with me directly after the sacking of Thorsten Fink.
“I have told them what I am able to offer and they told me what they want. The contract will run over two years and includes an option for another year. This is great club with a huge tradition.”
Later on Saturday, Hamburg sporting director Oliver Kreuzer confirmed talks with Van Marwijk had taken place but said up to five candidates were still under consideration, and the following day Sky reported that Kreuzer had travelled to Switzerland to speak to former Tottenham coach Christian Gross. Club officials rejected that claim but did confirm the trip to Switzerland.
There was further uncertainty over Van Marwijk’s arrival on Sunday evening. Amid reports that Van Marwijk wanted former Germany international Moller on his staff, chairman of the board Manfred Ertel told NDR Sportclub: “I’d like to think that Andreas Moller will not be an assistant coach at Hamburg.”
Bild suggested that the Moller issue could result in the deal falling apart.
Hamburg currently sit 16th in the division having taken only one win -- against rock-bottom Eintracht Braunschweig -- from their opening six games, and several players have voiced their concern about the club’s direction.
“I have been here for six years,” left-back Marcell Jansen said in kicker. “I can tell you: It’s never quiet here. They always find something,”
Club captain Rafael van der Vaart added: “The unrest might be a bit of a problem for a few lads in our squad.”
Centre-back Heiko Westermann warned that Hamburg are now facing a fight to stay in the Bundesliga.
“Our performance was frightening,” he said of the defeat at home to Bremen. “We got nowhere near to playing football. Nobody wants to hear it around here, but we are now fighting relegation. It is now about the existence of the club.”