Europa League winners and Champions League participants Eintracht Frankfurt lost on matchday 9 to Bundesliga bottom side VfL Bochum a week after beating the league leaders Union Berlin. Bochum were previously winless, while die Eisernen were previously unbeaten. What is going on with the two faces of Frankfurt?
It has certainly been a season of extremes already for Oliver Glasner’s Eintracht with plenty of highs and lows in the nascent season. They suffered a 6-1 hammering at the hands of Bayern Munich on the Bundesliga’s opening night, but then recovered to later beat RB Leipzig 4-0. The following match however saw a home defeat to a struggling VfL Wolfsburg, Matchday 8 saw them down table toppers Union only for this week’s loss to bottom side Bochum.
This Jekyll and Hyde side to Eintracht Frankfurt will be nothing new to Adler fans. Of their last eight matches against a side at the bottom of the Bundesliga table, they have won just two. The added burden of Champions League fixtures, which the club are not used to will add to the inconsistency.
Aside from the Bayern opener, both of Frankfurt’s defeats this season have come after European midweek adventures. Dealing with coming from a high is seemingly causing a low. They face Tottenham in London this week, so Bayer Leverkusen must already be thinking they have an advantage going into next week’s matchday 10 game.
The defeat to Bochum was greeted by critical words by board member Markus Krösche. “Attitude, tackling, footballing ability – we were lacking a bit of everything. We weren’t lively or focused enough from the off. We weren’t good, we weren’t at it. We have to be at 100 percent to win a Bundesliga match. We weren’t today, which is why we deservedly lost. We need to take the lessons from this.”
Lessons need to be learnt, but history indicates that the Adler aren’t too hot in class when it comes to this subject.
The Bochum loss was also in a way self-inflicted with possession lost too easily, duels not won, composure lacking and a mobile focal point lacking in attack in the absence of Randal Kolo Muani. Lucas Alario had a poor game overall as did left back Luca Pellegrini, Mario Götze, and Junior Dina Ebimbe in place of Sebastian Rode.
“I take full responsibility for this defeat” coach Oliver Glasner conceded after the match. “It was my line-up and my system. A lot of things didn’t work. We had the chances to take the lead at 0-0, then hit the post and had an offside goal. We conceded three goals from set pieces, which is disappointing. We’ll draw the right conclusions with our coaching staff – I’m sure of that.”
With a trip to White Hart Lane on Wednesday and then a home clash with Bayer Leverkusen next Saturday it will be interesting to see if ‘lessons have been learned’ and the ‘right conclusions drawn’ or whether we have another example Dr. Henry Jekyll/Mr. Edward Hyde but the Franconian version.