As the 2.Bundesliga title race enters the decisive period of the season, the battle for the two automatic promotion spots is gathering pace. As it stands Hamburger SV are going to have to settle for a play-off berth with Paderborn and Heidenheim in pole position. Are HSV going to bottle it for yet another season?
It must seem like Groundhog Day as a Hamburg supporter as the season reaches the business end each year. Going through the early part of the season as justified title favourites is a given, before a meltdown in the spring and ultimate disappointment as another chance to return to the top flight is denied them.
Two defeats (Karlsruher SC and Eintracht Braunschweig) in their last two matches has seen the mood at the Rothosen dampen and the pessimism start to creep in. Is this going to be yet another repeat of previous year’s failures?
Coach Tim Walter was sent off against KSC with the pressure clearly getting to the trainer and players. Too often in the past weeks HSV have put in abject performances in one half of a game leading to dropped points. Against Heidenheim earlier in March they found themselves 3-0 down at half time but did manage to claw back a point.
The Dino of the Bundesliga are in danger of becoming the Dino of the second tier and the taunts from opposition fans that HSV will always be 2.Bundesliga, while hurtful are starting to ring true with every year that goes by.
The 3-0 win over 1. FC Nürnberg has been their only real convincing performance of the Rückrunde and the danger is that unless there is big shift in their mental toughness and performances on the pitch, yet another season in the second division is on the cards.
With both Darmstadt and FC Heidenheim not showing the same fragility, Hamburg’s destiny might be out of their control before too long .