dHamburg SV have said goodbye to coach Tim Walter after two and a half good years. This was announced by the third-placed team in the second Bundesliga on Monday, after the decision was made internally the night before. The six-time German champions have already failed five times in their bid to finally be promoted to the Bundesliga. After the poor sporting performance in recent months, the HSV management sees the danger of losing its great objective this season as well. This was the downfall of 48-year-old Walter.
“After the disappointing home defeat against Hannover 96, we analyzed the situation and decided that we had to make changes so as not to jeopardize our goals for the season,” said HSV board member Jonas Boldt. “Our fluctuations in performance in recent games have been too great and we lack full conviction that we will achieve the necessary balance and stability in our game in this constellation over the coming weeks.”
Before Christmas, Walter was already on the brink and was particularly criticized on the supervisory board. He then received another clear order from sporting director Jonas Boldt and sporting director Claus Costa to stabilize his team. However, eight goals conceded in the first two home games of the new year against Karlsruher SC (3:4) and Hannover 96 (3:4) showed that the coach could not achieve this.
Many problems at HSV
Walter moved to HSV in the summer of 2021. In the last 40 years, only three coaches have stayed longer in the Hamburg ejection seat: Ernst Happel (1981 to 1987), Benno Möhlmann (1992 to 1995) and Frank Pagelsdorf ( 1997 to 2001). From the first day, Walter's work and his self-confident demeanor in Hamburg were viewed ambivalently. On the one hand, with HSV he failed twice in relegation: in 2022 against Hertha BSC and in 2023 against VfB Stuttgart.
The lack of stability in his team, the risky playing style, the propensity to make mistakes in defense – the former youth coach of FC Bayern Munich could not control all these problems in his third season. On the other hand, Walter and sporting director Jonas Boldt created a sense of unity and continuity at HSV that this chronically restless club had not experienced for years.
“Tim and his boys lived through our HSV, fully identified with the task and the club and played a key role in shaping the path we took,” Boldt said. Most of the players supported Walter's offensive game idea until the end. Even after the second relegation defeat this summer, it took only a few minutes for Boldt to publicly confirm the coach.
This trust has already been exhausted. Although the team was strengthened again in the sixth year of the second division and is nominally significantly better than all promotion competitors, HSV lost all sovereignty. After a successful start to the season, there were defeats against small clubs (1-2 in Osnabrück), against well-known rivals (3-4 against Hannover) and in the DFB Cup (elimination in the round of 16 against Hertha BSC).
“I would have liked to continue contributing together to achieve our season goal,” said Walter himself. “I would like to thank HSV, the office and the extraordinary fans for more than two and a half years of great cooperation.” According to Walter, his assistants were Julian Hübner and Filip Tapalovic, who were released with immediate effect. It is not yet clear who will be the successor at Elba. Merlin Polzin will initially take charge of the team on an interim basis and is looking forward to the away game on Saturday (1:00 p.m. in FAZ live ticker for the 2nd Bundesliga and at Sky) at Hansa Rostock; You can also stay longer. But Tim Walter is already history at HSV.