vfrom Wiesbaden Darmstadt is not far. The two football stadiums are less than 50 kilometers apart, which suits him especially: Paul Fernie, who last week was sporting director of SV Wehen Wiesbaden, will take over next week as sporting director of SV Darmstadt 98 and is at least not It is necessary to get used to a new environment, language and culture.

There's still much to do. By mid-April, planning for the new season is already underway. Conversations are held, contracts are extended, farewells are prepared. It is important that the new director does not waste time. In Darmstadt there are several works waiting. Even the boldest optimists have to admit that Fernie will be defeated after the 4-0 defeat. FSV Mainz 05 last weekend for the second league.

The gap between his new club and the relegation zone before the home game against Freiburg this Sunday (3:30 p.m.) FAZ live ticker for the Bundesliga and in DAZN) nine points with six games remaining. The “Lilies” have not won in 21 games, which again shows how big a job Fernie has to do.

Darmstadt has by far the weakest defense in the league. The defense was barely able to establish a three- or five-man chain all season. Coach Torsten Lieberknecht He went around merrily, trying out numerous constellations or, admittedly, being forced to do so repeatedly due to glitches.

The best games with veterans.

Christoph Zimmermann, who was predestined for the role of head of defense and guarantee of reliability in the promotion season, was twice out for longer periods and recently was mostly on the bench. Christoph Klarer is the one who plays the most minutes in defense. The 23-year-old Austrian has potential, but it was probably still a little early for him to take the boss's job in the Bundesliga. The lack of coherence in this aspect after the departure of Patric Pfeiffer did not make things easier for him, and is one of the reasons for his misery.

But there was also a lack of consistency in the center of the field. The “Lilien” played their best matches in the phase when they faced the veterans Fabian Holland, Tobias Kempe and the whirlwind Marvin Mehlem I could put it in the center. But here too Lieberknecht was forced to make changes repeatedly. In the current season the Darmstadt team has used a total of 31 players. Co-promoted Heidenheim has 21. In the promotion season, the club benefited from an axis with goalkeeper Marcel Schuhen, Zimmermann, Kempe, Mehlem and striker Phillip Tietz; Next season, equally reliable support is needed to play successful football again.

After this match, it became clear to many that Darmstadt 98 would return to the second division: the “Lilien” lost significantly in Mainz.

After this match, it became clear to many that Darmstadt 98 would return to the second division: the “Lilien” lost significantly in Mainz.

Image: dpa

But the most important task remains to find strikers. After the departure of Tietz, who like Patric Pfeiffer moved to Augsburg, the “Lilien” tried many attackers: Fraser Hornby and Braydon Manu? Constantly hurt. Luca Pfeiffer? There will hardly be any danger of scoring without Tietz by his side. Oscar Vilhelmsson? Good approaches, but still too young and inexperienced for the first league. And Sebastian Polter, who came in winter? He had one assist in nine games.

“Lilien’s” best scorer is Tim Skarke, with eight goals. Behind them are several players with three goals, including Mehlem. Fernie will do anything to keep him and Skarke. However, it seems questionable whether this will be successful. They both play in the first league.

This text comes from the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.

There is enough room for the new sports director. 17 contracts, including those of players on loan, are about to expire. Newcomers also have a lot of work to do here. Those responsible entrust him with the job because Fernie has “a very good network,” like the president. Rüdiger Fritsch he said recently.

The Englishman, who turned 37 this week, never played professionally, starting his career as a youth coach at Leeds United and then working as a scout for seven years at four different clubs in England. He later became head of the exploration department of SV Wehen Wiesbaden and then held the same position at the New York Red Bulls for two years before returning to Wiesbaden as sporting director.

“He has already shown in the past that, thanks to unusual and creative solutions, he always finds a way to work successfully even without a huge budget,” says Fritsch. Contacts in a cosmopolitan city like New York, the Red Bull cosmos and England. That reads well. But something else may have been decisive for the commitment: Fernie's achievements at the door Wiesbaden.