At some point Niko Kovac became too much. “I would ask that we do not always talk about the Prince. We still have ten other players on the pitch, “the coach of Frankfurt Eintracht said on Saturday after the 1-0 defeat against VfL Wolfsburg.
Already after the first training week and the first game over 90 minutes, coach Kovac goes against the grain that the most prominent new entry Kevin-Prince Boateng is the focus of all coverage and many critics.
This is surprising. After all, the coach had been a professional for many years and could have imagined that much will be about Boateng that the public is concentrating on the “prince”. On the square and especially off the square.
At the presentation of the 30-year-old attacker almost two weeks ago, the Frankfurts had even pointed out precisely this presence. “Kevin is a guy we can use him well,” said Sport Director Fredi Bobic. The “guy” Boateng is a dazzling personality with all his facets, both sporty and private. The Eintracht has known who she has brought, now she has to live with it.
Much more important than the media presence of the player, who can deal with it well and it also as part of its task, are the questions about the purely sporting prince’s role. They must answer quickly in the sense of the team. And it is not primarily about the possibly still limited fitness. This can be worked out in the training, the Eintracht now has almost two weeks time. It is also not so that Boateng had come from the holiday. Maybe only the preparation for Las Palmas was different than in Frankfurt and besides, he also had to cope with stress on other levels by the flash change.
Find the right place
10.2 kilometers, Boateng on Saturday against Wolfsburg ran – not a good, but also not so bad value. He is not much, just twelve times (to the comparison, Chandler came on 32 sprints) and 45 intense runs he has done (with Gacinovic it was 81). These are not really surprising values and also not those on which Boateng should be measured. The concord has brought him for other things. He is a man who can score goals and prepare goals. In the Primera Division he hit ten times last year. He can do it, no question.
It will now be important to find the right place for Boateng in the team. In his class, this should not be so difficult. Kovac has to decide. Is he a striker? Is he an offensive midfielder? Enforcers or rather preparers? Does the team need him at the head office, where Marco Fabián is the most creative player? Or right in front?
A bit of everything
In the first game, Boateng should make a bit of everything, storming next to Sebastien Haller, later organizing at the side of Makoto Hasebe. However, half-hearted solutions do not help.
Early, the question arises whether Boateng and Haller really fit in front really. There are two strong strikers of this kind in the Bundesliga in no other team. The bulging tips tempt the others to long, high balls forward. Haller and Boateng are to fix them and distribute them. This can be a plan. But whether it is a football solution, remains questionable. At least not in the own stadium, if the rooms are tight.
The game against Wolfsburg has shown that there is a lack of creativity in the midfield, incidentally also a goal danger. Jonathan de Guzman should be responsible for another new one. This has not worked out yet. Boateng, on the other hand, was sent for the injured Fabián, perhaps he should play a similar role as the Mexican. A little withdrawn, behind Haller, with many liberties. Which would have the advantage that he would not be like in the top permanently with the back to the goal in two fights with the opposing interior defender. Kovac will look for the right solution. From this point of view, the match for the Eintracht is just right.
Credit: Frankfurter Neue Presse