Sweeping changes expected at HSV

Posted on June 9, 2011


The Imtech Arena is currently gearing up for the much-anticipated clash between David Haye and Vladimir Klitchsko on July 2 but more important to the Rothosen is the beginning of a new era under sporting director Frank Arnesen.

Arnesen was centre of attention in the UK when he was suspended by Tottenham for expressing an interest in moving to London rivals Chelsea – that interest was eventually followed up and he was appointed by Roman Abramovich as Director of Football in June 2005.

However, the appointment was criticised by none-other than first-team manager Jose Mourinho who claimed Arnesen was stifling the young English talent coming through at Stamford Bridge.

Hamburg SV is historically one of the biggest clubs in German football and it has enjoyed a glittering past including a famous European Cup win in 1983. The club from the second biggest city in the country have won six German titles – the last in 1983 – and three German Cups, again, the last coming in the 80s where HSV had their most famous triumphs.

The ‘glory years’ came under the leadership of the much-acclaimed Austrian Ernst Happel who was in charge at Hamburg for six years. Happel’s side won two Bundesliga championships, the European Cup and the German national cup.

Overall, Hamburg’s connection with the UK is very limited but most notably, Kevin Keegan’s three-year stint with the club was probably second to Happel’s triumphant era as HSV’s most successful period in their history.

Keegan won the Bundesliga in his first season under Branko Zebec and finished 2nd the following season, and even reached the European Cup final in the same season where they lost to Brian Clough’s Forest in Madrid.

Former Denmark International Frank Arnesen has brought in ex-Chelsea academy director Lee Congerton as Technical manager and has made his intentions clear by adding three young talents from the Stamford Bridge youth sides for a combined fee of just £2.5m.

English U-21 International Michael Mancienne joins from the Blues after spending a third spell at Wolves in the Premier League and racked up 16 appearances at Molineux last season.

23-year-old Mancienne is on England duty with Stuart Pearce’s U21s in Denmark for the European Championships and will be an interesting signing for Michael Oenning with some good Premier League experience under his belt.

Oenning has had to adapt Serbian midfielder Gojko Kacar in to a makeshift central-defender due to the injuries of Dutchman Joris Mathijsen who could be on his way out at HSV after Arnesen revealed he had no future at the club this week.

Joining Mancienne is Turkish striker Gokhan Tore and Italian midfielder Jacopo Sala from Chelsea’s reserve side.

The Turkish U21 International signed a three-year deal at HSV is a fairly unknown quantity to Oenning. Despite having no first-team experience with Chelsea, Tore has been a regular with the Turkish youth sides from U16 to U21 but will likely find himself on the bench initially at the Volkspark.

Jacopo Sala is in a similar position to Tore and the 19-year-old will struggle in the early months to push the likes of David Jarolim and Kacar for a first-team jersey.

Hamburg have also been linked with Josh McEachran from Chelsea who has been involved in the first-team setup under recently sacked coach Carlo Ancelotti. Another name strongly linked with the German club is Jeffrey Bruma who ended up on loan at Leicester City last season.

Potential is fine long-term – but Hamburg fans will be expecting a few experienced additions to the squad with Piotr Trochowski, Ruud Van Nistelrooy and Frank Rost all leaving the club this summer.

It is widely expected that Mladen Petric will head for the exit door and they will be without striker Jose Guerrero for the start of the season. That may open up opportunities for the likes of Tore, South Korean starlet Heung-Min Son and possibly Swedish striker Marcus Berg who returns from a loan spell with PSV Eindhoven.

Given HSV only netted 46 goals in the league – which is relatively poor by Bundesliga standards – Oenning will be chasing a new frontman capable of netting 15-20 goals a season. Some sources in Germany have linked the club with Stuttgart striker Pavel Pogrebnyak and even Leeds United forward Max Gradel.

The talk of next season will surely be about Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich who look set to fight out another pulsating campaign but it could be an interesting season for a number of other clubs – including Schalke and Hamburg – who are putting the building blocks in place for a positive future in the Bundesliga.

Posted in: Feature