Column heroes of the movement: people speak landserdeutsch

Eintracht laughs, Jens Lehmann has a job and a pub landlord unpacks: Why Martin Hinteregger won the Augsburg comedy match.

No more Augsburg puppet show: Martin Hinteregger (center) now plays for Eintracht Frankfurt Photo: reuters

FC Augsburg is particularly fun right now. That is, unless you’re an Augsburg fan. But there aren’t exactly an excessive number of those. It’s like a Molière play: There are no sympathetic protagonists, only bearers of vanity and self-overestimation; it’s not a real drama, it’s not existential enough for that, it’s more a kind of comedy, without anyone being allowed to make bella figura.

Commendably, Augsburg has made an effort to fall right from the start of the season: the best start to the season since records began, dramatic moments like in the 4:3 away defeat in Dortmund, and then the slump, down to 15th place, with 15 points at the winter break. Augsburg then loses 0:2 in Monchengladbach to start the second half of the season, it is the tenth game without a win, and then begins the beautiful play that knows no heroes, only clowns.

After the game, Martin Hinteregger steps in front of the microphones, full of passion, emotion, uncompromising, and speaks: "You can see that we’re even deeper in the mire, nothing works. We are begging for a goal against. The whole year 2018, the curve has gone down."

And when asked about the trainer, he decided to use a Valentinian turn of phrase, wanting to say something but not daring to: "I can’t say anything positive about him and I won’t say anything negative either. Only one thing he had to add regarding the game: "I don’t really know myself what our tactics were today."

Manuel Baum, coach at FC Augsburg, still tried to contain the high waves with his own absolutely indiscreet interview by insulting the referee; the tree was on fire, you might say, but it didn’t help. Martin Hinteregger, the best central defender in a defense not exactly blessed with good central defenders, incurred the displeasure of those responsible.

Jens Lehmann hired as assistant coach

In the most beautiful Landserdeutsch, managing director Stefan Reuter let us hear that everyone had to march in the same direction, and that Martin Hinteregger could look for a new club just like Caiuby, who extended his Christmas vacation by 22 days and is thus my personal hero of the job this year.

He was learning Russian because he wanted to leave the club, no matter where

Martin Hinteregger, meanwhile, did as he was told and signed on with Eintracht Frankfurt, much to the annoyance of Augsburg fans: "Someone says what’s what, and then he’s simply cut," was the tenor. Who’s going to win the first high balls at the back? Even when Stefan Reuter insinuated that Martin Hinteregger had deliberately provoked this scandal in order to get a release, he was only believed by a few people; then an Augsburg pub owner ranted on Facebook that Martin Hinteregger had already told his pub in December that he was now learning Russian because he definitely wanted to leave the club in the winter, regardless of where.

Stefan Reuter, for his part, suspects that the right doesn’t know what the left is doing: while he punished Martin Hinteregger for questioning the coach, he is dismantling his coach himself by hiring Jens Lehmann as co-trainer; a man famous for his restraint and modesty, with no connections to the press, who in the past has always been content to stand quietly and reliably in the second row when asked to do so. "Right now, I have no ambitions to be a head coach because I’m a co-coach here now." At the moment, that is. You’ll be able to ask him that question every weekend. Augsburg has put a flea in its fur.

Martin Hinteregger showed an outstanding game against Leipzig, Augsburg makes a decent game against Bremen and still loses 4-0. It remains entertaining, and it will be even more entertaining once Hannover will start its series.

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