Preview: FC Bayern München – Eintracht Frankfurt in Pokal Final

Justin Separator May 18, 2018

A familiar scenario for Jupp Heynckes

He knows that feeling. On June 1, 2013 he experienced exactly this scenario. The then 68-year-old had already announced the end of his career long before. His team sacrificed itself for him, and won the Champions League. This is actually the climax of all emotions.

But there was another game on the agenda. VfB Stuttgart defied Heynckes to the last dance. Between the triumph in the top division and this game, the coaching team criticised the team’s lax attitude. They were not satisfied.

What seemed strange to outsiders is perhaps a trait that explains the great success of Jupp Heynckes and Peter Hermann. They demand a lot from their teams. The duo pays an almost perfectionist attention to the smallest details. Whether tactical or interpersonal. At a moment when the team seemed unstoppable and they threatened to take off, Heynckes and Hermann expressed their dissatisfaction. Clearly. A rude awakening threatened if the focus did not return.

They reminded the great FC Bayern that history could be written in a few days, and the chance would probably never be greater again. The players understood and knew how to focus sufficiently. After an hour it was 3-0, but at that very moment the coaches’ prophecy seemed to come true.

Their heads were already on the party afterwards, their legs were spared and Stuttgart came back into the game. In the end, however, the short and somewhat happy 3:2 success. Heynckes had climbed the triple throne. His team celebrated in the east corner of Berlin as if there was no tomorrow left.

The coach himself, on the other hand, was in the tunnel. Like Beckenbauer once did, he walked across the wide green, absorbing every emotion noticeably. He went to Peter Hermann, squeezed him tightly, and watched his players’ party. Until the fans wanted to see their Jupp, and his name resounded loudly through the Olympiastadion. Then he went out of his shell, too. The team threw their coach in the air. Pictures that remain unforgettable to this day and create goose bumps. A heroic story that could not have been written better.

Jupp Heynckes and his coaching team celebrate the cup victory 2013 against Stuttgart.
(Foto: Christof Koepsel / Bongarts / Getty Images)

If it wasn’t for that damn plot twist. On May 19, Jupp Heynckes will walk on the grass again for the last time. Because he agreed to do Uli Hoeneß a friendly service when successes such as this final seemed far away. But now the cameras will chase him one last time, and hopefully he will lift this golden thing into the night sky for the last time. It’s crazy that the man’s at this point again. Only a few months ago this situation was hard to imagine. Now it is within reach.

Is there a knockout vaccine for Bayern?

On the other hand, however, there is a team that wants to prevent this repetition. Of course, the situation is a little different for FC Bayern. 2013 was all about making history. The triple, which Louis van Gaal was narrowly denied in 2010, he had to make clear against Stuttgart. For him as well, there was a certain pressure to succeed.

This time Heynckes has nothing left to lose. Even in the event of defeat, FC Bayern would no longer have any argument for denying their coach a statue on Säbener Strasse. Nevertheless, the situation is similar. Heynckes wasn’t one hundred percent satisfied this week either. A 4-1 defeat against VfB Stuttgart was the worst possible farewell from the Bundesliga. His team may have been aware of this during the week.

Even if Bayern with some amateurs in the team made sure that Frankfurt drowned recently in the Allianz Arena, the situation on Saturday evening is a completely different one. The SGE has been underestimated in the final phase of the season. Although the results of the last few weeks do not necessarily speak for Hessen, on good days they are a dangerous team.

That showed up also in the first leg of the Bundesliga, when Bayern completely lost control in the second half of the match altogether. Frankfurt can defend well, but above all with flexibility. They move quickly, cover many zones of the playing field in deeper formation, but also press higher at the right moments without losing their compactness.

If Bayern don’t have the necessary concentration and attitude, their future coach threatens to knock them out. He too has his goals. The alleged loss of authority due to the announcement of his change and his future do not play a minor role. After last year’s experience, Eintracht now wants to finally bring this trophy to Frankfurt.

Therefore, the Munich team has to make sure that the pass is sharp, the pass is accurate and the positional play is correct right from the start. The three big P’s, if you will. In a video analysis that goes a little deeper into tactical detail, we explain what this may look like:


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Jupp Heynckes, Trainergott!

Tactics, sentimentality, special stories, explosiveness, a golden cup, a full stadium – the cup evening brings everything. Dinner is served. The Jupp Heynckes farewell tour, which after the great excitement of 2013 is now once again taking a lap of honour, will really come to an end. Really! The Bayern Executive Board has also now realized this.

And when the referee blows the whistle one last time on Saturday evening in Berlin, the protagonist of his own heroic story will hopefully rip his arms in the air one last time. One last time he would have the opportunity to sneak across the pitch with Peter Hermann and his team of coaches, watch his celebrating team and shortly afterwards lift the trophy into the Berlin night sky.

Until the unmistakable demand for his person comes out from the Ostkurve. Then Jupp Heynckes will be thrown into the air one last time before he can go into retirement as the greatest coach in Bayern’s club history. As his heroic story with the club comes to an end, the club should announce that the long overdue statue has been built. With the inscription: ” Jupp Heynckes, Trainergott!”

He can admire it every day when he returns in October, as Thomas Müller has already indicated. Damn plot twists.

»Eier, wir brauchen Eier!«

— Oliver Kahn

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