Hertha Berlin’s season has already got off to a traumatic season with the capital club suffering a shock 5-4 defeat to second division newcomers Eintracht Braunschweig in the DFB Pokal Cup.
Yet there are reasons for optimism heading to the new Bundesliga campaign after a troubled season last time out. The Old Lady were flirting with relegation when they hired Bruno Labbadia as their fourth coach of the season in April and ended up in 10th place.
Much more will be expected of the capital club in 2020-21. Labbadia’s arrival saw the team improve towards the end of the season, investments in the squad have been made and there will be hope the team can make a European push.
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Starting with the 2020-21 season, anyone in the US can watch every Hertha Berlin game live on ESPN+:
ESPN+ will have live coverage of every Bundesliga match in 20-21, as well as DFL Supercup, Bundesliga 2, Serie A, FA Cup, Carabao Cup, MLS and other live sports. It also includes every 30-for-30 documentary and additional original content (both video and written) all for $5.99 per month.
Or, if you also want Disney+ and Hulu, you can get all three for $12.99 per month, which works out to about 31 percent savings:
Once signed up for ESPN+, you can watch every Hertha Berlin match live on the ESPN app on your Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV or Firestick, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, iPhone, Android phone, iPad or Android tablet. Or you can watch on your computer via ESPN.com.
Hertha Berlin 2020-21 Preview
Stability will be key for Hertha in 2020-21 after a chaotic season, but there are plenty of reasons for optimism at the Olympiastadion. One of the biggest comes in the shape of 21-year-old Brazilian forward Matheus Cunha.
The youngster arrived in January and has already shown just what an exciting player he can be for Hertha. The tricky forward can play out wide or centrally and has the flair to light up this team.
🥅 Score a superb goal 👏
🏟️ Rush from the stadium to the hospital 🏥
👶 See the birth of your first child 😃
— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) May 25, 2020
Of course, at just 21 Cunha is far from the finished product and can be erratic at times, but there’s no doubt he’s a real handful for defenders and will be a threat next season.
Hertha will also be hoping for more from striker Krzysztof Piątek. The 25-year-old has been linked with a move away despite only arriving at the club in January from AC Milan.
Labbadia told Kicker the club need to figure out how to get the best out of a player who only managed four goals for Hertha in 2020.
“He has to become more present and effective. Krzysztof works extremely hard, but his abilities need to come into play more. We have to think about how we can get him into the right positions, and how we need to play to make sure he gets more involved.”
There’s plenty more quality in the Hertha squad which means a European push should not be ruled out. Players such as Dedryck Boyata, Mathew Leckie, and Vladimir Darida have bags of experience, while exciting youngsters such as Javairo Dilrosun, Dodi Lukebakio and of course Cunha offer real hope there’s a bright future on the horizon.
Transfers Ins and Outs
Hertha have not been shy in spending money in recent seasons and more moves have been made this summer. Midfielder Lucas Tousart could be their most important signing. The deal was actually announced in January but the youngster was then loaned straight back to Les Gones.
The 23-year-old is a central midfielder whose preferred position is at No. 6 role. He’s already told reporters how he thinks he’s suited to the Bundesliga.
“It’s a league that has a lot of good teams, a strong level and high intensity. I think itsuits a player like me, and as a young player it’s exciting to discover a new league.
“I find the football that’s played here really interesting, and the work is meticulous and intensive. I already had the chance to take on Hoffenheim and Leipzig with Lyon, and they were exciting contests.
“As well as that there’s usually a great atmosphere in the stadiums. That’s always nice for a player, and I hope we can all experience that again soon.”
Another key signing is that of 27-year-old Colombian striker Jhon Córdoba from FC Köln. The forward will wear the No. 15 shirt and will add more firepower to the attack.
— Hertha Berlin (@HerthaBSC_EN) September 15, 2020
Hertha have also signed goalkeeper Alexander Schwolow from Freiburg and right-back Deyovaisio Zeefuik from Dutch side Groningen. Maurice Covic, Nils Körber, and Daishawn Redan have all returned from loan spells.
The transfer window also saw striker Vedad Ibisevic leave for Schalke, while talented young midfielder Lazar Samardzic has joined RB Leipzig. Salomon Kalou and Alexander Esswein have also left after their contracts expired.
Manager: Bruno Labbadia
Labbadia only took charge in April but has looked a good appointment in his first five months in charge. He won four and drew one of Hertha’s last nine games in 2019-20 and had the team looking far more solid.
The 54-year-old has a strong squad from which to choose from and should not lack for options in the new season. A top-half finish will surely be the minimum requirement from a manager who has bags of Bundesliga experience as a player and a manager.
Our boss scored 103 goals in the @Bundesliga_EN 🔥
— Hertha Berlin (@HerthaBSC_EN) September 10, 2020
Labbadia has certainly sounded upbeat despite some mixed results in the build-up to the new campaign. Hertha beat Viktoria Koln but then suffered defeats to Ajax, PSV and Hamburg.
Yet the manager did not seem too concerned by the losses when he spoke at a press conference ahead of the start of the season.
“The first half of pre-season was brilliant, as we were able to implement a lot of new ideas. With the friendly results and then the international break, the second half has not been quite so good. But that’s just how it goes in preseason sometimes, especially given the current circumstances. It’s about how we kick on from here – that will be decisive.”
There’s plenty of potential for Hertha Berlin to go on and enjoy a strong season in the Bundesliga. Labbadia appears to have the team heading in the right direction but will need a strong start to prevent doubts creeping in and more chaos ensuing.
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