Eintracht Frankfurt, who have spent 33 years in the Bundesliga, would have been hoping to get their season off to a flyer. Currently sitting 11th in the Bundesliga, Die Adler (the Eagles) founded in 1899, have suffered a frustrating campaign to date under 54-year-old manager Armin Veh. His team played various friendlies during the summer to help with their preparations. They impressed, most noticeably when FC Heidenheim were hit for six along with Eintracht Stadtallendorf. They later secured home victories against English sides Fulham and Leeds United, and looked prepared for a positive campaign, even with prolific striker Alex Meier absent for the first weeks as he was still recovering from his injury last Spring.
On the 16th August, the first game of the season opened, a trip to the Volkswagen Arena against Wolfsburg. Two Wolfsburg goals early on from Perisic and Dost was enough to seal the points for the home side, despite a consolation from former Bayer Leverkusen and new signing Eintracht signing Stefan Reinartz. So not the best start. There first victory came on the 29th August in a 4-1 away win over VFB Stuttgart. An Adam Hlousek own goal, and a brace from new signing Luc Castaignos, 23, brought in from FC Twente, was enough to seal the win, with Haris Seferovic adding another Eintracht goal.
With their tails up, the next test was a home match against FC Koln, who were unbeaten in their first three games of the season. Meier made his season debut, notching a hat trick, Castaignos had a brace and Seferovic single to take all three points to the delight of the 51,000 in the Commerzbank Arena, as Eintracht marched on with a 6-2 victory. Things were starting to look good. Was this now going to be the springboard to a very successful season?
Draws against Hamburg and Hertha BSC with defeats to Schalke in Gelsenkirchen, Ingolstadt 04 and Borussia Mönchengladbach have since left manager Veh scratching his head on how to reproduce the form shown against Koln. On October 30 Die Adler faced a fit and firing Bayern Munich side, a test that seemed overwhelming consider the contrast in forms between the two clubs. Manager Veh replaced three players: Oczipka, Ignjovski and Hasebe started, while Reinartz, Russ and Djakpa were on the bench. The fans showed true passion and so did the team in defense, only allowing three Bayern attempts on goal. Of course Bayern were dominant throughout and had most of the possession but the Eagles were working hard and it paid off, securing a 0-0 draw. It was a good display by Veh’s side, who also managed to keep scoring machine Robert Lewandowski quiet and away from the headlines.
It seems Eintracht may have found their feet again and will now look build on their MatchDay 11 draw against the Bundesliga champions. A tricky test awaits them next, when they face Hoffenheim at the Rhein-Neckar Arena on Saturday 7th November, a struggling side looking for a bounce from the coaching change that brought in Huub Stevems to replace Markus Gisdol. Veh’s men still need to find consistent scoring, an issue that wasn’t seen by many as a problem for Eintracht Frankfurt going into the season, given the talented players in their attack. But in fact, Frankfurt have been shut out in five of their thirteen competitive matches, not only by Bayern, but also byf Hamburg, FC Ingolstadt, Schalke and third-division side Erzgebirge Aue. The run up to Christmas looks like an opportunity to gain points and climb the table, but only if the goals come. Then, who knows, but Veh and company may even to fulfill their preseason promise and enter contention for European qualification.
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