Football: Foda threatens a fiasco in Zurich

Foda, who held the highest coaching position in Austria from 2017 to this spring, succeeded Andre Breitenreiter, who had migrated to Hoffenheim in Germany, and was given a contract in Zurich until 2024. After the worst start by a master in 100 years are at least currently doubted. Especially since they failed early on in the Champions League qualification against Karabakh Agdam (AZE).

In between, the first (and only) win of the season was achieved in qualifying for the UEFA Europa League, a 2-0 win at Northern Irish champions Linfield. But just three days later, in the famous Letzigrund, there was another setback. Good chances of taking the lead were missed, which was also due to the strong ÖFB team goalie Heinz Lindner in the Sions box. After that, they conceded three goals after errors in just eleven minutes. The 13-time champion has maneuvered himself into a negative spiral, from which Foda now has to fight his way out with his confidants Thomas Kristl and Imre Szabics.

Angry Foda remains confident

0:4 against Young Boys, 0:0 against Lucerne, 0:2 against St. Gallen and now 0:3 against Sion. The surprising, because so superior champion of the previous season has slipped into a veritable earnings crisis. “The bottom line is that we lose a game again, like we did against YB or St. Gallen, which was totally unnecessary,” Foda was annoyed after the game. At the same time, as in the ÖFB times, he remains calm even in a crisis situation, can deal with the pressure because of his experience and is confident. He just hopes that the mistakes will be corrected at the back and that efficiency will finally be proven at the front: “We have to get on track as soon as possible.”

APA/Michael Buholzer

Foda when he took office in June, two months later the club was in a real crisis

There were only a few whistles in the stadium after the end of the game, but the critical voices naturally got louder. The “Neue Zürcher Zeitung” stated: “FC Zurich is in a severe earnings crisis (…). He (the club, note) has lost his sense of style and self-image, which has to do with the constant personal and, above all, tactical shifting of the new coach.” His reply: “If we make mistakes like this, it has nothing to do with the system.” The “Blick” meanwhile wrote: “The champion is victorious, goalless and somehow at a loss. Foda only changes for the first time when you are already 0: 3 behind. And then there are no offensive changes.” The newspaper wants to know “that the players are always irritated by Foda’s ideas”.

The German TV expert Markus Babbel, who once played football in Switzerland, is ambivalent in his statements. In one respect, he points out that Foda has inherited an extremely difficult legacy because FC Zurich became champions “out of nowhere” last season and some players “overperformed”. The team didn’t play bad either.

Coach appointment is in question

On the other hand, Babbel cannot understand Foda’s obligation. “Breitreiter is extroverted, communicative, Franco Foda is a completely different type who is not so communicative with the team, doesn’t get everyone on board, trusts a small team of coaches. Technically we don’t need to talk, he proved his qualities, but I was very surprised to get a completely different type of coach for FC Zurich,” said Babbel – even before the defeat against Sion last Sunday.

Football TV expert Markus Babbel

AP/Icon Sportswire/Speed Media

Today’s TV expert Markus Babbel cannot understand the order itself

After that at the latest, the fans also questioned the appointment of this type of trainer in social networks. “We wanted an experienced coach and one who is hungry and ambitious,” said sports director Marinko Jurendic at the presentation in early June. And club president Ancillo Canepa added at the time: “With Franco Foda we were able to hire the coach we wanted. We are convinced that he will continue to develop the FCZ first team because of his personality and experience.” Foda still seems to have the time for this, which is normal at this stage of the season.

Second guest performance in Switzerland

Foda returned as a coach at club level in June after many years of successful coaching at Sturm Graz (champion and cup winners, ed.) and German second division club 1. FC Kaiserslautern in the 2012/13 season. Foda had already gained experience in Switzerland during his playing days – in the spring of 1997 at FC Basel. At that time he left the club for Graz after only six months, Foda hopes to stay longer this time.

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