They must have something in the water there…
Frechen, a small town on the outskirts of Cologne, only has around 50,000 inhabitants. But with Reiner Calmund (formerly Leverkusen), Michael Reschke (formerly Bayern) and now George Syrianos (32), three successful football managers come from there.
That’s what they’re finding out in England right now. Nottingham Forest return to the Premier League after 23 years – beating Huddersfield 1-0 in front of 80,019 fans at Wembley.
The club also owes its rise to a German-Greek from the same Cologne suburb.
” data-zoom-src=”https://bilder.bild.de/fotos/nearly-40000-fans-celebrate-the-premier-league-return-of-the-earlier-european-cup-winner-on-dem-marktplatz-a7b510eacc3044d7b1921f047f7e1914- 80306578/image/3.image.jpg”/> Almost 40,000 fans celebrate the Premier League return of the former European Cup winner on the market squarePhoto: Richard Sellers/dpa
Almost 40,000 fans celebrate the Premier League return of the former European Cup winner on the market squarePhoto: Richard Sellers/dpa
Nottingham wants to stir up the Premier League again – as it did last century. When Syrianos came to the Robin Hood city from VfB Stuttgart in 2021, the club was 17th in the second division. Eleven months later, the rise!
“The atmosphere in the city after the victory was of course fantastic – in the end almost 40,000 people celebrated with the team on the town hall square,” says Syrianos. And beams: “I believe that Nottingham is comparable to traditional clubs such as Stuttgart, Schalke, Dortmund or 1. FC Köln due to its history and the large fan base.”
The city has soccer and a world famous legend with a bow and arrow. Nottingham has memorials to Forest’s iconic coach Brian Clough – and of course Robin Hood.
Syrianos: “I heard the stories about the legendary games against HSV and 1. FC Köln first-hand here. The charm and family atmosphere that this club creates can hardly be compared.”
The tactic: annoy the big ones with clever underdog football. “Personally, I really like the image of Robin Hood,” explains Syrianaos. But he warns against too much cockiness: “We have risen after 23 years in the second and third division and must first work with all humility to establish ourselves at the top.” After all: In the FA Cup last season, the first division clubs Leicester and Arsenal were defeated , against Liverpool there was a tight 0:1.
From the basement child of the second division to the climber – how does that work?
The squad planner: “We initiated a change, gave up ten players with an average age of 30 and brought in ten new guys with an average age of 23 in return. Due to the financial gap in European football, there is no alternative for us to work with young players with potential, but it is also groundbreaking.”
And they dared to fire the coach in September. Get a young Welsh head coach in Steve Cooper (42). “We have great people at the club in Dane Murphy and Kyriakos Dourekas. And with Miltiadis Marinakis, the owner’s son, someone who believed in the project despite the failures of the past.”
Last season Forest spent about 5.2 million euros on transfers as a second division club. The rise now makes the club an estimated 200 million richer.
Syrianos: “Nevertheless, we will continue to act sensibly on the transfer market in the future. The development of transfer income and salaries in recent years has already been too rapid.”
” data-zoom-src=”https://bilder.bild.de/fotos/nottinghams-joe-worrall-m–mit-dem-aufstiegmock-nach-sieg-versus-huddersfield-vor-80019-fans-in -we-e2fdcd9839164cf4bc03d1e3b5ccc295-80306214/image/6.image.jpg”/> Nottingham’s Joe Worrall (centre) with the promotion pot after beating Huddersfield at WembleyPhoto: Mike Egerton/dpa
Nottingham’s Joe Worrall (centre) with the promotion pot after beating Huddersfield at WembleyPhoto: Mike Egerton/dpa