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Philipp Max calls for more commitment from Eintracht professionals

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Philipp Max calls for more commitment from Eintracht professionals

Philipp Max arrives a good half hour late. But that doesn’t matter. Conversations with the Frankfurt professional footballer are usually productive – even in times when his club is not doing so well in terms of sport. Yes, not everything is going according to plan at Eintracht. But Max doesn’t think it’s fair that coach Dino Toppmöller is the focus of the criticism that is currently coming from many quarters.

“It’s true, at the beginning it was a lot of new things for us. And the word overload was also used. But the coach was always active from day one. He always had a clear idea of ​​how to play,” said Max in a small press session at the professional camp on Wednesday, where the cameras remained off and the left wing player was late because of a longer-than-planned health training session for the professional squad. “The coach always prepares us well for the opponent,” says the experienced football professional. “In difficult phases, we have to come closer together as a team.” He adds bluntly: “We have to work our butts off for Eintracht Frankfurt.”

“The goal must always be to play internationally”

Max has already experienced a lot in his career. He is now 30 years old. He is contractually bound to Eintracht until mid-2026. Max finds it entirely appropriate that the rumblings around Eintracht have become louder after the abrupt exit from the Conference League and unattractive games and results in everyday Bundesliga life because the team hasn’t really gotten off the ground for weeks and has forgotten how to win.

“Nevertheless, we are still four points ahead of our pursuers. That’s good at first, because our goal must always be to play internationally.” Max doesn’t want to go into detail about the major personnel change and doesn’t want to use it as an excuse for the team’s rollercoaster ride. “Sometimes, however, we didn’t reach the limits,” he says. “Of course we also ask ourselves the question of why this is the case.” Max is aware that “we always have to get the most out of fighting.”

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If you dream of Europe and want to be on the international stage next season, you have to improve. In terms of combat and play, there is still a gap between expectations and reality. The two upcoming league games – there are no longer any additional tasks in the European Cup and the DFB Cup – will show whether Eintracht continues to feel the breath of the competition or whether there is a danger of being overtaken and overtaken. Away on Saturday against the brash and strong newcomer Heidenheim (3.30 p.m. in the FAZ live ticker for the Bundesliga and on Sky), at home eight days later against Hoffenheim, who are directly behind Eintracht.

Looking for balance

Two games that point the way to the long final stretch of the season. Two games that Max is looking forward to. “I am very confident that things will get better in the next few weeks. We know the quality of football we have,” says Max, who scored his first goal of the season in the 2-2 draw against Wolfsburg last week. Because Eintracht has repeatedly been outplayed carelessly in previous tasks and has sometimes acted scatterbrained, Max is now also demanding that “we have to find simpler solutions when conceding goals.” The wing player sees the team as having the main responsibility. “It’s in us. We also have to show it at certain times.”

Max also noticed what was recently observed from the outside. “We haven’t quite found the balance between offense and defense yet.” To clarify: 23 match days have already been completed in the Bundesliga. The mechanisms should work better and harmonize.

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In the half-hour conversation, Max also recalls some of the lowest points so far after a good autumn. “We suffered a real setback in Cologne. These are sticking points that shouldn’t be allowed to happen.” But they happen again and again and seem to be part of the DNA of the moody unity. “You can win against Bochum at home,” says Max with a smug undertone, before immediately trying to make a basic point: “That’s football. You can’t always explain everything.” But you can try to do it better.

So, reports Max, the team did what they always have to do during training on Wednesday: practice standard situations. Corners from the left, corners from the right. If you’re looking for goals scored for Eintracht from corners this season, you won’t find anything. Omar Marmoush is and remains the man on whom all hopes rest offensively. It was pleasing, at least, that Max was able to make a small contribution to ensuring that we didn’t lose against Wolfsburg with the goal he prepared himself. “The week started well,” says Max. “And the mood in the team is still positive. For us, everyone has to work for each other. Football is a team sport.” And it can’t always be planned on the drawing board or laptop.

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