Hamburg fail to relish taste of success
Now that the Bundesliga is done and dusted and Wolfsburg are deserved champions, one should spare a thought for Hamburg SV who until a few weeks ago were in the running for three trophies. They ended up with none.
But Hamburg are arguably the only team in the Bundesliga this season who managed to play high level football in all competitions. Wolfsburg only needed to do it for one, after being eliminated early on in the UEFA Cup and the German Cup. Bayern were out in the last eight in the Champions League and the German Cup.
Third-placed Stuttgart and fourth-placed Hertha Berlin also had only the Bundesliga to focus on.
Martin Jol’s Hamburg, plagued by injuries and suspensions throughout the season, were in the running for the Bundesliga title until three weeks from the end. They also reached the German Cup and UEFA Cup semi-finals where they lost to rivals Werder Bremen. And that is the really bitter part.
Werder, their rivals in northern Germany, eliminated them in both competitions and a week later also inflicted a Bundesliga defeat that dashed all of Hamburg’s title hopes.
They then lost further ground and going into the final matchday they were in danger of even missing a European spot for next season altogether.
That is until the very last minute of their match against Eintracht Frankfurt when Piotr Trochowski, arguably their most valuable player this season, scored the winner for a 3-2 victory, beating Borussia Dortmund to the last spot in the new Europa League next season.