The Berlin club announced on Sunday that it had terminated the contract of Sandro Schwarz with immediate effect, and the former manager of the Hungarian national football team will take his place until the end of the season. Interestingly, Pál Dárdai has already managed the Bundesliga team on two previous occasions.
As a player, Pál Dárdai still holds the club’s record with 286 league games to his name, and as a coach, he is seen by fans as Hertha’s savior. He played a total of 372 games for the Berlin club between 1997 and 2011, before moving on to coach the youth team. He managed the senior team from February 2015 to summer 2019, and from January to November 2021.
Although he reached the top half of the Bundesliga table many times with Hertha, while also managing to keep the team in the league in a difficult situation in the past, he was eventually sacked twice. He has not taken a job since his last dismissal, but he will not have an easy job this time either. Hertha BSC is currently 18th in the table with just 22 points. With only six games left in the season, they are four points away from a secure 15th place.
“Everyone is aware of my relationship with Hertha, so I did not have to think long when the call came. There are six games left, possibly two more, and I will do everything I can with the team to stay in the Bundesliga. It will not be easy, but I am looking forward to it,” the club’s website quoted Dárdai as saying.
Dárdai also commented on the news to Hungarian sports website Nemzeti Sport: “It is not a difficult task, but an even more difficult one. It was not in the plan at all to be the head coach of Hertha again; since Fredi Bobic left I have been talking to the club’s management about possibly returning to the youth team. But now they approached me, they persuaded me for hours and we finally agreed: I will try to help and then we will see how we go from there in the summer.”
Obviously, anyone who has spent as much time as I have at this club as a player, as a youth coach, as a head coach, will always have Hertha’s fate at heart, but of course I know exactly what a terribly difficult task I have undertaken.”
According to Hertha’s website, Volkan Bulut and Daniel Fischer have also left the professional staff, while another Hungarian, Tamás Bódog, confirmed to public media that he will stay on and assist Dárdai.
“I am very pleased that Pál Dárdai has committed himself to leading the team in this challenging period for the club. He has already shown twice that he can stabilize the team and lead it out of situations like this with his clear style and planning. We are convinced of that again,” said sporting director Benjamin Weber.
Hertha suffered a 5-2 defeat at the hands of Schalke 04 on Friday night, dropping to last place in the Bundesliga with six rounds to go. Dárdai will take charge of the team in their first league game, a home clash against Werder Bremen next Saturday.
Featured photo via Facebook/Dárdai Pál maradj kapitány