An “outstanding” training camp has come to an end, says Michael Köllner, the weather was great, as was the friendly and training performance of his players. Normally it would now be said at this point: everyone is on board. That’s what you say when you want to affirm that a candidate for promotion really wants to be promoted. After all, the third division football team TSV 1860 Munich At the training camp in Belek, Turkey, even a few from the second row drew attention to themselves. Like Martin Kobylanski, who was not allowed to play more than 90 minutes in 17 league games before the winter break, and who was not even in the squad in the last game of 2022. The only problem is that Kobylanski will most likely achieve nothing at all by drawing attention to himself.
The outstanding training camp wasn’t all that outstanding either, because there was an outstanding player missing that coach Köllner would have liked to have had with him and who will be seeded. A player in Kobylanski’s position.
There were delays in the loan deal for Raphael Holzhauser, 29, and so Köllner let himself be carried away to an extremely emotional freak immediately before leaving for Munich: One was “weakly positioned” in the eighth position, he complained, “we only Kobylanski, Wörl and Tallig have there.” With the departure, the question also hung in the air as to whether Köllner was not also angry with the managing director Günther Gorenzel because of the delay in signing the contract.
Ultimately, Holzhauser traveled to Munich at almost the same time, just from somewhere else, on Wednesday he was presented. It is quite possible that the former Bundesliga player from FC Augsburg, who has now been loaned out by the Belgian first division club Oud-Heverlee Leuven, will already be in the starting eleven this Saturday for the third division restart at Waldhof Mannheim (2 p.m.).
A quick look back at the penultimate training camp: In the summer, it was said for a long time, Köllner got everything he wanted. Nine newcomers were there, including Kobylanski, 28 years old, after all, with the experience of many second division games and also a few in the first division. At the time, nobody thought that the sixties were still looking for an experienced player in central midfield, especially since Köllner said at the time in Saalfelden, Austria: “I think that would be unfair to the group.” If you have the feeling that there is “room for improvement” in one or the other position, you might get someone else by the end of August. Even if that seemed rather unrealistic per se due to the financial situation of the lions.
A furious start to the season followed. Although regulars like attacker Marcel Bär were injured again and again, there was hardly any room for improvement. In the autumn, however, inexplicably poor performances followed, and the self-proclaimed candidate for promotion slipped to sixth place. After the 1-1 draw against Rot-Weiss Essen, Köllner promised to work meticulously on the weak points.
Exactly two months later, the now 53-year-old is back in the press room and says that he doesn’t want to linger much longer on topics such as a bad mood. In the two months, hard work was done to play football successfully again.
But isn’t the atmosphere in the team also important for this? And: Is this now better after statements like those about Kobylanski, Wörl and Tallig?
Holzhauser’s most important qualities are “in the area of leadership,” says Köllner, where he saw “a vacuum.”
For Köllner, the answer is also: Holzhauser. “He completely fulfills our profile,” he enthuses. Of course, sporting qualities also flow into this profile, there is an urgent need for a connection player between defense and attack. But the most important ones are “in the area of leadership,” says Köllner, where he saw “a vacuum”: “In the last few weeks, responsibility lay with an 18-year-old,” says Köllner. So at Marius Wörl. Kobylanski is not even mentioned two days before the important game in Mannheim, who are strong at home. The case of Quirin Moll also shows that Köllner does not equate a lot of experience with leadership qualities. The 31-year-old defensive player (264 professional games) was not even allowed to travel to Belek with Marius Willsch and Lorenz Knöferl. It is quite possible that Moll will leave the lions in the current transfer phase.
But all of this also means that the expectations placed on Holzhauser are enormous right from the start. At the same time, Köllner linked his own fate to his performance: without Holzhauser, you wouldn’t have a promotion team (although that was still the case in the summer), he said, ergo: with Holzhauser you would. A loan player now has to ensure that the team is no longer plagued by mysterious collective failures, that it gets back into the game and climbs up the table. Köllner is now under much more pressure than before the transfer.
Officially, Köllner was already trying to get in a good mood after his return. He was just angry before departure because the desired player had missed the training camp. But his statements were “zero point zero dig” in the direction of Gorenzel. But at least something was missing in the press conference: a message between the lines, if necessary an outstanding phrase that at 1860 Munich everyone is pulling together to achieve the common, big goal. The penultimate game of the first half of the season is on paper. Waldhof Mannheim is a pursuer of the lions and the strongest team in the league at home. And thus, depending on the outcome, a catalyst for every kind of mood.