It was Hertha’s first draw of the season. But goalscorer Stevan Jovetic was a winner in the 1-1 draw against Bayer Leverkusen. And the day after, Krzysztof Piatek, whom he had ousted, received a striking entry in his “homework book”.
One convinced, the other stewed on the bench: Stevan Jovetic (left) and Krzysztof Piatek.
Some gates are nothing but gates – and some gates are little works of art. Last week, Pal Dardai had stated quite bluntly and very accurately that the current year on the offensive did not have the individual class of previous Hertha teams. On Sunday afternoon, it appeared that Stevan Jovetic was trying to give the lie to his superiors.
The Montenegrin took on a header that Maximilian Mittelstädt had resolutely pushed into the penalty area with his right foot and finished with a smooth movement with his left. It was the perfect symbiosis of quick action and technical talent that Hertha’s newcomer performed three minutes before the half-time break. The Süddeutsche Zeitung called the attacker’s stroke of genius “Oscar-worthy”, and the coach praised the next day: “That was an exceptional moment. Sometimes this moment is missing in our game. This time it was there.”
This fine-footed warrior, who has meanwhile left his footprints in all five major leagues in Europe and has hit the mark, soon after his arrival in Berlin at the end of July provided evidence of his extraordinary talent. In the pre-season test match against Liverpool (4: 3) in Innsbruck, half an hour of service time was enough for a brace at his premiere in the Hertha jersey, at the Bundesliga debut in Cologne in mid-August (1: 3) he scored after six minutes , in the second round of the cup in Münster (3: 1) in the third minute.
In the current World Cup qualification he has three goals after four appearances, on Saturday the Hertha professional will be captain of Montenegro against the Netherlands, on Tuesday against Turkey. The story of the first three and a half months in the new club also includes the fact that Jovetic, who is considered to be chronically prone to injury, was out for a month with a stubborn calf lesion that he suffered at 5-0 in Munich at the end of August.
In the meantime he has returned to full creative power, and the people of Leverkusen felt it. “A really good game against a very strong team” wrote Jovetic afterwards in the balance sheet. After a fine pass from Niklas Stark, he himself could even have increased his personal haul in the second half. But instead of accepting the ball, the 32-year-old with the dazzling vita (AC Florence, ManCity, Inter Milan, FC Sevilla, AS Monaco) used it directly – and clearly warped.
Two weeks ago I asked Admir to speak to him in his mother tongue: He’s a striker, not an outside player.
Pal Dardai on Stevan Jovetic
“If he had made a better decision on Niklas’ pass and hadn’t taken it volley, he would have scored two goals,” summed up Dardai – and was nevertheless able to see himself confirmed for the reshuffle of the storm center: “It worked well. Two weeks ago I asked Admir (assistant coach Admir Hamzagic, d. Ed.) to speak to him in his mother tongue: He’s a striker, not an outside player. He can play that, he showed that yesterday. He had good body language, that was a confirmation of my thoughts. I like that when someone does that not only in training, but also in the game. ” Offensive all-rounder Jovetic, at Hertha at the beginning of the season mainly as a left winger, convinced the first time as the sole force in the center of the storm.
Clear words towards Piatek
Krzysztof Piatek, a completely different guy than Jovetic and previously seeded as a ninth, had to give way – and put up with clear words from his coach on Monday. “I was not satisfied with the striker position recently,” said Dardai in a media briefing. “In my head was: I need someone who takes free kicks, has technique, takes a break and doesn’t just wait for the balls to come. On Friday evening it was clear to me that I would throw Jove in there. I need players up there, the balls can hold and not just wait for the moment. Krzysztof is lurking for the pass into the penalty area. I need more action up front. ”
So the tricky, shrewd combination player Jovetic, who likes to drop something and go towards the balls, came to the train. And Piatek, whose natural territory is the opponent’s penalty area, stayed on the bench for 90 minutes – also when Jovetic cleared his place after 73 grueling minutes on the sodden grass against the Bayer 04 central defenders.
Davie Selke came, which made sense with the score of 1-0 and the available spaces – and Piatek watched from outside until the end and now knows what the coach is asking of him: more participation in his own game and more physicality when belaying and Holding balls. These are exactly the starting points that Dardai’s predecessor Bruno Labbadia had already identified and criticized at Piatek.