February 23, 2024

Switzerland meets Germany, Hungary and Scotland

Germany, Hungary and Scotland are Switzerland’s opponents in the European Championship. After a disappointing qualification, coach Murat Yakin must dispel any doubts.

Murat Yakin speaks with German national team coach Julian Nagelsmann during the draw in Hamburg.

Martin Messner/AP

Who’s in the last and fourth bowl, at the bottom and at the back? They are the Swiss, the worst of all the teams that qualified directly. When the piece of paper bearing the words “Switzerland” was shown in front of the television camera on Saturday at 6:46 p.m. in Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie Hall, for a brief moment, it did not matter whether the Swiss had come from the bottom or from the bottom: Germany would be Scotland and Hungary. The Swiss group’s competitors next June. What a joy!

Red carpet yakin

At least that’s the opinion of Swiss coach Murat Yakin, who is already in a great mood in Hamburg. On Friday evening, the city derby visited HSV – St. Pauli, and the atmosphere was “fantastic”. After the draw, he shared his joy with Rudi Föller, president of the German team.

“I don’t want to be separated now,” Jakin said on Swiss television when asked if he was happy that he did not have to play against Croatia and Spain, but against the host nation. It was drawn to the teams that were within reach should lie. “It would definitely have been more difficult in other groups,” Yakin says. It is more difficult to achieve at least third place, which may be enough to advance. “That’s our goal,” says the coach. He is relieved that only Murat Yakin can relax.

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Until recently, it was not certain whether Murat Yakin would remain coach of the national team. In typical assembly-like leisure, the leadership promised to clarify the question in the days following the drawing of lots. But this time, the union’s factories were suddenly grinding quickly, and it became clear that the external and internal pressure had become very great. Last Tuesday, the Communications Department at Football House announced: “With Murat Yakin as coach of the 2024 European Championship.”

Pierluigi Tammi, Yakin’s immediate superior, explained the decision the next day. The director of the national teams recently made it clear that the media and the public are not only criticizing Yakin’s work, but also criticizing him. As a reminder: the victory over Andorra is the most prominent in the statistics of the last seven matches, otherwise there were five draws and one defeat in the end, and repeated grumbling and complaining from within the team. After the last qualifying match, Tammy said he couldn’t guarantee that Yakin would continue.

The federation’s president, Dominique Blanc, had a different opinion last October: Yakin would be the Swiss coach in the European Championship as well. After consultation with the Board of Directors, it has now become clear that things will certainly continue until the European Championship, as stipulated in the contract.

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Discussions about the association’s most important employee are now over, at least for the next few weeks. Test matches will continue until March at the latest. But for now, Tammy and the union leadership have found some peace in the training debate.

Tammy seemed convinced that Yakin had concrete ideas and actions to optimally prepare the team for the tournament. Tammy concluded: “I am ready to implement Murad’s ideas and desires.” Did the director roll out the red carpet for the employee? However, Tami did not want to go into detail about the “ideas and measures” Yakin had in mind; It must be “considered and discussed internally first.”

Tammy spoke of “certain values” that were violated, describing it as “the joy that was missing.” The players are responsible for that, but the coach is ultimately the man who sets the direction. After all, it seems clear that Yakin has also realized that there are problems in the team.

Changes – but which ones?

“It was nice to sit down and write it all down; I remembered some things,” says Yakin, who is now in Hamburg. He did not want to say whether the argument with captain Granit Xhaka was one of the ideas or the failure to call up a right-back like Lewin Bloom. The statistics clearly show that the playing style is correct, apart from the evaluation of opportunities and behavior when receiving goals.

“There may be staff changes,” Yakin said. Assistant Vincent Cavin will move to Lausanne as sporting director. In Hamburg, he did not want to decide who Yakin would recruit. The main thing: Germany.

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All Europe Emerging Groups 2024:

Group A: Switzerland, Germany, Hungary, Scotland
Group B: Spain, Albania, Croatia, Italy
Group C: England, Denmark, Slovenia, Serbia
Group D: France, Austria, Netherlands, Appendix A winners
Group E: Belgium, Romania, Slovakia, Appendix B winners
Group F: Portugal, Türkiye, Czech Republic, winners in Appendix C