Eintracht Frankfurt born an bred, Timothy Chandler is a key member of the Eagles' squad both on and off the pitch. - © Lukas Schulze/Bundesliga/Bundesliga Collection via Getty Images
Eintracht Frankfurt born an bred, Timothy Chandler is a key member of the Eagles' squad both on and off the pitch. - © Lukas Schulze/Bundesliga/Bundesliga Collection via Getty Images

Eintracht Frankfurt's Timothy Chandler: "It was incredible playing for the USA"


Timothy Chandler is famed for his laid-back manner, but it masks a fiery determination to win at all costs with Eintracht Frankfurt. Ahead of his team's Matchday 15 meeting with Bayer Leverkusen, bundesliga.com caught up with the 22-time USA international to discuss his roots in the game, the season so far and the Eagles' upturn in form.

bundesliga.com: You play Leverkusen on Matchday 15 in what looks set to be a lively battle...

Chandler: “It’ll definitely be a lively one! It’ll be a good game, fast and intense. We know about Leverkusen’s quality but we want to counter that and try to take the points.”

bundesliga.com: Why are things going so well for you all of a sudden?

Chandler: “We needed a bit of time to settle, but now you can see we're playing better football, not just relying on our battling or our mentality. We’re definitely playing better football and it’s improving from game to game. We’re growing in self-belief, we’re trying more things out and things are just going well on the pitch right now.”

The 31-year-old has made seven Bundesliga appearances so far in 2021/22, making six starts. - Weiss /Eibner-Pressefoto via www.imago-images.de/imago images/Eibner

bundesliga.com: You have been described as the 'Kindergarten Cop' in the team. What can you tell us about that?

Chandler: “Not quite the Kindergarten Cop, but I’m happy to look out for the younger players. I speak to them a lot and try to make them feel comfortable, feel at home. I know how it is for a young player, they maybe come from another country on their own and live in Frankfurt, a big city, and everything is new for them. I’m happy to keep an eye on them and make sure they are doing OK because we’re a big group and it’s important that everyone feels comfortable.”

bundesliga.com: What makes you the joker of the team? How does it manifest itself?

Chandler: “Why am I the joker? I can’t explain that really, I just am the way I am! The guys laugh a lot about it, sometimes they thinks it’s funny, sometimes they think I’m a bit mad! I am just the way I am, sometimes I have to laugh at myself when I do certain things, and I need to remind myself that I’m 31 and I’m still messing around like this. But I am the way I am, I like to laugh, I’m happy to make sure there’s a good atmosphere, I like that a lot. You only live once so I think it’s a shame if you don’t laugh a lot.

bundesliga.com: What antics do you get up to that make people laugh?

Chandler: “Everything happens spontaneously. I never prepare anything, it just happens. That’s what makes most people laugh, I think.”

bundesliga.com: People say you’re the top role model at Eintracht, why is that?

Chandler: “Maybe because I’ve been here for so long. I was here as a youngster, I know the club very well. I know a lot of the staff here very well, so that’s why a lot of people say that. I also think it’s not necessarily because of me though; the city of Frankfurt is relaxed, the club is too, it’s like a family and that’s what I'm like as a person too, so it fits pretty well.”

Watch: From the archive: Chandler meets Patrick Owomoyela

bundesliga.com: How and where were you discovered?

Chandler: “It was at an indoor tournament, a championship in Hessen. I was there with my club at the time, Sportfreunde Oberau. We made it quite far and I was then invited to a trial at Eintracht. That’s how I started on my way to Eintracht.”

bundesliga.com: How was your time with the US national team?

Chandler: “It was incredible. It’s always a great experience to fly over there, also flying to countries like Costa Rica, Ecuador, Cuba. They are great experiences, great countries. You learn a lot, it was a great time. The World Cup in Brazil too, they are all unforgettable moments and really good memories.”

bundesliga.com: What’s your best moment in the Bundesliga so far?

Chandler: “My best Bundesliga moment is the first time I played in a Bundesliga stadium. That was when I was at Nuremberg, I started for the first time against Stuttgart. That’s something you never forget, that’s where it all started. I’d also say my return to Frankfurt, when I spoke to the people involved and knew I was going back to my hometown club. I have this picture at home, I printed it off, when I had my contract in my hand. Knowing I was coming home, although it wasn’t really a Bundesliga-specific memory, I wasn’t playing, it was one of the best moments of my career.”

Chandler helps create a relaxed environment in the changing room, and actively integrates newcomers into the squad. - Sebastian Widmann/Bundesliga/Bundesliga Collection via Getty Images

bundesliga.com: What’s your best moment in the Bundesliga this season?

Chandler: “This season? I have to think! Of course the win against Bayern is unforgettable in the context of this season. There's still a long way to go though, there’ll be more great moments to come, I hope. So far we can talk about the win against Bayern. When I saw everyone’s faces, everyone was dead on their feet after the game but you never forget the happiness on their faces either.”

bundesliga.com: Your win in Munich on matchday 7 surprised everyone. You’re a pretty crazy team, right?

Chandler: “A really crazy team! People close to our team can see what an incredible group of lads we’ve got here, the characters we’ve got, what kind of a squad we’ve got. We’re like a crazy family from different countries. Like a small home where people come from different countries and live here together. It’s really incredible to see the atmosphere around the place. There are sometimes discussions, but you can always iron things out in the dressing rooms. You saw against Bayern how everyone fights for each other, otherwise you’ve got no chance at the Allianz Arena, and we proved that we can do that on that day. We surprised a lot of people that day and ruined a lot of bets!”

Watch: Highlights of Frankfurt's win over Bayern

bundesliga.com: What would you have done if you hadn’t made it as a player?

Chandler: “I could answer you honestly here but I won’t! No, I think I’d have done something with cars, I was really into cars, I did a training course. I think I’d have sold cars, repaired cars, something like that.”

bundesliga.com: Apparently you waddle like a duck, is that true?

Chandler: “I watch myself running quite often, a lot of people think that, and they think it gets even worse from the 70th minute! It’s possible, but I don’t know.”

bundesliga.com: Does your big backside get in the way when you’re playing?

Chandler: “It doesn’t get in my way, maybe my opponents’ though, when they want to run past me! But it doesn’t bother me because it leaves a bit less space for the opposition.”