Frankfurt - After 14 years as coach of SV Werder Bremen, Thomas Schaaf is preparing for his first season in charge of Eintracht Frankfurt.
Click here to read Part I of our interview with Thomas Schaaf.
In this second part of his interview with bundesliga.com, he provides an insight into what he expects from his first season at the Hessian club and explains what kind of football he would like to see them playing.
bundesliga.com: You've got to live with the fact that, this summer, Frankfurt have lost practically half of their first-team regulars from last season. Does it help you that this is a situation you remember well from Bremen and therefore know how to deal with it?
Thomas Schaaf: I think that actually we're experiencing more changes at Eintracht than was perhaps initially planned. We knew that one or two players would be leaving, but in the end, we've lost more than we expected. Now we've got to see how we deal with this situation. But you're right, and that's why I'm not so worried by it all. We're bound to replace them, the only question is how soon we can do it.
bundesliga.com: Are Werder and Eintracht comparable in terms of the resources they have?
Schaaf: I've got to admit that I've never been one for comparisons - that's not my kind of thing.
bundesliga.com: But shouldn't a place like Frankfurt be superior to one like Bremen or Hannover, who have just signed Eintracht's top scorer from last season Joselu?
Schaaf: I'm convinced that Eintracht have everything it takes. This club has a great stadium and a tremendous following. You can count on the club management, which has worked very hard in recent years and always been constructive. Of course you would wish for more involvement from a city which, without doubt, has the resources given its status as a banking centre, but we also know that you can earn the money you need by playing good and successful football. And the more fans we win over, then the greater the chances are that more people from the surrounding area will be willing to invest in us.
bundesliga.com: Is good football for you still attacking football?
Schaaf: On the one condition that people enjoy the things we are doing on a day-to-day basis, then yes. Training should be a pleasure every single day as that gives you a greater identity. Of course the results of our efforts should look as good as possible, but they must also be as successful as possible too! Only offering pretty football is not enough nowadays. Playing pretty without winning is not what anybody wants to see. We've just seen that after Germany's game against Algeria at the World Cup - you need to find the right balance.
bundesliga.com: If there's not so much in the way of financial resources, then you've got to build on youth – how do you see Frankfurt in that department?
Schaaf: I've just met with our youth team coaches, Uwe Bindewald and Alexander Schur, and I'm convinced that we're in a good situation. is a forward we are expecting to make the grade this season, while there are others with great potential too, such as and , who are both involved in the UEFA Under-19 European Championships. We're also going to take several of our under-19 players into our training camp with us to give them a chance to prove themselves.
bundesliga.com: Considering the large following and solid finances you have, but also that you have also lost half of your regulars from last season, what sort of a target would you set the team for the coming season?
Schaaf: What's important for me to start with is that everybody understands that we've all got to pull in the same direction from day one. The quicker we pull together, the more likely it is we will produce good football, which satisfies both ourselves and our fans. That of course means we will be looking to get as many points as we can, as quickly as possible, to get us into a safe position. That's going to be hard enough.
bundesliga.com: With Makoto Hasebe, Eintracht have signed the captain of the Japan national team and a very experienced player. Is he to play a big role within the team?
Schaaf: [Sporting director] Bruno Hübner made the move for Hasebe before I was appointed, but it's a signing I totally agree with.
Interview by Andreas Kötter