The defeat in Cologne had consequences. Immediately after the match, the players were extremely tight-lipped, and fans of EintrachtTV also waited in vain for the popular "Voices on the match". At the beginning of the week, the team and coach were preparing for Friday's game against Hamburger SV in private, and apart from Bruno Hübner and Armin Veh, no one wanted to make any statements to the media. Now the captain of the Hessians, Alexander Meier, has broken the silence and given "Bild" a detailed interview.
Right at the start of the conversation, he makes it clear that the team is aware of the seriousness of the situation: "Even the last third of the Hinrunde was a relegation battle, now it's nothing else. We knew all along that this year could be about staying in the league. Of course it's getting tighter and tighter." He was reserved early on about the hopes for a return to the Europa League that were loudly expressed at the beginning of the season: "I said from the start, when many people were talking about Europe: ′If it goes great, we can cause a surprise. If things don't go our way, we play against relegation.′ This can always happen to you with Eintracht. But no one wants to hear realism these days."
After the good start to the second half of the season and the signing of five new players, the euphoria in the surrounding area has now given way to disillusionment. Meier sees the usual dry: "It was clear that we do not win every second-round game. But we haven't been without a chance in the four games so far, with the exception of the first half against Wolfsburg. But there were just too many phases in the other games where we weren't that good." But how can you pinpoint these fluctuations in performance? "That's mainly a question of self-confidence, but you also have to be able to assess yourself realistically. It's just the way it is: if you've won five games, you'll win the sixth, even if it's a so-called ′dirty game′. But if you don't play well, you don't deserve to win such a dirty game."
However, crises are nothing new for Alex Meier. "I've been here twelve years now, most of them were against relegation. Only the first year under Skibbe and the one in which we reached the Euro League were quiet years. Otherwise, we often had to tremble and look down."And how does he personally deal with the current situation?? "I learned that you have to take these things as they come. You always try to do your best. And that whistles come, is understandable. The fans want to see that we fight, that we give our all. And if we don't perform, they whistle – and I understand that. The whistles are part of it and just show that the fans love the club."
In the environment of Eintracht Frankfurt, in the media, the forums and not least at SGE4EVER.De is (once again) hotly discussed about the coach. What is Meier's opinion of Armin Veh?? "He does a good job, has done a lot here in the years before, too. We players have a responsibility on the pitch. It's too easy to blame him."
After he had received a well-funded offer from China during the winter break ("The topic was already off the table after one minute"), the question arises as to what would happen to Alexander Meier in the event of relegation. After Lukas Hradecky had already revealed a few days ago that his contract is not only valid for the top flight, our captain now also reveals: 'Yes, it is also valid for the second division. But that doesn't concern me at all right now!"
What concerns him is the current relegation battle: "Yes, that's part of it, there are just not only good times in life. Besides, I'm almost a Frankfurter, the club has grown on me, so I can't just say: ′So, now I'm leaving'.′ You also have to take the difficult phases and try to overcome them.