Coach sees red: Bjelica's momentous outburst at Union's inopportune time

Nenad Bjelica is threatened with a long ban after his freak out against Leroy Sané, and 1.

Coach sees red: Bjelica's momentous outburst at Union's inopportune time

Nenad Bjelica is threatened with a long ban after his freak out against Leroy Sané, and 1. FC Union is threatened with an annoying coaching discussion. The violence of the Croatian, who was only signed at the end of November, comes at the worst time for the Berliners in the middle of the relegation battle and before two groundbreaking basement duels.

"Emotions are okay, and they should also be lived out on the pitch. If it gets physical, it won't work for the player and it won't work for the coach either," said Union national player Robin Gosens.

The German Football Association's verdict against Bjelica is expected this week. It remains to be seen how much the 52-year-old's position as head coach of the Iron Men was weakened by his infamous misconduct on the sidelines. “Bjelica is no longer wearable,” commented the trade magazine “Kicker” on Thursday. “The Union must fire the scandal coach now,” demanded the “Bild”.

"I tried to prevent the worst"

Gosens has known Bjelica since his appointment on November 27th, and Gosens knows Leroy Sané, whose face Bjelica caught with his hand twice. Both were emotional, "just in the game," reported Gosens, who tried to mediate between the two in the Union team's catch-up game at FC Bayern ten minutes after being substituted: "I actually just intervened and tried the worst to prevent."

Bjelica said at the press conference late on Wednesday evening that he felt provoked in his coaching zone. After just his seventh competitive game as Union coach, he explained: "He pushed me, then I reacted how I shouldn't react." He was sorry for the team, for the club. Bjelica didn't want to apologize to Sané.

One name stimulates the imagination: Steffen Baumgart

"The Berlin coach completely loses his nerve. Bjelica's hand really has no place in Sané's face," wrote the German Football League in its live ticker. Even if it is not the first freak out or the first assault by a coach - the headbutt by Norbert Meier in December 2005 as coach of MSV Duisburg against player Albert Streit from 1. FC Köln, including a dramatic fall over, is particularly fondly remembered for Bjelica and He could be decisive for 1. FC Union in the fight to stay in the first league.

After parting with a heavy heart from Urs Fischer, whose stoic calm some people had wished for on Wednesday, Bjelica was supposed to lift up the troubled Köpenickers again. His appearance in Munich is now a serious setback; his assistants will have to do his job on the line in the coming games. But he will lead the training, emphasized Bjelica.

The fact that a very good old acquaintance in the forestry business, Steffen Baumgart, is currently without a job after leaving 1. FC Köln, but still has an emotional connection to the Eisern, should stimulate the imagination of some fans.

Groundbreaking games are ahead

It is still unclear how long Bjelica will be banned, but the DFB announced a verdict before the next game if possible. That's next Sunday, at home in the Alte Försterei against the bottom of the table SV Darmstadt 98. A basement duel that has to be won. Then it's off to RB Leipzig on February 4th and three days later there's the next decisive game: the catch-up game against current table neighbors FSV Mainz 05 (16th).

Former top referee Manuel Gräfe predicted Bjelicas would be banned for at least four to six games. "Assault occurs when the player intentionally uses physical force against an opponent. Kicking, hitting, pushing, biting and spitting are typical offenses. Punishment: from at least six weeks to six months," says a general article Red cards on the DFB homepage.

Sané doesn't hold grudges

The punishment can be mitigated if the opponent committed an act contrary to sportsmanship immediately before an offense. The minimum penalty is then usually reduced to three games. This also applies if there is a minor case of assault. Both mitigation options could also work together, in which case the minimum ban would generally be reduced to two games, according to the DFB regulations.

At least Sané dealt with the matter quickly. "I don't hold grudges when it comes to something like that and the scene has already been forgotten for me," he told "Bild": "As far as I know, he was a little emotional after the scene in our penalty area."

It was about a missed penalty. The guests loudly complained about what they believed was a penalty-worthy foul by Konrad Laimer on striker Kevin Behrens (72'). A moment of shock, even Bayern coach Thomas Tuchel admitted. His colleague couldn't get himself under control quickly enough. “I was a little upset,” he said on the pay TV channel Sky. "What I did cannot be tolerated. I understand the red card." But by then it was already too late.

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