Selke makes international mark, but is he Hertha’s answer?
You might’ve heard that the men’s team from Germany won an important international tournament this summer. That’s half right. You’re probably thinking about how Leipzig’s Timo Werner and company won FIFA’s Confederations Cup in Russia just two weeks ago. In an interesting turn on “the double” however the nation’s U-21 squad also won UEFA’s European Championship that same week. It was a victory for Germany’s soon-to-be-next generation including Werner’s former teammate, Davie Selke.
Selke and Werner won’t be side by side this year. Selke was transferred to Berlin just prior to the summer tournaments.
Breaking the Rollercoaster
Hertha BSC, of course, are the Bundesliga’s most lovable losers. Since 2005 the blue men from Berlin have had their ups and downs.
It seemed for a long time that each success was followed by at least one failure. The worst being a relegation in 2009 immediately following European Cup qualification in 2008. It was always one step forward, one step backward at the Olympiastadion.
Since gaining promotion for the latest time in 2013, however, the club has looked more stable. Progress has been steady.
Breaking the Mold
As a player Selke is something of a throwback. He is tall and angular, more in the fashion of Thomas Müller and Mario Gomez. He presents a high target not necessarily in keeping with Leipzig’s speedy counter-attacking model.
Still, Selke’s now been a part of a championship side as has Werner. Neither won their “summer cup” alone of course. For the U-21’s Max Meyer was a force in midfield and Julian Pollersbeck put his own name in line as the next German no. 1 in goal.
Also among the U-21 winners for Germany were two of Selke’s new teammates. Mitchell Weiser, in fact, scored the cup winner against Spain in the U-21 Euro final. Both Weiser and Niklas Stark have been at Hertha since Pál Dárdai was named manager. They have played a major part in raising the hopes of the Herthaner faithful in that time.
Selke then is just the latest brick in the house that Dárdai has been building since 2015.
Break with the Past?
Still cynical loyalists would probably tell you that it may not be enough. Despite the young blood, Berlin finished 6th in the Bundesliga last time. They may recall days past when spending money did not produce hoped-for results.
How much more is needed in the present for Hertha to crack the top four and qualify for the Champions League? How much more to perhaps even top the table and win it all?
The 2017 finish did qualify Berlin for UEFA’s 2017-18 Europa League competition. But as those loyalists might say, it could have been better.
In fact had if it not been for a big loss to RB Leipzig late last season, Hertha may have had a shot at the Champions League for this next season. But they lost at home 1-4. The last two goals scored in that match? The two that sealed Berlin’s UCL coffin for 2018?
Both of those were hammered home by a kid named Davie Selke.