Why are Bengali boys such idiots

Frank Rost: "Bengal fires are not the problem"

Hamburg. After a short detour to the American MLS with the New York Red Bulls, Frank Rost ended his active career as a professional footballer in February. In the Bundesliga, the 38-year-old stood between the posts for Werder Bremen, FC Schalke 04 and HSV.Goal.com met the passionate golfer for an interview in his adopted home of Hamburg.

Mr. Rost, the current generation of players is accused of a lack of identification with their clubs compared to earlier times. How do you see it

Frank Rost: To make comparisons to earlier is pointless. The conditions are different today. It just happens that the players change clubs more and more frequently. However, a player who has played in a team for five or six years will have a completely different identification with the club and the environment, if he is not only in his own
Soup swims like someone who goes to a new club every two years. The officials also scream for reinforcements every season, although I doubt that new people will inevitably lead to an improvement. It is acted according to the Prussian motto: If the first row falls over, you have to bring the second to the front. As a result, there will be fewer and fewer players who really identify with their clubs. However, the origin of this development does not lie with the players but begins in training.


Are players who express critical opinions at all still accepted?

rust: It always depends on the management levels and the philosophy of the clubs. Giving a general judgment would be fatal. However, I would agree with the thesis that there are fewer and fewer players who say something because they know exactly what to expect. It is better to avoid this unnecessary stress, especially since one is rarely heard.

What kind of hierarchy within a team do you consider most appropriate for
sporting success?

rust: Nowadays there are no longer any mature hierarchies in the teams. How is that supposed to work? Hierarchies only arise when a team stays together for a long time. In team sport, however, you will always come to a point where a few have to take over the reins and others have to do the dirty work. This is more difficult these days because everyone wants to be in focus. And being in focus inevitably means making more money. Let's not kid ourselves: if a player comes from a youth and makes three good games in the Bundesliga, he is almost a top earner. Then who should say something to the boys? In order to be able to classify this development correctly, you need a stable environment as a young player.


Do you see the clubs as responsible?

rust: There are hardly any clubs that work consistently over a longer period of time. At the management level, too, fluctuation is now relatively high. That is why it is difficult to develop a philosophy and work on it sustainably. What is certain, however, is that the clubs are more responsible for development than they used to be
young player wear. You almost take on the role of guardian. Ever younger talents from all over Germany and also from abroad are bought in by the clubs. They then live in the club's boarding schools and the regional players spend almost the whole day on the club's premises. It is important to also take on educational tasks - Mr Sammer calls this “shaping the characters” - and to work very closely with the parents. It's a big job.


After the relegation game between Düsseldorf and Berlin, a heated debate about the security in German stadiums sparked. Do you feel safe in the stadium?

rust: Yes! We live in a time when the boulevard is boiling up such topics. Even interior ministers are jumping on this bandwagon, but they're not doing it to help football. It's all about votes. Of course, what happened in Düsseldorf was by no means all right. But the reaction of the people of Düsseldorf arose out of the euphoria. There is no question that this should still not happen. Regarding Bengal fires, it has to be said that, to my knowledge, this has never resulted in deaths, even if burning them down harbors many dangers that I do not want to trivialize. But the way to the stadium is definitely more dangerous for the fans than standing in their curve. The Bengal fires are not the real problem. It is the growing number of slobs and idiots among 50,000 peaceful visitors. In my opinion, the rule of law, which does not condemn these people consistently enough, is also partly to blame for this. On the other hand, police and clubs are now issuing stadium bans on suspicion, which according to the rule of law are actually untenable. 99% of the fans behave correctly, the one percent must not justify the criminalization of all fans.

What's the solution to the problem?

rust: Personal responsibility so that a self-cleaning process takes place in the fan scenes. I would find it good if the lighting of Bengal fires could be legalized under control and in agreement with the police, as is done in other countries. But if someone illegally lights a fire somewhere, then charges should consistently be brought against him, a judgment should be pronounced and then a long-term stadium ban should be pronounced. If you just dictate or forbid everything, it leads to the opposite. You have to include the opinion of the fans in the discussions and hold them responsible. I think that the fan groups will then keep things tidy even in the corners.


The possible abolition of standing room would therefore have nothing to do with the cause of the
Change problem.


rust: Right, but if I can be heretical now, I would say that standing room costs less than a seat. I've seen many stages and I have to say that I've never felt unsafe or even scared. We will not be able to prevent idiots and chaos from finding their way into the stadium among the peaceful fans. But it is nonsense to claim that football is the stage of violence. The inhibition threshold simply has to be pushed upwards - internally as well as externally. This can be achieved by applying the law more consistently.

Your opinion: Is Frank Rost right with his assessments?