While Bo Svensson and FSV Mainz 05 figure out who will replace lead-striker Adam Szalai, the Hungarian's agent spoke to Sport Bild on Thursday about the events last autumn that led to the club's managerial shake-up.
Few presently in charge at top tier Bundesliga side FSV Mainz 05 care to think back to last autumn's training boycott. Precisely one year ago to the day, the footballers of die Nullfünfter walked off of Achim Beierlorzer's practice ground in protest. Though accounts of the event differ, it is widely assumed that the squad wished to express their dissatisfaction with veteran striker Adam Szalai's demotion to the reserves.
If Szalai's agent Oliver Fischer is to believed, the aim of the club management and coaching staff at the time was to degrade and demean the then 32-year-old Hungarian as his agent tried to negotiate an extension to his expiring contract.
In an interview with Germany's main sporting tabloid, Fischer ranted that Beierlorzer (now working as an assistant at Leipzig) and then sporting director Rouven Schröder (currently of Schalke 04) "placed the player's career in jeopardy."
"Even today, an apology from Beierlorzer and Schröder to Adam for their unspeakable behavior would be fully justified," Fischer told Germany's Sport Bild, "With Schröder there was absolutely no dialogue. One could have skipped all the [later] talks about this abrupt and groundless suspension."
At the time, Schröder did publicly acknowledge that the situation was a mess. Beierlorzer was dismissed three days later. Schröder lost his job before the "Hin Runde". Under the management team of returners Christian Heidel and Martin Schmidt, Mainz also brought back former player and coach Bo Svensson. A remarkable turnaround ensured and the club was able to avoid relegation.
Fischer and Heidel praised one another in the article. Heidel called Fischer "one of the leading player agents in the league". Fischer, in turn, said that the atmosphere ate Mainz had become "much more open and trustworthy".
"With Heidel and Schmidt, discussions take place in a much more pleasant atmosphere," Fischer noted.
As to who will be replacing the now injured Szalai in the starting XI, Svensson remained mum about whether it would be Karim Onisiwo or the newly-acquired Marcus Ingvartsen.
"We have enough options on offense," Svensson told reporters on Thursday.