After a long calendar year plagued by injuries, Argentine midfielder Santiago Ascacibar finally scored his first goal in the blue and white stripes of Hertha BSC on Saturday.
Hertha trainer Pal Dardai nevertheless saw the need to reprimand the 24-year-old for his body language and facial expressions after being subbed off early.
|Pal Dardai.||Photo: Football.ua/Creative Commons/CC-by-SA 3.0|
Not long into his latest tenure as the head-coach of Germany's "alte Dame", returning Hungarian trainer Pal Dardai committed to using Santiago Ascacibar as part of his desired midfield axis. The striven-for objective appears to be finally bearing fruit. Dardai nevertheless took the opportunity in remarks to the press to call for some more team spirit from the young Argentine one day after the 24-year-old finally scored for the club he joined in January 2020.
"Wonderful that he scored a goal--but should I thank him or what shall I do?" Dardai rhetorically asked during the Sunday morning media round, "This is a team. It's not my fault that Santi isn't as strong in the air."
The 45-year-old gaffer referred to his decision to pull Ascacibar in favor of Sami Khedira in the 61st-minute of Saturday's 2-2 draw with Borussia Mönchengladbach. In Dardai's view, the veteran Khedira gave the team a better chance on aerial duels down the stretch. The Argentine's reaction at being replaced did not impress.
"With our players, sometimes you have to explain why they are substituted because everyone thinks they are very important," the head-coach continued, "I don't think that's okay. When someone comes out and shows such a face like that, that's disrespectful. Not towards the coach, but towards the team."
Dardai indicated that, having put the matter out in public, he would pursue the matter further in private conversations with the youngster. This isn't the first time Hertha's newly reinstalled trainer has publicly outed one of his players for their lack of maturity. In late February, he remarked that Ascacibar's midfield partner on Saturday Mateo Guendouzi often acted as if he was still in puberty.
Guendouzi has since returned to the coach's good graces, starting the last three fixtures and picking up two assists in the process.
|5||Niklas Stark (C)|
|42||Deyovaisio Zeefuik ↩46|
|18||Santiago Ascacíbar ⚽ ↩57|
|17||Maximilian Mittelstädt ↩46|
|11||Dodi Lukebakio ↩46|
|15||Jhon Córdoba ⚽|
|9||Krzysztof Piątek ↪46|
|21||Marvin Plattenhardt ↪46|
|24||Nemanja Radonjić ↪46|
|28||Sami Khedira ↪57|
|25||Ramy Bensebaini ↩77|
|17||Oscar Wendt ↩17|
|13||Lars Stindl (C) ⚽ ↩60|
|10||Marcus Thuram ↩77|
|14||Alassane Pléa ⚽|
|21||Tobias Sippel ↪17|
|7||Patrick Herrmann ↪77|
|36||Breel-Donald Embolo ↪77|
|19||Valentino Lazaro ↪60|