IMMEDIATELY ON THE SAME WAVELENGTH
Marcus Ingvartsen celebrated a dream debut last weekend in Hoffenheim. He already felt comfortable beforehand, after only three training sessions, and sees himself in the right place at the right time. FSV should not least help him to realise a big dream.
Marcus Ingvartsen used his Monday off to clear out his shared Berlin flat with his wife. While the last-minute newcomer in Mainz seems to have arrived in Hoffenheim in no time at all after his match-deciding goal off the bench, only 78 seconds after his substitution, it is now a matter of making himself at home on the Rhine - the hotel room is to be exchanged for a suitable apartment as quickly as possible. But it wasn't just the debut goal that made acclimatisation easier, as he revealed during his first media round as a Zerofiver.
"My first impressions here are excellent. I got to know a great team with a good atmosphere. You can feel that the team believes in itself, especially after the second half of last season," in which a "very interesting development" began in the Danish attacker's view. That the 25-year-old decided without hesitation to want to be part of it had a lot to do with the plan the coaching team around compatriot Bo Svensson has in mind for him. "The transfer was first and foremost about being able to play as a striker here. I had two very good years at Union. The fact that we were able to place for the Conference League was a sensation. But it wasn't a difficult decision when the request came from Mainz," says the loan player, for whom the Rheinhessen side have secured an option to buy (Ingvartsen: "I hope that things will continue next season and that I can develop together with the team in the coming years.")
The World Cup is a big goal
At Union Berlin, the national player had mostly played behind the front line for two years (8 Bundesliga goals, 10 assists) - to be allowed to play in his learned position again in future has not least to do with the fact that his long-term goal is the 2022 World Cup. And Denmark's national coach Kasper Hjulmand, also an old acquaintance at the Bruchweg, has given him a clear list of requirements to increase his chances of further squad selections. "Playing in the World Cup is a dream. I think I can promote myself better for that as a striker than as a midfielder. I've spoken to Kasper Hjulmand about it, he sees me as a striker, he knows me from Nordsjaelland and he knows my qualities up front. We agree on that because my finishing is one of my greatest strengths." As is well known, Ingvartsen was able to deliver a sample in the 05 jersey as proof right from his debut. "An unbelievable start after only three training sessions, three points, no goals conceded. It doesn't get any better than that," says the 05 player, pleased with his first few days on the job.
Same system, new position
Ingvartsen reports that the finding phase was facilitated not only by the new colleagues but also by the coach. Svensson, who once spent six months on the Zerofiver bench as Hjulmand's assistant coach, convinced the new man with his approach from day one. And so the two are not only on the same wavelength linguistically: "I didn't know Bo personally before, but of course we noticed each other from a distance and had a short chat after the game here with Union. The system here is the same, my position is different, there is a clear plan for me. And there's no question about it: it's good to be able to talk in Danish. Of course, he can explain his ideas and all the details to me even better that way. I have the feeling that he is a coach who expects very hard work from his players, in a constructive way. Because he wants to make everyone better. The training is highly intensive with breaks at the right moments. But 100 per cent is always demanded in the exercises."
Ingvartsen has also internalised that the sessions serve as the basis for the Zerofivers game under Svensson and sees this very intensity as one of the greatest strengths of his new team: "It is very difficult for other teams to play against us because we operate at high speed, press high, switch well and are defensively stable. From my point of view, we have the chance to play a really good season. We need consistency, but I see a lot of potential in the squad and a lot of really good players," Ingvartsen says, convinced that he has arrived at the right place at the right time.
We play at home and have self-confidence
And he is looking forward to his first appearance as a Zerofiver at the MEWA ARENA against SC Freiburg on Saturday afternoon (3.30pm, tickets here). He recognises parallels to the FSV game: "Freiburg wants to exert pressure and comes through the intensity. But we play at home and have self-confidence. I expect a game with a lot of tempo on both sides, that will be interesting." Whether as a starting eleven debutant or again as a sub: Ingvartsen wants to make his contribution to an "interesting" game and the next football festival in front of the home crowd. Not least in order to score more points with his two compatriots Svensson and Hjulmand.