Will Michael Mancienne also have another incredible comeback in the England national team?
Hamburg’s manager Oliver Kreuzer has been amazed by Michael Mancienne’s recent performances for them.
In an interview with the newspaper Hamburger Morgenpost he said about the English defender that “right now everything is possible, even that we keep Michael. It is unbelievable that a player, who hasn’t played for such a long time and actually was almost gone, has such a comeback and delivers such matches.”
One could think that Kreuzer is someone who can be easily impressed as Mancienne has only played three matches for Hamburg in this season so far.
The opponents in these matches, namely Augsburg, Nuremberg and Frankfurt, are not top sides in Germany, so why did Hamburg’s manager get so excited when he talked about Mancienne’s recent performances?
Maybe he’s just glad that some of the misunderstandings from the past could turn out to work out after all.
Mancienne came to Hamburg when Frank Arnesen joined in 2011 and brought along the youth players Mancienne, Bruma, Töre and Rajkovic from Chelsea. He thought that the Bundesliga level was low enough to conquer it with a few young players who weren’t good enough to play regularly for Chelsea.
As we know this experiment didn’t work out. The young players were always linked with the big name Chelsea and couldn’t meet the high expectations at all. Hamburg didn’t reach their goals and eventually Arnesen got sacked because he was unable to learn how the Bundesliga really worked.
From these four former Chelsea starlets Töre and Bruma have already left the club and Rajkovic and Mancienne were sent to the second team of Hamburg with no perspective to play in the Bundesliga anymore.
This changed drastically after Slomka became Hamburg’s new coach three weeks ago. First he gave Rajkovic the chance to play against Dortmund and he didn’t disappoint his coach at all. Unfortunately in his second match he got a serious knee injury and won’t be able to play for the next six months.
Rajkovic’s bad luck was Mancienne’s unexpected opportunity. He replaced him in the following two matches against Frankfurt and Nuremberg and did a decent job. In his three season appearances - he also played in December against Augsburg – he had a pass accuracy of 83% and won 72% of his tackles.
These are decent numbers for a central defender but not outstanding ones. Still, he did better in every match, so maybe his development hasn’t come to an end yet.
Slomka was very successful with his former teams Schalke and Hannover and many experts think that he has what it takes to wake up the sleeping giant of Hamburg.
If he manages to do so, then maybe Mancienne’s career will take a positive turnaround after all. He’s just 26-years-old and therefore has the most important years of his careers still to come. This World Cup clearly comes too early for him, but if he is successful with Hamburg in the next two years, then it’s not impossible to see him with the Three Lions at the European Championship in 2016. Not only Frank Arnesen would wish that for him.