The art of concentrating on the essentials will decisively determine whether Eintracht Frankfurt can look back on the course of this season with satisfaction. Before the home game against VfB Stuttgart this Saturday (15.30 p.m. in the F.A.Z. live ticker for the Bundesliga and Sky), so much background noise drowns out the usual soundscape that a Bundesliga match day evokes that the need to pick up three points against the Swabians is almost out of earshot.

Peter Hess

Sports editor.

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Fan ban in Naples, contract offer for coach Oliver Glasner, the serious injury of Jesper Lindström, rumours that board spokesman Axel Hellmann is leaving Eintracht to continue his job at the DFL in permanent employment: The question marks behind the future prospects of the Frankfurt football club overshadow the threat of the present. Namely, that the cheeky Mainz and the stubborn Wolfsburg could catch up with Eintracht in a failure against VfB and seriously endanger their European ambitions.

Most worrying in the long term is the possibility that Hellmann will not end his commitment to the German Football League on July 1 as originally planned. As a result, Eintracht would lose the main coordinator for the much-noticed strategic development of the Bundesliga club since 2016. According to information from the F.A.Z., Hellmann has become wavering after he recently let it be known internally that he would remain loyal to Eintracht in any case – contrary to the general wish of the professional clubs to take over the vacant post of DFL managing director permanently.

"We are in transition"

The work of the long-standing Eintracht official in recent months for the league association had been evaluated consistently positively. However, after his colleague as interim managing director of the DFL, Oliver Leki, extended his contract with SC Freiburg, the pressure on the 51-year-old lawyer born in Würzburg has once again grown significantly. At the moment, the association and club officials of German professional football cannot think of a suitable alternative to Hellmann.

Yes, Frankfurt's high-altitude flight has its unpleasant sides, also in the sporting field. Eintracht is perceived differently by the competition, they treat the team of coach Glasner with greater respect and consequently with greater caution. Sporting director Markus Krösche said this week: "We are therefore in the transformation phase into a possession team. We are increasingly faced with the most demanding task in football: having to play a deep opponent."

The best example was the 0:3 at 1 FC Cologne. "Coach Baumgart lets his boys go up front on everything and everyone. Against us, however, they didn't press high, but left us alone in the build-up." Against Stuttgart, too, it is to be expected that the opponent will move away from his usually open style of play in order to offer the fast Frankfurt offensive no space in the switching moments. "We're in transition, and that's why it's a bit jerky," says Krösche, describing the team's performance in recent weeks. However, he is optimistic that solutions will be developed in training.

Mario Götze is supposed to be the guarantor for flashes of thought. In any case, the 30-year-old national player has all the facilities to do so. Its absence would be even more severe at this stage than Lindström's. In any case, the omens are not bad for a successful performance of Eintracht against VfB.

Against no other Bundesliga team Glasner has a better point average (2.6), against no other team Eintracht scored more goals in the highest German league (170). And Frankfurt's current home strength in the league (most recently four wins) speaks just as much for an Eintracht success in the 100th Bundesliga duel with the Swabians as the Stuttgart away weakness (21 games without a win).