Hamburg have turned to a “spirit healer” as they desperately seek to avoid relegation.
Hamburg, the only team to have played in every season of the Bundesliga since its creation in 1963, are currently in the relegation playoff spot ahead of their final two games, against champions Bayern Munich and Europa League hopefuls Mainz.
Sunday’s 3-1 loss at Augsburg represented a third successive defeat, and Hamburg are now hoping to spark a revival through bioenergetics specialist Joseph Kuhnert, who has been dubbed a “spirit healer” by the German press.
Asked about his work with the club, Kuhnert -- who revealed he had worked with the club during their revival in 2007 -- told Hamburger Morgenpost on Tuesday: “Really, it’s pretty easy. I bring body, soul and spirit back into harmony and accommodate the four elements.
“I had a special coach who trained me in the storage of high energy in mountain crystals. They will then be arranged in a certain pattern -- the Flower of Life. This pattern can also be found on many holy temples, even from the times of the old Egyptians. From time immemorial, it has been clear that it helps. Already, in 2007, it worked here in Hamburg.”
HSV are five points behind 15th-placed Stuttgart and one ahead of Nuernberg in 17th, while the league’s bottom club, Eintracht Braunschweig, are a further point behind. Hamburg defender Marcell Jansen said at the weekend that finishing 16th -- which would set up a playoff with the third-placed side in the second tier -- is “the only thing we have left to fight for.”
Kuhnert, a former bank director who turned to bioenergetics in 2002, admitted his ability to influence the club’s fate is limited.
“I can only help to bring the lads into harmony, because one thing is clear -- it’s easier to access your full potential like that,” he said. “They have more power, more energy. In the end, this has to be utilised on the pitch.”
Hamburg midfielder Tolgay Arslan said in Sueddeutsche Zeitung that Kuhnert “sends you energy and hypnotises you. He makes you calm and shapes your thoughts -- things like that.”
However, the club’s sporting director, Oliver Kreuzer, said in Hamburger Morgenpost he had little faith that the team could turn their season around at this stage.
“We’ve already done everything we could for the team before the Augsburg game, and all we get is this performance,” he said. “I am lost for words.”
They may well find themselves in the automatic relegation places this weekend. Braunschweig host Augsburg and Nuernberg entertain Hannover -- both sides with nothing left to play for this season -- while Hamburg host a Bayern side that have claimed five wins and a draw from their last six Bundesliga meetings.
“You have to have a reasonable amount of doubt as to whether this will have a positive ending,” Kreuzer said. “For weeks now I have been waiting for a reaction, but the team has let it go on too long. Now we face what we tried to avoid -- a matchday where everything can turn.”