For a Moment he is no longer the nice Mr Prokop. It is actually a harmless question, which brings the Handball coach at a press conference on Thursday evening, just from the concept. As the days to expiry for the German national team look on Friday, wants to know a Journalist from him, what was on the program until the semi-finals of the world Cup against Norway in Hamburg (20.30 clock, live Ticker SPIEGEL ONLINE, TV: The First).

Christian Prokop listens to the question with a slightly opened mouth, then he leans to his table microphone. “Yes, and maybe, what’s for lunch” he says and looks up slightly annoyed from the stage. Quickly but he finds back to his line: He ask you to understand, but the things “not external”. He, Prokop, could only say that “we have confidence in us” he means himself and his team. And he is back to his old self, the nice Mr Prokop.

Actually, the 40-Year-old has moderate these days is a success story. His Team is unbeaten in the world Cup semi-final, delighting the country with dramatic Play, on Thursday, Chancellor Angela Merkel got in contact with him. All the would have expected a few weeks ago, hardly anyone; after all, the team and especially their coach Prokop were overthrown a year ago in a severe crisis. But more on that later.

He talks to much but he says little

Prokop is a lot of talk about the Positive these days, whether it’s about the mood during the main round (“Cologne, you have carried us!”) or Profane as the flight to Hamburg on Thursday (“A very great, pleasant trip, well organized!”). Prokop talks a lot, but he says little.

The coach moves at this world Cup on a narrow corridor, which offers no place for Negative and above all for our own sensitivities. Prokop is asked at the daily press conferences, in his opinion, he answers, often in the Plural. How he rate the referee’s performance in the opening game against Korea? “We are glad that we have met the line by the referee.” What did he do at the final whistle of a dramatic game against Croatia? “For us, this is the hottest time, we are experiencing in the professional life.”

The “We” protects against insulation, it ensures against conflicts, trying to avoid Prokop partout. “We” are his players, his coaching staff, the managers, and he, the head of it All. Collective instead of individual fighters, rather than in groups. At the world Cup Prokop takes often a few seconds of time until he puts on report questions to answer – nothing should be haphazardly done, no word can be misinterpreted.

From the EM 2018, the learned

And it should the model be, what Procopius in the past year, at the European Championships, as the team in his first tournament as national coach, was only Ninth. The Team, as the defending champion, competed, had become disenchanted with their coach, it felt his ideas are not taken.

A debacle against Spain, the end point of the botched EM, many in the League were upset about Procopius, he already was. However, Procopius vowed to improve, and promised that he would best his team more self-confidence. The home world Cup, would be with him no. A visit to Uwe Gensheimer in Paris was an important part of the EM-processing and the beginning of a rapprochement.

Prokop during the game against Croatia,

This new Cohesion is currently being demonstrated by the Team at every opportunity. National player Jannik Kohlbacher says: “We have found better together”. The mood in the team was as good as never before, says the experienced Patrick Wiencek. A 180-Degree Turn? Or to bring only the attempt of a community with a common destiny, the experience of “home world Cup” in the best possible way on the stage?

The current mood is probably due to the fact that Prokop and his team has given a voice to, for example, in the “time-outs”. There, Prokop sometimes asks what the team’s next play, the tactician Prokop back then, commenting on the remarks of his players, rarely. Also, the two (fairly successful) defensive variants 6-0 and 3-2-1 are to be studied according to the “süddeutsche Zeitung” at the request of the Teams, from the Kiel circle runner Hendrik Pekeler of the advance had come.

Wolff strengthened

And then the personnel decisions. This time there was no the second case, Finn Lemke, whose Ausbootung was a year ago, the beginning of Evil. This time the disputed not accepted a nomination of Tobias Reichmann easy – and this is the next keyword of this world Cup: acceptance.

Prokop had determined early on Andreas Wolff as the number one in the gate – a difficult decision, as representative Silvio Heinevetter is also an excellent goalie, but is considered uncomfortable. Michael Kraus, a part of the world champion team in 2007, was criticized before the world Cup Start, that it will not work with this Torwartduo.

Andreas Wolff (l), Silvio Heinevetter

However, Heine’s cousin seems to have the decision accepted, it forms with the Wolff a harmonious Duo, at least it seems so to the outside. They build each other up and down clapping. Wolff support seems to be of Heine’s cousin, and from the confidence of the national coach at least spurs, where he has the club at THW Kiel in a difficult position behind the Danish Top goalkeeper Niklas Landin. This is the team feeling between the keepers on the other team’s parts to transfer. No one wants to screw up the home world Cup. Therefore, it is understandable, when Vice-President Bob Hanning says the team have changed since the EM.

it is also striking, as Procopius now in front of his Team. In the MIRROR-Interview before the world Cup, he had said that he had not responded at the European Championships in 2018, for example, “hard criticism and anger”, if it is delivery times, as desired. The other day, a time for Anger would have been Against Croatia, had played Outside of Superstar gensheimer weak, they missed a number of times to decide the game early. How he has the power of the foreign players have seen, was Prokop asked. “Outside?”, Prokop asked back, and after a short Consideration he answered: “Today don’t give a Shit. We are in the semi-finals.” Not a critical word, as always, at the world Cup.

the new life is in Us.

Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.