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Markus Gisdol hopes surprise is the answer to Hamburg's woes

Change is nothing new at Hamburg. However, the changes made by head coach Markus Gisdol ahead of Sunday's game against Hoffenheim have raised more than a few eyebrows.

Markus Gisdol has changed his captain and appointed a new team manager in the hope that it would spark some much-needed changes at Hamburg. The ever-present Bundesliga club has yet to win a game this season and is facing the very real possibility of being relegated at the end of this campaign.

Facing his former employers, Hoffenheim, on Sunday, Gisdol relieved former Arsenal defender Johan Djourou of the armband, appointing Japan international Gotuku Sakai as the new captain.

"Djourou took the news professionally, and perhaps the decision takes some weight off his shoulders," Gisdol said at a press conference on Friday.

"There was only one choice. Sakai is the most exemplary player," added the 47-year-old. "We wanted and had to bring a new culture into the team. Gotoku represents everything we need in the current situation."

Deutschland Fußball Bundesliga - Hamburger SV vs. 1899 Hoffenheim (picture-alliance/dpa/C. Charisius)

Sakai must lead HSV out of their poor form

Sakai himself was happy with the news, but said the team remained the most important thing. "It's not important to turn everything upside down now. We must all work together," said the defender.

Tobias Hauke, a player on Germany's national field hockey team, who worked in the club's media department, was also introduced as a new team manager.

Inspiration needed

Hamburg certainly need something extraordinary to get themselves out of the mess they are in. After 10 games, not only are HSV without a win but they have just four goals to their name and have conceded the second most (23) in the division. Gisdol, who has only been in charge for six games, has failed to bring the new head coach effect as Hamburg's form and performances continue to disappoint.

Julian Nagelsmann - the new Hoffenheim head coach - has already promised there won't be any gifts for Gisdol upon his return and if Hamburg are to get something they will have to do so without a host of familiar names. Goalkeeper Rene Adler is out with an elbow injury until after the winter break, while Emir Spahic and Albin Ekdal are also out with injury and US star Bobby Wood remains suspended.

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