Sandro Wagner wants to stick to his undisguised style in front of the cameras. “I’ve been working as a TV expert for two and a half years now, and when I get the reports, they’re absolutely positive. It’s also normal that there are always people who don’t like what you’re doing. It’s like a buffet. One person prefers meat, the other prefers fish, one likes this expert better, the other that one,” said the former professional soccer player: “But I want to stay true to myself. If you change things about yourself just to please everyone, you’ve already failed.”
Wagner works as an expert for the DAZN streaming service, and the 35-year-old ex-player (including Werder, Hoffenheim, FC Bayern) commented on the World Cup in Qatar for ZDF. He was heavily criticized for a comment he made about traditional Qatari robes during the broadcast of the Germany-Spain match. The SpVgg Unterhaching coach then apologized for this.
Wagner is concerned with the topic of cancel culture. “This is a very difficult topic that has developed extremely over the past few years. I have the feeling that we are gradually at the top. I perceive it so that a lot of people are now shaking their heads and asking themselves: Isn’t one allowed to say anything more?” Wagner said.
If you talk to older people “who have been in the job for a long time, whether coaches, experts or commentators: they say that it used to be much more relaxed,” he continued. “Although it is good and important that more sensitivity has returned to certain topics today. But: how radically direct condemnation is often used, how statements are deliberately interpreted in a negative direction – I find that bad.”
In his opinion, this development “also has something to do with the culture of outrage in social media and increasing clickbaiting. If you constantly have to fear violent reactions, at some point it robs you of the desire to express yourself in anything other than 0815,” said Wagner.
Cancel culture means a public denunciation of individuals or institutions after statements or actions that the critics consider discriminatory or other misconduct.
In terms of sport, Wagner is leaving his future as coach of SpVgg Unterhaching open. He hasn’t made a decision yet. “I want to think about it in peace. I want to look at the development of the team and my own. It has to be right for both sides. It has to fit that I can give them what they need and I also have to be able to develop further,” he said.
Wagner came to SpVgg Unterhaching in March 2021 as a U19 coach. In the summer, the former Germany striker was then promoted to head coach. With the club on the outskirts of Munich, Wagner, whose contract is expiring, leads the table in the Bavarian Regionalliga. On Friday (7:00 p.m.) the Hachinger start the rest of the season at FC Bayern Munich II. In the case of the regional league championship, the club would have to play promotion games against the champion of the regional league north-east.
Wagner himself has the goal of the Bundesliga. “I’m convinced that I can get to the top,” said the former FC Bayern attacker. “I have a clear plan on how to get to the top: through many individual steps and humble learning.”