Thomas Hitzelsperger currently at West Ham, recalls some incidents from his time at Lazio. When the German midfielder arrived in Rome, he was expecting a different atmosphere, instead, the team slipped into the relegation zone, and Thomas hardly found any playing time under Reja. His Lazio experience sadly was a flop and that did leave a bitter taste in Thomas's mouth which can be seen from his interviews after he left Rome.
But this time Hitzelsperger talked about the atmosphere at Lazio when they were fighting relegation: "It was my first game at Lazio and we lost to Catania, and when we were at Formello, a group of ultras tried to break in the training ground. The police had to interfere to save us. I was thinking to myself, what the hell did I put myself into."
After that, Ballardini was sacked and Edy Reja came and scheduled a mid season camp: "They brought us a sports psychologist, but the whole team decided that we don't need that and we can work it out together and alone. You might think it is easy, but the players really took responsibility and everyone gave more. A couple of dinners all of us together with some wine, really helped us talk and bring us closer to each other." continued Hitzlsperger.
Edy Reja did not change hsi tactics despite this being a popular thing when a top team starts fighting against relegation. "We did not change our system with Reja. We worked hard to project our style of play against others. We would attack an empty goal with no defenders in training. One would think its madness ! But that really helped and in games we looked more comfortable." concluded Thomas.
Thomas Hitzelsperger is reliving a relegation battle for the third consecutive time at WestHam, with last season living it with Lazio and Stuttgart.