A player who leaves fans speechless with his first contribution after joining a new club is a pretty cool position to be in.
However, not everything is quite as it seems for Manchester City’s youth team captain Tommy Doyle, who stole the headlines on his long-awaited debut for Hamburg.
Doyle joined the 2nd Bundesliga team on a season-long loan in August, but spent his first three games as an unused substitute.
But when Hamburg were 1-0 down on the road to the struggling Erzgebirge Aue last week, the 19-year-old midfielder nodded and had an immediate impact – which caused a sensational own goal for home left-back Dirk Carlson to snatch a point.
“Somehow Tommy Doyle forced the equalizer … it’s very difficult to describe,” said journalist and Hamburg fan Dominik Berger The city is ours when we checked in to see how Doyle is doing in Germany.
“He said he wanted the ball as one would expect from a good player, so he runs into the hole and lobs it on the bar.
“Then the ball comes back to an Aue defender and he directs it into his own goal. An absolutely incredible scene!
“You can not be satisfied with the result, but I think that just these four minutes from Tommy Doyle showed what we can expect. It is very good for him that the ball – in the end – went in. ”
In the City Football Group era, loan moves have tended to mark the end of the line for players in terms of their first-team prospects in Manchester, but hopes remain high for Doyle, who has City much in his blood as the grandson of the club’s big Mike Doyle and Glyn Pardoe.
He appears to be on a steep learning curve under Hamburg coach Tim Walter. The progressive style of play implemented by the former Bayern Munich II boss was undoubtedly a factor in Doyle being packed down to the Volksparkstadion for the next phase of his development, but it could also mean he has to bite his time on the bench a little while longer.
“Tim Walter has a very complicated way of playing,” Berger explained.
“When it works, it’s very nice and very offensive, but it’s complicated. This is a problem for new players coming in.
“Tommy Doyle joined the final day of the transfer window. He did not spend much time on the team.
“Walter’s philosophy is always very offensive – pass it on and drive the other way, lots of movement.
“The big problem for Hamburg over the last few years was that they had experienced players, but not the most talented. They tried to solve things with experience and not mentality.
“Walter is trying to change it all again and get them to move the ball around more. Tommy Doyle has shown that he can fit in with his quick move towards Aue.
“But players who join the club late are struggling with Tim Walter’s football style. You have to give him time.
“I think he will be more of an add-on player, because in a year he will be gone and Hamburg will have to start again.”
Doyle’s Pep Guardiola-style schooling and his clear leadership qualities as an EDS skipper stand him in good stead over the challenges that await Hamburg, a club that has fallen on hard times and in a seemingly endless state of transition.
It has been a tough fall for one of Germany’s biggest clubs – former home of Vincent Kompany and Nigel de Jong and remember City’s conquerors in an action-packed UEFA Cup quarter-final in 2009.
“Right now the club wants to focus on development, for the fourth year in a row in the second division,” added Berger, with Hamburg currently seventh in the standings.
“This is a problem for the fans. It’s a fallen giant. Fans expect more than they see right now.
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“Tim Walter is the next coach to do the opposite to the former coach and it happens over and over again. They’re trying again this year, and let’s see. ”
If Doyle can build on his debut cameo, adapt to Walter’s demands and help inspire a rise in fortunes, he would certainly win a place in the hearts of Hamburg loyalists.
Let’s face it, after Kompany and De Jong became city heroes, we owe them one.
Are you excited for the next phase of Tommy Doyle’s career in Germany? Follow our city are our editors Dom Farrell and Ross Jackson, together with Dominik Berger, on Twitter and get involved in the comments below.