It’s fairly one thing, going from sacked by certainly one of final season’s relegated Bundesliga golf equipment to a brand new submit which presents a second sport in cost within the rarefied environment of the Champions League, no much less. The notion may be that Florian Kohfeldt has landed on his ft however the early indicators are that Wolfsburg are very pleased that he did.
Saturday’s 1-0 win over Augsburg was a 3rd successive win for the brand new coach since he arrived in Decrease Saxony to exchange Mark van Bommel. Kohfeldt was trustworthy concerning the actuality of the efficiency – “the primary 45 minutes was our greatest first half of the week however within the second half, we couldn’t have complained had they equalised” – however he has each proper to benefit from the forthcoming pause for internationals.
It might not fairly be Peter Stöger leaving rock-bottom Köln mid-season after which taking Borussia Dortmund into the Champions League just a few years again, but it surely has raised the odd eyebrow. The tip for Kohfeldt at Werder Bremen wasn’t simply the fruits of an absence of success. It was excruciating. Werder had hovered above the trapdoor for some time and when Kohfeldt was dismissed with the workforce within the relegation playoff spot with only a sport left, it was a final resort, with the membership bringing again the legendary Thomas Schaaf for a nostalgic quick, sharp shock earlier than their final likelihood (it didn’t work – Werder misplaced and with different outcomes, have been robotically relegated).
There was by no means the suggestion that Kohfeldt was incompetent. Werder sporting director Frank Baumann had even underlined in his assertion accompanying information of the coach’s departure his perception that Kohfeldt “remains to be a superb coach.” He had, nevertheless, been floor down by the stress of making an attempt to make a Bundesliga large defy gravity, beset by poor govt administration, years of waning outcomes and colossal debt. Kohfeldt had are available fresh-faced and idealistic, wanting a restricted Werder to play constructive soccer within the membership’s – his membership’s – custom, and he succeeded for some time. He left three-and-a-half years later having been by way of the wringer. You have to to Google him a number of occasions to verify and double-check that sure, he is nonetheless solely 39.
Now there may be the sense that he and Wolfsburg could possibly be the precise match. A membership on the lookout for a philosophy and a coach on the lookout for a viable challenge. Maybe earlier than each have been on the lookout for love in all of the improper locations, as Younger MC might need it. His ardour has been welcomed within the Wolfsburg dressing room and having to be courageous and hit the bottom working, with a visit to direct rivals Leverkusen and a Champions League must-win in opposition to Salzburg previous this, has labored out nicely. “Kohfeldt’s an emotional coach who encourages us quite a bit,” stated Lukas Nmecha, the scorer in every of the brand new coach’s three video games. “Tactically,” he added with some tact, “additionally it is a bit clearer.”
Nmecha, having scored two very completely different successful targets by way of the week (in opposition to Salzburg, he chested down a Maxi Arnold go and smashed it in at the close to submit, and soared to move in Paulo Otávio’s supply in opposition to Augsburg), is especially feeling the clicking with the brand new coach and the Manchester Metropolis academy graduate this week obtained a call-up from Hansi Flick for Germany’s video games in opposition to Liechtenstein and Armenia. Collectively he and Kohfeldt promise to make Die Wölfe much less one-dimensional – and fewer reliant on the talismanic Wout Weghorst – with Kohfeldt lastly having the assets he would have given his eye tooth for in his time dwelling off scraps in cost at Weserstadion.
In time, Kohfeldt will hope to provide the kind of soccer to fill the Volkswagen Area – solely 16,000 supporters, simply over half-capacity, attended Saturday’s sport. Which may be one thing to construct in the direction of however with so many alluring short-term targets, led by potential Champions League final 16 qualification, this bold coach and membership don’t have to attend to dream large collectively.
Freiburg lastly misplaced their unbeaten file precisely the place you’d anticipate, even when that they had their moments in Saturday’s slender loss at Bayern Munich. Leon Goretzka opened the scoring and dominated, with Robert Lewandowski having obtained his inevitable (and nearly onside) objective earlier than Janik Haberer’s too-late reply. In between Christian Streich’s facet created sufficient to maintain Manuel Neuer trustworthy. “We are able to’t do greater than we did in the present day,” stated the coach.
The worldwide window is arriving at simply the precise time for Dortmund, flagging by way of health and type and nicely overwhelmed in Saturday’s late sport at Leipzig, regardless of a comparatively modest scoreline of 2-1. A lot was made from captain Marco Reus – whose second-half objective briefly gave BVB parity earlier than Yussuf Poulsen’s winner – panning the workforce’s first-half show and their employment of three at the again. Marco Rose moved to a four-man defence after the break (with accidents dictating Thorgan Hazard crammed in at left-back). Sporting director Michael Zorc performed down any battle, calling it “frustration over the defeat. Every part is OK between the 2 of them.”
Jesse Marsch celebrated with gusto at the tip, having insisted earlier than the sport that it was time for his workforce to beat a rival of substance and it clearly felt good, even when Dortmund are at the moment diminished. He had “anticipated extra from the start of the season,” he admitted, however “it was vital for us to lastly get extra reward for our work.”
Leverkusen’s Gerardo Seoane might need felt a level of reduction, although not fairly as a lot, after Robert Andrich’s badly-needed late equaliser at Hertha prevented a 3rd straight home defeat. “Underneath the present circumstances,” stated the coach, “the purpose feels actually good.” They have been hassled and roughed up by the spiky Berliners, and it was actually a progress expertise for Iker Bravo and Zidan Sertdemir, the 2 16-year-olds who got here on as substitutes.
Leverkusen’s native rivals Köln additionally netted themselves a late level, with Anthony Modeste scoring early and late on whereas their bogey workforce Union Berlin brought about them quite a lot of frustration in between. Modeste’s late header was adopted by him working to the touchline, stealing coach Steffen Baumgart’s iconic flat cap and dancing in entrance of him whereas he wore it (permissible, maybe, after eight targets already this season).
Objective of the weekend, nevertheless, was Milos Pantović’s strike from his personal half for Bochum to clinch victory deep into stoppage time in opposition to Hoffenheim, a fourth win already this season for final time period’s Bundesliga 2 champions. It may not fairly have been the equal of the 82-metre strike by Paderborn’s Moritz Stoppelkamp in opposition to Hannover in 2014, but it surely was cool sufficient. Pantović had already created the opener for fellow sub Soma Novothny when he ran the ball out from a cleared Hoffenheim nook and with the entire Bochum bench exhorting him to run the ball into the nook, he merely swished it into the open internet with Oliver Baumann stranded upfield. “I’ve loads of confidence in my left foot,” Pantović defined. In between, Bochum goalkeeper Manuel Riemann had missed the possibility to seal the factors by thrashing a penalty method over the bar. Only a regular Saturday at the Ruhrstadion, then.