Tag Archives: Felix Magath

Bundesliga Review – Wolves howl with joy after Magath leaves by Archie Rhind-Tutt

After Felix Magath’s departure in October, it’s no coincidence that Wolfsburg have hit form since.

Popularity and respect are two important things for a coach to have. You don’t have to necessarily be popular but if you have the respect of the players, you’ve got a decent chance of succeeding. The problem for Felix Magath is that he had neither by the time he left Wolfsburg for a second time in October.

Then again, popularity is not something which Magath has been renowned for and that’s not surprising. After all, this is a guy who threatened to cancel Christmas for his squad last year. He’s also been known to send his players running in the woods and fined them for individual mistakes during games.

Most spectacularly, in his time at Stuttgart, he once had his players, during training, stand in a circle for 90 minutes in near freezing temperatures after a defeat the day before. This season, his antics have continued. Here’s Raphael Honigstein’s account of what he did to his players in September. (

“Magath had them running through the Wolfsburg woods (again) and when they had finished, they found that most of their water bottles had been emptied on purpose by the coach. Magath tried to justify this exercise in sadism as an “educational measure” afterwards – “I wanted them to learn to share resources as a team.””

Funnily enough, the players were not reacting to the coach’s “techniques” and after a 2-0 home defeat to Freiburg, the Wolfsburg hierarchy decided it was time for Magath to go. It’s no real surprise that since then the Wolves have improved markedly.

Interim coach Lorenz-Günther Köstner has been at the helm for the last four games but judging by the results, the players have just been happy to have someone who isn’t Felix Magath. Their third win in four games came on Sunday as they won away at Hoffenheim.

Seven minutes in, Makoto Hasebe headed the opener after some poor defending. Hoffenheim lost the ball just outside their own box soon after, allowing Bas Dost to double Wolfsburg’s lead. The home side did press but Diego Benaglio was relatively comfortable in any save he had to make. This was in part down to the surprisingly shot-shy Joselu. He blazed over from a matter of yards in the second half, epitomising his and Hoffenheim’s day in front of goal. With just over ten minutes to play, Naldo made it three for Wolfsburg with a well struck free kick before Eren Derdiyok scored a late consolation for the hosts.

Hoffenheim  were left with nothing after a master class in clinical finishing from the visitors – not bad for a team who netted just twice in their opening eight games.

The win on Sunday was made all the sweeter as new Sporting Director Klaus Allofs watched on for the first time since arriving from Werder Bremen during the week. He spent 13 years at the Weserstadion and Wolfsburg need that sort of stability after a destructive second reign of Felix Magath.

His first tenure at the club brought a maiden Bundesliga title but the results from this latest spell have tainted Magath’s legacy at Wolfsburg. Players such as Diego have openly welcomed his departure but like quite a few in Magath’s coaching career, he didn’t see eye-to-eye with him.

Diego is likely to help Wolfsburg climb further into a mid-table position this season but it’s hard to foresee another Bundesliga club appointing Felix Magath anytime soon.

Elsewhere in the Bundesliga

  • The unthinkable happened this weekend – Bayern Munich didn’t just concede a goal away from home, they also failed to win. Nuremberg were the team to stop them as they claimed an unlikely point against the Bundesliga leaders. There was controversy too after Mario Mandzukic’s celebration prompted claims he was showing support to two Croatian generals who had convictions overturned on Friday.
  • Bayern’s stumble allowed the chasing pack to close the gap and Borussia Dortmund were only too happy to do so. Inspired by Mario Götze, they overcame Greuther Fürth and surprise package Eintracht Frankfurt were also victorious as Alexander Meier continued his rich vein of form. He scored two as the Eagles beat Augsburg. No such luck for Schalke who were lacklustre in a 2-0 defeat to Bayer Leverkusen – the highlight of that was André Schürrle’s stunning opener.
  • Meanwhile in mid table, Son-Heung Min ensured Hamburg beat Mainz. Freiburg continue to chug away quietly after they won at Hannover and Stuttgart recovered from their collapse last weekend to win at Gladbach. Werder Bremen were the weekend’s other victors, coming from behind to beat Fortuna Düsseldorf at the Weserstadion.
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Matchday 12 Results:

Borussia Dortmund 3-1 Fürth

Eintracht Frankfurt 4-2 Augsburg

Gladbach 1-2 Stuttgart

Hamburg 1-0 Mainz

Hannover 1-2 Freiburg

Nuremberg 1-1 Bayern Munich

Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 Schalke

Werder Bremen 2-1 Fortuna Düsseldorf

Hoffenheim 1-3 Wolfsburg

Table:

Rank Club Matches W* D* L* G* GD* Pts.*
1 FC Bayern Munich 12 10 1 1 33:5 +28 31 CL*
2 FC Schalke 04 12 7 2 3 22:14 +8 23 CL*
3 Eintracht Frankfurt 12 7 2 3 25:18 +7 23 CL*
4 Borussia Dortmund 12 6 4 2 26:13 +13 22 CL* Qual.
5 Bayer 04 Leverkusen 12 6 3 3 21:17 +4 21 EL* Qual.
6 Hannover 96 12 5 2 5 25:20 +5 17 EL* Qual.
7 SV Werder Bremen 12 5 2 5 20:18 +2 17
8 1. FSV Mainz 05 12 5 2 5 15:14 +1 17
9 Hamburger SV 12 5 2 5 12:14 -2 17
10 SC Freiburg 12 4 4 4 16:14 +2 16
11 Borussia Mönchengladbach 12 4 4 4 18:23 -5 16
12 VfB Stuttgart 12 4 4 4 14:20 -6 16
13 VfL Wolfsburg 12 4 2 6 12:19 -7 14
14 1899 Hoffenheim 12 3 3 6 18:26 -8 12
15 1. FC Nuremberg 12 3 3 6 10:18 -8 12
16 Fortuna Düsseldorf 12 2 5 5 11:18 -7 11 Play-offs
17 Greuther Fürth 12 1 4 7 10:23 -13 7 Relegation
18 FC Augsburg 12 1 3 8 8:22 -14 6 Relegation

Table thanks to official Bundesliga website

Article originally written on Football Fan Cast

Bundesliga Review – Derby excitement tempered by Pezzoni incident By Archie Rhind-Tutt

 

Derbies – they are part of what makes not just the Bundesliga but football in general great. It’s there where all of the passion is poured out onto the pitch by both fans and players. This weekend the Bundesliga had no less than four of them on show. Not all of them were necessarily local – Bayern Munich and Stuttgart for instance are 136 miles apart.

The pair nevertheless make up the Southern derby (not to be confused with Nuremberg v Fürth which is the South derby). With Borussia Dortmund drawing with Nuremberg on Saturday, it was a great opportunity for Bayern to take an early lead over the Champions. They did just that, but not before Stuttgart were made to realise that Bayern are like the Incredible Hulk – you wouldn’t like them when they’re angry.

The Swabians hit the bar early on and then took the lead through Martin Harnik’s superb volley on 25 minutes. By half time, Stuttgart were trailing by two after Müller, Kroos and most spectacularly Luiz Gustavo, gave the Bavarians the lead their fans expected. In the second half, it continued with Müller (again), Mandzukic and Schweinsteiger ensuring last year’s runners up were 6-1 up just six minutes after half time. That’s how it stayed but there was still time for Vedad Ibisevic to be sent off, completing a bad start in the Bundesliga for the Bosnian after last week’s horrible miss.

Perhaps not for the last time this season though, Bayern went to the top of the Bundesliga. Still, they weren’t the only side to enjoy a Sunday roast. For the Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony) derby was more like the demolition derby as Hannover thumped Wolfsburg at the VW Arena.

This in itself was a surprise. After all, Hannover hadn’t won in Wolfsburg since 2006 and they weren’t great on the road last year, picking up just two away wins all season. The Wolves have also been tipped to do well this season and were expected to build on last weekend’s win at Stuttgart.

Still, Hannover are not a side to be underestimated, as they showed. Their star was Szabolcs Huszti. The Hungarian, who returned to the club after three years at Zenit St. Petersburg, set up all four goals for “The 96.” Karim Haggui and Artur Sobiech made it 2-0 before the break. In the second half, Leon Andreasen and Sobiech completed a fantastic day for Mirko Slomka’s men. Wolfsburg also had substitute Robin Knoche sent off in the second half and it was unsurprising when coach Felix Magath apologized to the fans after his side’s tame performance. After all, the Lower Saxony bragging rights were firmly with Hannover.

It wasn’t as clear cut in the Niederrhein (Lower Rhine) derby as Fortuna Düsseldorf and Borussia Mönchengladbach renewed rivalries in the Bundesliga for the first time in over 15 years. Yet neither was able to find a winner in a tight affair on Saturday evening. The match belied the ever entertaining nature of Fortuna Düsseldorf whilst for Gladbach, you can’t help but feel it was the sort of game they might have won, if they still had a certain Marco Reus. Still, the Foals look well set for the season, something which cannot be said of Hamburg.

HSV travelled to Werder Bremen in the Nordderby (North derby) but were outclassed for a second week running. With new signing Rafael van der Vaart watching on having returned from Spurs, Werder picked up from their encouraging performance at the Champions on the opening night of the season. Aaron Hunt had one penalty saved by René Adler, a definite positive for Hamburg in the new season. However, Adler was beaten by a second Hunt penalty in the second half and then by a Nils Petersen strike, ensuring that Werder and Hamburg were looking in different directions going into the international break. BILD even questioned after the result whether van der Vaart’s contract extends into the 2.Bundesliga – a cheeky and slightly premature jibe. Time is on their side but HSV’s start has been far from inspiring. Patience is thin on the ground with fans, as it is with many supporters these days.  Passion runs high which is what makes derby matches and indeed what made this weekend’s Bundesliga matches special.

However, we must be careful, especially after what happened to Kevin Pezzoni this week. Pezzoni was a player at another big club who have been going through hard times, that being Cologne who were relegated from the Bundesliga just a few months ago. He cancelled his contract this week after being threatened outside his home by a group of angry Cologne fans – an appalling development. So while fans displeasure at results is understandable, the Pezzoni incident certainly helped to put into context where football’s boundaries for passion lie.

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Matchday 2 Results:

Mainz 0-1 Fürth

Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 Freiburg

Hoffenheim 0-4 Eintracht Frankfurt

Nuremberg 1-1 Borussia Dortmund

Schalke 3-1 Augsburg

Werder Bremen 2-0 Hamburg

Fortuna Düsseldorf 0-0 Gladbach

Wolfsburg 0-4 Hannover

Bayern Munich 6-1 Stuttgart

Table

Position Club Games W* D* L* F:A GD* Points
1 FC Bayern Munich 2 2 0 0 9:1 +8 6 CL*
2 Eintracht Frankfurt 2 2 0 0 6:1 +5 6 CL*
3 Hannover 96 2 1 1 0 6:2 +4 4 CL*
4 FC Schalke 04 2 1 1 0 5:3 +2 4 CL* Qual.
5 Fortuna Düsseldorf 2 1 1 0 2:0 +2 4 EL* Qual.
6 Borussia Dortmund 2 1 1 0 3:2 +1 4 EL* Qual.
7 1. FC Nürnberg 2 1 1 0 2:1 +1 4
7 Borussia Mönchengladbach 2 1 1 0 2:1 +1 4
9 Bayer 04 Leverkusen 2 1 0 1 3:2 +1 3
9 SV Werder Bremen 2 1 0 1 3:2 +1 3
11 SpVgg Greuther Fürth 2 1 0 1 1:3 -2 3
12 VfL Wolfsburg 2 1 0 1 1:4 -3 3
13 1. FSV Mainz 05 2 0 1 1 1:2 -1 1
14 Sport-Club Freiburg 2 0 1 1 1:3 -2 1
15 Hamburger SV 2 0 0 2 0:3 -3 0
16 FC Augsburg 2 0 0 2 1:5 -4 0 Relegation
17 1899 Hoffenheim 2 0 0 2 1:6 -5 0 Relegation
18 VfB Stuttgart 2 0 0 2 1:7 -6 0 Relegation

Table thanks to the Bundesliga Official Website

Article originally written on Football Fan Cast