March 22, 2017

1. FC Nürnberg dismisses Valerean Ismael as coach; replacement being sought

The supervisory board of 1. FC Nürnberg met Monday night in a session called specifically to discuss the current sporting situation at the club, with the end result being the removal of Valerean Ismael as head coach of der Club.

“In recent days, we have dealt intensively with the current sporting situation, but also with the analysis of the way the entire current season has run to date,” explained sporting director Martin Bader. “After many discussions, we, along with the supervisory board, arrived at the decision to make a coaching change, even though this decision is anything but easy.”

The goal set for Der Club for the season is for an immediate promotion back to the Bundesliga. With just four victories from the first 13 matches of the 2. Bundesliga season, Nürnberg is much closer to a relegation fight than being a contender for promotion, sitting 14th in the table on 14 points with a minus-ten goal differential, second worst in the league only to FC St. Pauli.

The FCN stumbled out of the gate. Following a season-opening victory over Erzgebirge Aue, Nürnberg was handed a stunning 5:1 defeat rival SpVgg Greuther Fürth on match day two, after which the club failed to score in five of its next six matches, including i a first-round DFB Cup match, losing all five.

Home wins over Kaiserslautern and Leipzig, with a draw at Bochum inbetween, signalled there might yet be life in the Ismael era, but with just one point (from a home match against hapless St. Pauli) in the last three matches, the club was inspired to take action at the head of the current international break.

Until a replacement is hired, team training will be led by fitness-and-rehab coach Markus Zidek and goalkeeping coach Daniel Klewer, beginning with Tuesday afternoon’s session.

Ismael’s dismissal brings the total number of 2. Bundesliga coaches dismissed this season to four, with Ricardo Moniz (1860 München), Falko Götz (Erzgebirge Aue), and Roland Vrabec (St. Pauli) preceding him.

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Randall Hauk is a freelance writer living in the United States while covering German football. He is currently the publisher of Planet Effzeh, an English-language site covering 1. FC Köln. He wrote about the German national team for the Telegraph as part of their World Cup Nation coverage.

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