The Sack Race: Andries Jonker out at Wolfsburg – Martin Schmidt in!

Well as Ron Burgundy once said: 

The new Bundesliga season is just four games old and we already have our first managerial casualty with the announcement that Andries Jonker has been sacked by VfL Wolfsburg.

After going through three different coaches last season, it had been hoped that the Dutch trainer could steady the Wolfsburg ship (or should that be Volkswagen?), but following the narrow escape from relegation last season, things haven’t gone to plan.

“Decisive for us in taking this step at this point in time was not just the impression made upon us during the game against Stuttgart, but rather based upon the perception of stagnated development amongst the team, which was to a great extent newly formed during the summer,” explained Wolfgang Hotze, spokesman for the board of management.

“We expressly wish to thank Andries Jonker and his coaching staff, for rescuing VfL’s position in the top-flight at the last-minute at the end of last season.”

Jonker left his position as Head of the youth academy at Arsenal to succeed Valerien Ismael at the Volkswagen Arena on matchday 23 with die Wölfe 14th in the Bundesliga. He started well with two wins and two draws, but was powerless to stop the club sliding down to 16th and the relegation play-off.

Getting the club through that two-legged clash with Eintracht Braunschweig probably glossed over a few things and led to him going into the new season as head coach still. However, things this season have shown an eerie similarity to last season’s mediocrity with just one win from four games.

“The decision to make a change of head-coach at this early stage of the season wasn’t easy for any of us. However, during our internal consultations, we ultimately came to the conclusion that we wish to approach the task with a newly formed coaching-team” Manager Dr. Tim Schumacher added.

An overall record of just five wins in sixteen Bundesliga matches and 19 points achieved was not a standard expected by those in charge. Granted the loss of new defensive signing John-Anthony Brooks through injury was a huge blow, but in Jonker’s own words, Saturday’s loss to Stuttgart was poor.

Wolfsburg already have a replacement in mind as they haven’t appointed a caretaker and are confident that ahead of the ‘Englische Woche’ with games against Werder Bremen and Bayern Munich remaining. That replacement is none other than our favorite former mechanic\Dave Grohl doppelgänger Martin Schmidt, who has been out of work since getting the boot at Mainz at the end of last season. The usually reliable Kicker broke the news just minutes ago, reporting that the trainer has signed a deal through 2019.

Ironically for Schmidt, who has averaged 1,32 points in 91 games in charge of Mainz, the reunion with FSV will already take place next week. Wolfsburg will need points in that one as well, since the next three against Leverkusen (away), Hoffenheim (home) and Schalke (away) all look like really tough matches. Then again, as they say, when you’re so far down the table, they all are!


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Mathew Burt

A year spent living in Bremen got Mathew hooked on the Bundesliga with regular visits to the Weser Stadion getting in the way of his studies. Back in the UK now, he still keenly follows the Grün-Weißen and German football in general. Follow him on Twitter @matburt74.

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