1. FC Nürnberg have announced the dismissal of Coach Michael Wiesinger, along with his assistant, Armin Reutershagen. The winless club have installed U-23 Coach Roger Prinzen as caretaker while Der Club searches for Wiesinger’s successor. Wiesinger joins Bruno Labbadia and Thorsten Fink in the line of Bundesliga coaches already fired this season, as his winless side sits in the table’s relegation playoff spot, only a point ahead of cellar-dwellers SC Freiburg and Eintracht Braunschweig.
Wiesinger, 40, played over 180 league matches with Nürnberg as a midfielder in the 1990s, and later featured on a champiionship club at Bayern Munich, in additioni to further playing stops at 1860 Munich, Wacker Burghausen and SpVgg Wieden. After retiring in 2008, Wiesinger began coaching the FC Ingolstadt reserve team, and was appointed coach of the FCI’s senior squad in November, 2009. He returned to Nürnberg as coach of the reserves in April, 2011 and was hired to replace Dieter Hecking as the senior squad coach last December. Wiesinger fashioned a 6-12-8 mark at Nürnberg before his dismissal, including Sunday’s horrid 5-0 loss at home to a previously struggling Hamburg team, although he did lift the team from a 14th place berth in the table at last season’s halfway point to a final 10th place finish.
Nürnberg chairman Martin Bader commented
After the heavy 5-0 defeat to HSV and the events of the season so far, we made the decision to take this step after some intensive discussions. It was a difficult decision, but it was the right thing to do in the interest of the club.
It wasn’t easy to tell Michael and Armin. Both of them identify themselves strongly with the club and they always worked with heart and soul. Unfortunately, the last few games have shown that there is no upward trend.
Former Bundesliga coaches Thomas Schaaf, Markus Babbel and Labbadia are among those mentioned as Wiesinger’s eventual replacement, along with the well-travelled Felix Magath and Lothar Matthäus. Another possibility is current FC Heidenheim coach Frank Schmidt, 39. The former defender has coached Heidenheim up to 3. Liga status since taking over in 2007.
Could the firing of Wiesinger be a panic move by Nürnberg executives. Sunday’s 5-0 loss at home was surely humiliating, but the club fought back the week back before at Werder Bremen, twice erasing deficits to earn a road point. No doubt it’s embarassing to not have earned a victory after eight weeks, especially with Eintracht Braunschweig picking up their first win this weekend, but Der Club have earned positive results in five of their matches so far, including a draw against mighty Borussia Dortmund.
Perhaps Nürnberg could have followed the lead of fellow Bavarian side FC Augsburg. After the first eight weeks last season, FCA under new coach Markus Weinzierl had only one more point than Nürnberg have now, but FCA management didn’t panic and Weinzierl not only led the club out of relegation by season’s end but had the club on the edge of a Europa League berth this season before last weekend’s loss. Expectations are naturally higher for Der Club given their history, but FCA are slowly improving as a club by exhibiting patience with Weinzierl, who is nearly the same age as Wiesinger and came to coaching in Germany’s top division with a fairly similar background, while Der Club endure another coaching change and start over. There is something to be said for patience and stability at a club.
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