Dortmund give Stöger ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ chance after firing Bosz

first_img1Bayern Munich152435 Pinterest Read more Few expected Stöger to be that, despite his inclusion on the Dortmund shortlist after Thomas Tuchel’s summer departure (Watzke said the discussions between the two parties ceased when it became clear Stöger was still “totally invested” in Köln). The former Austria Wien coach’s place in Köln’s history is indisputable – Watzke made the point that lifting Effzeh to last season’s fifth place “is like winning two championships with a bigger club,” mischievously framing him as a Jürgen Klopp figure with his choice of words – but this season’s start by his team was the worst of any in Bundesliga history. Even Stöger himself admitted he had been “very surprised” to be given the opportunity.Yet there’s a tangible feeling that there’s a lot of sense in this. For much of the season it’s felt as if the tactical science of Thomas Tuchel has been missed. Stöger doesn’t represent that but much of his success at the RheinEnergieStadion was built on defensive solidity, something Bosz was never able to provide. Tuchel’s failings in relating to certain members of staff has been well-documented, and has continued to be felt as the exit of head scout Sven Mislintat to Arsenal highlighted. Yet the former Mainz coach did at least entertain excellent relations with the squad’s Francophone contingent, led by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Ousmane Dembélé and Raphaël Guerreiro. Stöger created a formidable team spirit at Köln and the hope is he will do so again. Facebook 2RB Leipzig15327 3Schalke 0415626 Borussia Dortmund • After straight defeats, Leipzig were close to beating lowly Mainz, having benefited from a generous penalty decision to lead 2-1 via Timo Werner, only for visiting substitute Emil Berggreen to head a deserved late equaliser. It’s not a real crisis, but the difference is that this season, more is expected of Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side. The coach admitted Mainz “deserved” the draw.• More VAR fun in the game between Mönchengladbach and Schalke. After Christoph Kramer gave Gladbach a first-half lead, Lars Stindl had a second ruled out – a close, but correct, decision – before referee Sascha Stegemann gave them what looked a pretty clear penalty when Naldo fouled Stindl. After a delay, the decision was overturned for a foul earlier in the action. “It’s questionable,” a peeved Dieter Hecking said, although opposite number Domenico Tedesco, who had Jannik Vestergaard’s own goal to thank for a point, argued the evidence “is in the eye of the beholder. It’s not maths”.• In-form Leverkusen are at the gates of the top four, extending their unbeaten run in all competitions to 11 with Friday’s excellent 2-0 win at Stuttgart – the first time this season the visitors have taken home the points from the Mercedes-Benz Arena, with VfB having last lost at home on 18 December last year. Leon Bailey shone again, laying on the goals for Kai Havertz and Lars Bender, but goalkeeper Bernd Leno was the real hero, making a string of saves.• This column spent Saturday afternoon at Hamburg’s match against Wolfsburg after last season’s corresponding fixture, on the final day, resulted in HSV grabbing a late winner to leap out of the relegation play-off spot they’ve almost made their own, and condemn the visitors to it. Die Wölfe survived and did likewise this weekend despite sustained pressure under snowy skies from a willing Hamburg, who lacked the forward quality to press home their dominance. Wolfsburg have lost only once in 11 under coach Martin Schmidt. “He’s brought a lot more character to this team,” midfielder Josuha Guilavogui told the Guardian.• Augsburg could, and should be in the top five, having bossed Hertha. Instead, Salomon Kalou snatched a late (and undeserved) equaliser for the visitors, who are too close to the bottom three for comfort. “It feels like a defeat,” lamented Manuel Baum to Sky, “because Hertha had almost totally run out of options.”Results: Stuttgart 0-2 Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Dortmund 1-2 Werder Bremen, Eintracht Frankfurt 0-1 Bayern Munich, Hamburg 0-0 Wolfsburg, RB Leipzig 2-2 Mainz, Borussia Mönchengladbach 1-1 Schalke, Cologne 3-4 Freiburg, Hannover 2-0 Hoffenheim, Augsburg 1-1 Hertha Berlin. Share on WhatsApp Share via Email 15Hamburg15-715 13VfB Stuttgart15-617 Sportblog 5Bayer Leverkusen151024 Share on LinkedIn Saturday had been the lowest point yet, a home defeat (and a deserved one) by relegation-threatened visitors in Werder Bremen who hadn’t won away all season and lost two of their best players, Fin Bartels and Zlatko Junuzovic, to injury during the game. The always frank Marcel Schmelzer described the team’s performance as “an absolute disgrace” after the game: “Talking won’t help any more.” Arturo Vidal celebrates scoring at Eintracht. Photograph: Ralph Orlowski/Reuters 18Cologne15-223 Share on Pinterest Borussia Dortmund sack Peter Bosz and appoint Peter Stöger as new manager 14Mainz15-716 7Augsburg15523 11Wolfsburg15118 A week is a long time in the Bundesliga. On Monday, Peter Stöger and his assistant Manni Schmid cleared their desks and said goodbye to Köln’s players. By midday on Sunday, the Austrian was being presented by Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke as the club’s new coach, in a press conference that also confirmed the firing of Peter Bosz.That the Dutchman is on his way is no surprise. Dortmund’s only win since late September in any competition was at third-tier Magdeburg in the DfB Pokal in October and performances have been every bit as bad as that run suggests. With confidence in his methods plainly sapped, as underlined by the concession of a four-goal lead in the derby with Schalke, perhaps only the lack of an obvious replacement had kept Bosz in situ since. Bundesligacenter_img 9Eintracht Frankfurt15122 Twitter 17Werder Bremen15-614 blogposts Facebook Pinterest Share on Facebook 4Borussia M’gladbach15-225 European club football Read more Share on Twitter 10Hannover 9615022 PosTeamPGDPts New Dortmund head coach Peter Stöger is presented to the media. Photograph: Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images Twitter 12Hertha Berlin15-218 6TSG Hoffenheim15523 16SC Freiburg15-1515 Topics 8Borussia Dortmund151222 He’s right. When Dortmund’s wobble started, all the focus was on Bosz’s system – and particularly his much-maligned high defensive line that exposed the team, and new signing Ömer Toprak in particular – but the players need to bear their share of the responsibility. Among them, Marc Bartra has badly struggled for consistency and the influential Julian Weigl has been a shadow of his best self. That’s without touching on Aubameyang’s latest disciplinary issues. It has been left to the brilliant teenager Christian Pulisic to prop up his team too often.It is left to Stöger, then, to restore confidence where there has been next to none. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” he said on Sunday, insisting his fraught season so far hadn’t drained him and that he was feeling fresh. “It’s an incredible opportunity to work in this stadium and for these supporters.”That chance will extend until at least the end of the current campaign, with automatic Champions League qualification the clear aim, even if Watzke declined to set any specific targets. He left the door open to extend Stöger’s tenure, even if Bild claimed later on Sunday that Dortmund have an agreement with Hoffenheim’s Julian Nagelsmann to take over in the summer, with Bayern Munich seeming to have gone cold. For now, it’s Stöger’s gig and, at the very least, those fans who booed their side at the end of the defeat by Werder will hope his personality can make Dortmund feel more like Dortmund again. Talking points • On Sunday it was the start of a new era for Köln but the same old miserable story. Leading 3-0 against fellow strugglers Freiburg after half-an-hour under new boss Stefan Ruthenbeck, Effzeh looked set fair for a first win of the season in a match that began 30 minutes late with a full complement of groundstaff required to clear heavy snow. Unfortunately, as the snow began to melt, so did the home side’s nerve, with Timo Horn’s save helping them hold on grimly until Nils Petersen scored two late penalties to complete a hat-trick and break their hearts. Even with more than half the season to go, coming back from this looks impossible for Ruthenbeck and new sporting director Armin Veh.• We have ourselves a Herbstmeister, with Bayern Munich guaranteed the unofficial title of winter champion after Saturday’s 1-0 win at Eintracht Frankfurt, coupled with Leipzig’s failure to finish off Mainz. A back-post header from the revitalised Arturo Vidal did the necessary but it was a strange afternoon, with a much-changed Bayern including Tom Starke – the goalkeeper making his 100th Bundesliga appearance, over 14 years after his top-flight debut and nearly seven months after announcing his retirement. Frankfurt’s sporting director, Fredi Bobic, argued Vidal shouldn’t have been on the pitch to score it after he chopped down a clean-through Aymen Bartok. “For 17 other Bundesliga clubs, it would have been red,” he said. Later there was a red for Eintracht’s Marius Wolf after his tackle on James Rodríguez but it was reduced to a yellow by VAR, and Wolf was called back from the dressing room. Welcome to Football: how Borussia Dortmund help give refugees hope Share on Messenger Reuse this contentlast_img