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Kohfeldt repairs damaged reputation with dream start at Wolfsburg | Wolfsburg

It’s fairly one thing, going from sacked by certainly one of final season’s relegated Bundesliga golf equipment to a brand new submit which affords a second recreation in cost within the rarefied environment of the Champions League, no much less. The notion is perhaps that Florian Kohfeldt has landed on his ft however the early indicators are that Wolfsburg are very pleased that he did.

Saturday’s 1-0 win over Augsburg was a 3rd successive win for the brand new coach since he arrived in Decrease Saxony to interchange Mark van Bommel. Kohfeldt was sincere in regards to the actuality of the efficiency – “the primary 45 minutes was our greatest first half of the week however within the second half, we couldn’t have complained had they equalised” – however he has each proper to benefit from the forthcoming pause for internationals.

It might not fairly be Peter Stöger leaving rock-bottom Köln mid-season after which taking Borussia Dortmund into the Champions League just a few years again, nevertheless it has raised the odd eyebrow. The tip for Kohfeldt at Werder Bremen wasn’t simply the end result of a scarcity of success. It was excruciating. Werder had hovered above the trapdoor for some time and when Kohfeldt was dismissed with the group within the relegation playoff spot with only a recreation left, it was a final resort, with the membership bringing again the legendary Thomas Schaaf for a nostalgic brief, sharp shock earlier than their final likelihood (it didn’t work – Werder misplaced and with different outcomes, have been robotically relegated).

There was by no means the suggestion that Kohfeldt was incompetent. Werder sporting director Frank Baumann had even underlined in his assertion accompanying information of the coach’s departure his perception that Kohfeldt “remains to be a wonderful coach.” He had, nonetheless, been floor down by the strain of attempting to make a Bundesliga big defy gravity, beset by poor government administration, years of waning outcomes and colossal debt. Kohfeldt had are available in fresh-faced and idealistic, wanting a restricted Werder to play optimistic soccer within the membership’s – his membership’s – custom, and he succeeded for some time. He left three-and-a-half years later having been via the wringer. You will have to Google him a number of occasions to verify and double-check that sure, he is nonetheless solely 39.

Now there’s the sense that he and Wolfsburg may very well be the proper match. A membership in search of a philosophy and a coach in search of a viable venture. Maybe earlier than each have been in search of love in all of the fallacious locations, as Younger MC may need it. His ardour has been welcomed within the Wolfsburg dressing room and having to be courageous and hit the bottom operating, with a visit to direct rivals Leverkusen and a Champions League must-win in opposition to Salzburg previous this, has labored out nicely. “Kohfeldt’s an emotional coach who encourages us quite a bit,” mentioned Lukas Nmecha, the scorer in every of the brand new coach’s three video games. “Tactically,” he added with some tact, “it’s also a bit clearer.”

Florian Kohfeldt reacts after enjoying a third straight win since succeeding Mark van Bommel as manager.
Florian Kohfeldt reacts after having fun with a 3rd straight win since succeeding Mark van Bommel as supervisor. {Photograph}: Martin Rose/Getty Pictures

Nmecha, having scored two very totally different successful objectives via the week (in opposition to Salzburg, he chested down a Maxi Arnold go and smashed it in at the close to submit, and soared to move in Paulo Otávio’s supply in opposition to Augsburg), is especially feeling the press with the brand new coach and the Manchester Metropolis academy graduate this week obtained a call-up from Hansi Flick for Germany’s video games in opposition to Liechtenstein and Armenia. Collectively he and Kohfeldt promise to make Die Wölfe much less one-dimensional – and fewer reliant on the talismanic Wout Weghorst – with Kohfeldt lastly having the sources he would have given his eye tooth for in his time residing off scraps in cost at Weserstadion.

In time, Kohfeldt will hope to supply the kind of soccer to fill the Volkswagen Area – solely 16,000 supporters, simply over half-capacity, attended Saturday’s recreation. Which may be one thing to construct in the direction of however with so many alluring short-term targets, led by potential Champions League final 16 qualification, this formidable coach and membership don’t have to attend to dream large collectively.

Fast Information

Bundesliga outcomes

Present

Mainz 1-1 Mönchengladbach, Leipzig 2-1 Borussia Dortmund, Wolfsburg 1-0 Augsburg, Stuttgart 0-1 Arminia Bielefeld, Bochum 2-0 Hoffenheim, Bayern Munich 2-1 Freiburg, Greuther Fürth 1-2 Eintracht Frankfurt, Cologne 2-2 Union Berlin, Hertha Berlin 1-1 Bayer Leverkusen.

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Speaking factors

Freiburg lastly misplaced their unbeaten document precisely the place you’d count on, even when they’d their moments in Saturday’s slim loss at Bayern Munich. Leon Goretzka opened the scoring and dominated, with Robert Lewandowski having obtained his inevitable (and nearly onside) aim earlier than Janik Haberer’s too-late reply. In between Christian Streich’s aspect created sufficient to maintain Manuel Neuer sincere. “We will’t do greater than we did immediately,” mentioned the coach.

The worldwide window is arriving at simply the proper time for Dortmund, flagging when it comes to health and type and nicely overwhelmed in Saturday’s late recreation at Leipzig, regardless of a comparatively modest scoreline of 2-1. A lot was manufactured from captain Marco Reus – whose second-half aim briefly gave BVB parity earlier than Yussuf Poulsen’s winner – panning the group’s first-half show and their employment of three at the again. Marco Rose moved to a four-man defence after the break (with accidents dictating Thorgan Hazard crammed in at left-back). Sporting director Michael Zorc performed down any battle, calling it “frustration over the defeat. The whole lot is OK between the 2 of them.”

Jesse Marsch celebrated with gusto at the tip, having insisted earlier than the sport that it was time for his group to beat a rival of substance and it clearly felt good, even when Dortmund are presently diminished. He had “anticipated extra from the start of the season,” he admitted, however “it was vital for us to lastly get extra reward for our work.”

Leverkusen’s Gerardo Seoane may need felt a level of aid, although not fairly as a lot, after Robert Andrich’s badly-needed late equaliser at Hertha prevented a 3rd straight home defeat. “Below the present circumstances,” mentioned the coach, “the purpose feels actually good.” They have been hassled and roughed up by the spiky Berliners, and it was definitely a development expertise for Iker Bravo and Zidan Sertdemir, the 2 16-year-olds who got here on as substitutes.

Leverkusen’s native rivals Köln additionally netted themselves a late level, with Anthony Modeste scoring early and late on whereas their bogey group Union Berlin brought about them loads of frustration in between. Modeste’s late header was adopted by him operating to the touchline, stealing coach Steffen Baumgart’s iconic flat cap and dancing in entrance of him whereas he wore it (permissible, maybe, after eight objectives already this season).

Purpose of the weekend, nonetheless, was Milos Pantović’s strike from his personal half for Bochum to clinch victory deep into stoppage time in opposition to Hoffenheim, a fourth win already this season for final time period’s Bundesliga 2 champions. It may not fairly have been the equal of the 82-metre strike by Paderborn’s Moritz Stoppelkamp in opposition to Hannover in 2014, nevertheless it was cool sufficient. Pantović had already created the opener for fellow sub Soma Novothny when he ran the ball out from a cleared Hoffenheim nook and with the entire Bochum bench exhorting him to run the ball into the nook, he merely swished it into the open web with Oliver Baumann stranded upfield. “I’ve loads of confidence in my left foot,” Pantović defined. In between, Bochum goalkeeper Manuel Riemann had missed the prospect to seal the factors by thrashing a penalty approach over the bar. Only a regular Saturday at the Ruhrstadion, then.

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