“We’ve got something planned for next season.”

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Germany: Bundesliga

Stuttgart C. Führich (89)

Mercedes-Benz-ArenaFull time1-1

Wolfsburg J. Brooks (13)

By Peter Vice

While VfL Bochum celebrated their hold of top flight German football with T-Shirts and visits to the fan-block over at Signal Iduna Park on Saturday, VfL Wolfsburg settled for a sigh of collective relief over at Stuttgart’s Mercedes Benz Arena. 

From Champions’ League qualification to the relegation race, it’s been a bitterly disappointing season for Germany’s green company team. 

Head-coach Florian Kohfeldt, who’s tenure at the club hasn’t exactly been a sparkling success, said that he remained convinced that he’d hold onto his job entering next season.  

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Florian Kohfeldt.

In stark contrast to the jubilation over at Signal Iduna, Saturday was a day of exasperated relief for those associated with the VfL Wolfsburg. A late equalizer from opponents VfB Stuttgart ensured that even the preservation of the class didn’t come with much fanfare.

“I’m glad we got our act together in time,” midfielder Maximilian Arnold told the Sky mics afterwards, “There’s a load off our shoulders.”

Big changes are coming for Germany’s green company team this summer. Defensive stalwart John Anthony Brooks–who scored the VfL’s lone goal in Saturday’s draw–will be departing on an expiring contract. Offers will be made for a whole host of players (Xaver Schlager, Ridle Baku, Kevin Mbabu, Maxence Lacroix, and Jerome Roussillon) either entering the last year of their deals or serving as hot transfer-bait commodities.

Decisions will have to be made about a significant number of players (Josip Brekalo, Omar Marmoush, Marin Pongracic, and Elvis Rexhbecaj) returning from loan. Place will have to be found for new additions such as Jakub Kaminski and Patrick Wimmer.

Above all, a gaffer with a keen eye shall be needed to find a way of sorting out the problems associated with this talent-laden squad; a massive underachiever after two big 2021/22 transfer windows.

Current trainer Florian Kohfeldt has hardly done a stellar job with the current crew. With eight wins, 14 losses, and four draws since taking over for Mark van Bommel in November, the former SV Werder Bremen head-coach has done to keep the club up, but not much more.

Himself entering his final six months as the club’s managing director, boss Jörg Schmadtke might himself wish to consider a course correction. The summer could constitute the perfect opportunity to find a new leader for a roster collectively worth nearly €500 million.

Speaking to reporters after Saturday’s result, Schmadtke reiterated that Kohfeldt remained his man for the next season.

The 39-year-old trainer was also asked about his future.

“We are pushing ahead with the planning together,” Kohfeldt noted, “We’ll enter the new season in this set up. That’s my feeling and I’m also convinced of that. We’ve got something planned for next season.”

Stuttgart
(3-4-3)
1 F. Müller
5 K. Mavropanos
2 W. Anton
37 H. Ito
11 E. Thommy ↪57
3 W. Endo (C)
16 A. Karazor ↪84
24 B. Sosa
18 T. de Melo Tomás
9 S. Kalajdzic
17 O. Marmoush ↪57
Bench
33 F. Bredlow
50 A. Tibidi
43 L. Bazzoli
7 T. Coulibaly
8 E. Millot ↩84
20 P. Förster ↩57
22 C. Führich ↩57
23 O. Mangala
30 R. Massimo
Wolfsburg
(4-3-3)
1 K. Casteels (C)
20 R. Baku
4 M. Lacroix
25 J. Brooks
15 J. Roussillon ↪80
24 X. Schlager
27 M. Arnold
31 Y. Gerhardt ↪72
23 J. Wind
10 L. Nmecha ↪73
9 M. Kruse ↪90
Bench
12 P. Pervan
17 M. Philipp ↩90
21 B. Bialek
28 D. Lukebakio
5 M. van de Ven ↩80
19 K. Mbabu
8 A. Vranckx ↩72
11 R. Steffen
22 F. Nmecha ↩73

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