High-profile German Bundesliga club VfL Wolfsburg has decided to fire its coach Dieter Hecking, as well as his assistant Dirk Bremser on Monday.
Their decision does not come as a particular surprise, given the failure of the team to live up to its potential.
A second-place domestic league finish in 2015, that they topped by winning the German Cup in the same year, was followed by a severe turn in the Wolves’ fortunes.
While it was a major accomplishment, in hindsight it seems that their reaching the quarterfinals of last season’s Champions League was little more than a glorious distraction from the team’s domestic shortfalls.
They finished last Bundesliga season in mid-table, far below any Europa League, let alone Champions League qualification places. Even then, Dieter Hecking’s place should have been in question, given the immense damage to both image and pocket book such failure brings.
A team like Wolfsburg must at least expect to play European soccer every season. Clubs with far more modest means than the Volkswagen-sponsored Wolves seem to at least finish in the top six each year.
As Wolfsburg’s website states, they had reacted to the failure to qualify for this season’s continental competitions by refreshing the squad. It was a measure they now admit did not succeed with Dieter Hecking.
The club leadership is thankful for the work that the now-departed coach has done in his almost four years at Wolfsburg. Clearly, the above-mentioned success speaks for itself.
However, club CEO Klaus Allofs and his colleagues also see the need to give the team a new direction, after its difficult start into the current season, in which they have regularly failed to score and only won one of their seven league matches so far.
Reserve team coach Valerien Ismael will take over the team on an interim basis.