Wolfsburg (dpa) – Hardly any other club will likely find this much criticized international break as useful as VfL Wolfsburg. Twelve days of no game of their own, ten days of no press conference – there is plenty of time to talk.
“We will now use the international break to sit back and discuss the matter,” said coach Oliver Glasner on Sunday evening.
“The Thing”: The coach meant the dissonances with his athletic management, which recently sparked more discussion in Wolfsburg than even a turbulent home win like the 2-1 (2-0) against 1899 Hoffenheim could ever create. Hardly anyone wanted to know from Glasner afterwards how happy he was with the penalty kick saved in injury time. Or about the seventh Bundesliga game, in which his team remained unbeaten. Much then revolved around the Austrian’s public statements on the subject of squad planning (“We didn’t reach our transfer target during the offensive”) and Managing Director Jörg Schmadtke’s response (“That’s not Phantasialand here”).
In the coming days there will be more talk and less about each other, and it already seems clear: the coach will not be kicked out or resign. “Why would it instantly lead to a split if you have different opinions and Oliver makes one or the other publicly known?” Sports director Marcel Schäfer said in an interview with Sky. “It’s absolutely no problem that you sometimes have different opinions and sometimes rub yourself. But we have to discuss the topic of squad planning internally and we will do that in the future.”
Glasner also made it clear: “I always spoke in the we-form.” He did not mean his statements as a criticism of Schmadtke and Schäfer. “I firmly believe that you can only be successful in football and team sports together.”
As a 100 percent subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group, the “wolves” can absorb the massive losses caused by the Corona crisis much better than other Bundesliga clubs. Nevertheless, Schmadtke and Schäfer started with clear savings targets in the summer of 2018. The fact that VfL finished third from the bottom with the third most expensive team in the league cannot be repeated. For this reason, Glasner’s predecessor Bruno Labbadia, for example, did not get the striker he would have liked in the winter of 2019.
The bottom line is that Hoffenheim’s match also provided more arguments for the coach’s work than against it. Before the win, after goals from Renato Steffen (6th), Wout Weghorst (26th) and Sargis Adamjan (87th), goalkeeper Koen Casteels saved the penalty when he saved Munas Dabbur’s penalty (90th + 4th). But VfL convinced for a long time and even received confirmation of its transfer policy: with Ridle Baku, one of the four newcomers was nominated for the senior team for the first time.