VfB Stuttgart have announced they have sacked Bruno Labbadia as manager as the club currently sits 18th in the Bundesliga.
Labbadia took charge in December as the permanent replacement for Pellegrino Matarazzo who had been sacked in October, Michael Wimmer took charge of Stuttgart before the World Cup break.
On Labbadia’s dismissal, Stuttgart CEO Alexander Wehrle said: “We thank Bruno Labbadia for the work he has done. We committed Bruno last December because we were firmly convinced that we could initiate a trend reversal with him. Bruno has worked with the team from day one with great commitment and passion, but unfortunately, this did not pay off in the form of points. In the end, we came to the conclusion that we need a new impulse, Sebastian Hoeneß has already gained important experience in the Bundesliga and also knows the junior and transition area very well as a coach. We are sure that Sebastian is the right coach for the upcoming challenges, and he will master this difficult situation together with the team.”
Sporting director Fabian Wohlgemuth spoke on the coaching change as well: “Bruno Labbadia accepted the big challenge last December. Under not easy circumstances, he has tried a lot to lead the team back on the road to success. The turnaround has not been successful and despite partly good performances, we have continued to lose ground in the fight for class preservation in recent weeks. We thank Bruno for his commitment to VfB and wish him all the best for the future.”
Wohlgemuth added why they went with Sebastian Hoeneß as their new coach: “It’s about the immediate effect, but also about what we want to push forward beyond the season at VfB. Sebastian Hoeneß has proven that he can lead teams and at the same time have a very positive influence on the development of individual players. As a coach, Sebastian knows both how to deal with top talents in the junior field and professional football – he will quickly find the right address. With this profile and his way of working, he is the right man for us. We are pleased that Sebastian has chosen VfB and will do everything we can together with him to make the fight for class retention successful.”
Stuttgart have only won one game in the new year beating 1.FC Köln 3-0 in February, however, the majority of their fixtures were against teams fighting in the top half of the table.
Hoeneß will take over from Labbadia and has signed a contract until 2025. Hoeneß last coached Hoffenheim last season before being replaced by André Breitenreiter. On his appointment, Hoeneß said:
“I am really looking forward to the challenge at VfB and thank you for the trust and the good conversations with those responsible. I have a great emotional connection to VfB. I already accompanied the club as a fan in my youth, here I played myself for several years in my youth and won the German championship title with the U17 in 1999. For us, there are now three tasks, exactly in this order:
To make the cup game in Nuremberg successful.
To achieve class preservation in the Bundesliga.
After the season, to carry out a clear analysis together with the sporting leadership in order to take the necessary steps for a successful future of VfB Stuttgart.”
Stuttgart plays Nürenberg on Wednesday in the DFB Pokal quarter-finals before facing Bochum next Sunday.
GGFN | Jack Meenan