The competence of a manager in a competitive league like the Bundesliga is not accessed by mere intentions or rhetoric of the manager alone. Rather, a cocktail of numerous factors like execution of the manager’s football philosophy on the green grass in combination with the league table as yardstick.
Armin Veh, who was dubbed Vehlix at the start of this season as manager of VFL Wolfsburg because of his triple function as manager,general manager and CEO à la Felix Magath(his predecessor) is the latest casualty of uninspiring football. Wolfsburg, who were Bundesliga champions last season are currently placed 10th. For Volkswagen, the official sponsors of Wolfsburg, the team is too mediocre and a far cry from the mission to put Wolfsburg on the international football map as a force to be reckoned with.
Veh, had the misfortune of constantly living in the shadow of Felix Magath. He came to Wolfsburg to continue from where his predecessor stopped. There was no radical change in the team structure. The maxim that never change a winning team might be true but for Veh, it was disaster. Most of the players who won the league last season stayed in Wolfsburg because of fantastic contracts that were offered. Sadly, this season, top players like Diego Benaglio, Edin Dzeko,Zvejzdan Misimovic or Grafite are unexciting.
VFL Wolfsburg defense has so far conceded 38 goals in 19 games. The defense is piss-poor There is no stability in defense. The players playing defense keep changing with every game. It has led to insecurity in the players approach to the game.
Equally disheartening is the integration of the new arrivals to the club.Karim Ziani, is still trying to find his feet. Obafemi Martins, is good but he is still a work in progress. Thomas Kahlenberg, is recovering from injury. The players costs millions. As general manager, CEO and manager, Veh, is responsible for the flop signings.
Recently,VFL Wolfsburg, appointed Dieter Hoeness, a veteran Bundesliga general manager to help relieve Veh of his triple functions. Unfortunately, it did not save his job. Wolfsburg lost to Cologne last weekend 3-2. It was Hoeness, who annouced Monday the termination of Veh’s contract. The project Vehlix is history at Wolfsburg, six months after it began. A new manager will be announced soon. In the interim, Lorenz-Günther Köstner is expected to take charge of affairs.
Raphael Honigstein, posits that “Wolfsburgs’s fall from grace seems to confirm a suspicion from Veh’s VfB Stuttgart days: the 48-year-old is the perfect manager for a side on a good run but neither stringent nor hard working enough to succeed in more difficult circumstances.” It is not far from the truth. However, like TAZ concludes, “the question for him is, how does his failure at Wolfsburg affects his reputation in the branch and for his future chance in the job market.” Definitely, i do not expect him to walk in the footsteps of Felix Magath in another club.
VFL Wolfsburg is in dire straits. Hoeness, is expected to guide the club. SZ cynically writes, “….the club must look for a manager, who must be strong enough to walk away from the shadow of Felix Magath. And also strong enough to fulfill the expectations of the global cooperation, Volkswagen. Football made by Volkswagen-there are not so many candidates.”
Veh, the manager from Augsburg, is very good at reinventing himself. Do not be surprised to see him in the headlines again. Hopefully, with a positive twist.