Trainer dismissal in Hoffenheim: on the brink of the second division – sport
A countdown ran all weekend on the TSG Hoffenheim website. However, it did not show the elapsing time of coach André Breitenreiter. His release was leaked on Sunday evening and was officially announced on Monday afternoon. Meanwhile, the countdown continues to count down the seconds until the next home game on Saturday against Bayer Leverkusen.
The game against the Werkself will be a particularly important one for Hoffenheim. This game will show whether the last sluggish performance of TSG was due to coach Breitenreiter or rather to the players. Against Leverkusen it will also be decided whether Hoffenheim will slide even deeper into the relegation battle or whether they can initially free themselves. For the latter purpose, Breitenreiter has been separated. The following choice of coach is therefore of particular importance. Maybe that’s why the club didn’t present a new head coach until late Monday afternoon. Everything needs to be well thought out. Pellegrino Matarazzo, who was released in Stuttgart, and Domenico Tedesco, who was suspended in Leipzig, were circulating as names.
After the 2: 5 disgrace on Saturday in Bochum, after the ninth league game in a row without a win, which meant the end for Breitenreiter, Hoffenheim’s sports director Alexander Rosen did not initially question the coach, but rather something fundamental: “I say it is a subject for questioning and discussing everything,” said Rosen, casting doubt on almost everything, both structurally and atmospherically. TSG is three and a half years after saying goodbye to Julian Nagelsman reached a critical point. In the last quarter of last season, Sebastian Hoeneß’s team gambled away a place in Europe by not winning a single game in their last nine and falling from fourth place into meaningless midfield.
Exactly the same, nine games without a win (with seven losses) in a row and a fall from fourth place were the team under Breitenreiter. Worse this time, she is now even on the brink of the second division. This does not at all correspond to the expectations and the tolerance at the ambitious Zuzenhausen location north of the Sinsheim stadium and the eponymous district of Hoffenheim. A 1: 4 against Mönchengladbach and the 2: 5 in Bochum represented a new level of escalation and ultimately cost Breitenreiter the job.
TSG and main shareholder Dietmar Hopp would like to play internationally again
TSG and its main shareholder Dietmar Hopp would like to play internationally again. A home defeat against Molde/Norway two years ago in the sixteenth final of the Europa League under coach Hoeneß was the last continental appearance so far. At the moment there is little to suggest that this will change anytime soon. In terms of financial resources, Hoffenheim is a foreign body in the table basement alongside clubs like Schalke, Bochum and Stuttgart. They were missing players like Georginio Rutter (sold), Grischa Prömel, Kevin Vogt, Pavel Kaderabek, Robert Skov and Jacob Bruun Larsen (all injured) in the downward spiral. But with players like Oliver Baumann, John Anthony Brooks, Angeliño, Christoph Baumgartner, Sebastian Rudy, Thomas Delaney, Ihlas Bebou, Kasper Dolberg and Andrej Kramaric, this squad nominally doesn’t belong in the relegation zone.
There have been three coaches who have significantly advanced TSG over the past two decades. Hansi Flick led Hoffenheim into the third division between 2000 and 2005 and established TSG there; Ralf Rangnick led the club from the third division to the 2006-2010 Bundesliga; and Julian Nagelsmann led Hoffenheim to the top of the Bundesliga and the Champions League between 2015 and 2019. Since then things have been going downhill, first under Alfred Schreuder, then under Hoeneß and now also under Breitenreiter. The 49-year-old’s greatest successes as a coach were promotions to the Bundesliga in 2014 with SC Paderborn and 2017 with Hannover 96, as well as the Swiss championship last May with FC Zurich. In 2015/16 he only stayed one season at Schalke 04 (fifth place) and at the beginning of 2019 he left Hannover 96, who were subsequently relegated to the Bundesliga after two years.
In Hoffenheim, the focus is now also on sports director Rosen, who questions everything and who has to be asked about the latest trainer acquisitions. The failures have repercussions in a number of ways. In terms of audience, Hoffenheim is only second to bottom in the Bundesliga (ahead of Union Berlin) with 22,250 spectators per home game.