Stuttgart (AP) – After the power struggle that had been raging for weeks in his management level at VfB Stuttgart had recently been joined by a few sporting concerns, at least the team found their way back to the 2-0 (0-0) against FSV Mainz 05 Track.
Sasa Kalajdzic headed (55th minute) and Silas Wamangituka (72nd) after a super solo over almost the entire field ensured the relieving first home win of the newcomer in the current season of the Bundesliga. The relief was felt by everyone involved – on the lawn and in the stands.
“The team did a great job,” said sports director Sven Mislintat the morning after the small break. The 48-year-old explained how she fought against the extremely robust penultimate table from Mainz that would have made him “particularly proud”. From the previous seven games, the Swabians had only got five points, in Bielefeld (0: 3) and Freiburg (1: 2) they even lost twice in a row. The glamor that the young and wild VfB had radiated in the first half of the season seemed to be fading. But with their victory at the beginning of the 19th matchday, they have pimped up the sometimes tragic overall picture that their club is currently giving off because of the quarrels in the executive suite.
“We were not close to a sporting crisis and are now even further away,” said coach Pellegrino Matarazzo, downplaying the importance of the success on Friday evening. But even if the athletic dent was not directly related to the leadership crisis, the coach will also know: Every victory helps to improve the general mood.
With the relegation, the Stuttgart, who may have to do without captain Gonzalo Castro, who is injured in the thigh, should now have little to do with their lush cushion on the relegation rank. “If we got stuck in tenth place and ended up there at the end of the season, we would have played an outstanding round,” said Mislintat.
In the coming days, news and thus more unrest at VfB are expected away from the pitch. CEO Thomas Hitzlsperger, who wants to run against the current incumbent Claus Vogt in the next presidential election, recently announced another statement. On February 1st, the law firm Esecon, charged with clearing up the data affair, is to present its results to the club. And with a view to the general assembly planned for March, which Vogt would like to move to September unlike his colleagues on the presidium, there is still some uncertainty.
For at least a few days, however, VfB fans will again be able to enjoy their many top talents largely without restriction. Above all to Wamangituka, whose remarkable sprint to 2-0 against Mainz arose from “a great ball win”, as Mislintat emphasized. The nimble Congolese has already scored eleven goals this season – and is following in the footsteps of ex-star striker Fredi Bobic. In the 1996/1997 season he was the last player from Stuttgart to have scored so often after 19 match days. At least Wamangituka and Co. let the followers dream of better times again – despite the sadness that the theater brings with it on the executive floor.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210130-99-231244 / 3