After six consecutive defeats at the start of the season, the seemingly inevitable has happened with VfL Bochum sacking their coach, Thomas Reis. The writing has been on the wall for weeks, but the final straw came on Saturday with a 3-1 derby defeat to Schalke.
Bochum managing director Patrick Fabian made the announcement on Monday morning following the six Bundesliga weekend. “It should be clear to everyone that this decision is not easy for us. Thomas Reis has a connection to the club and the city that goes beyond the successful past three years.
“It is also true that there were efforts before the season to extend our working relationship together. Since the contract negotiations were increasingly affecting public perception, we decided together with the coach to postpone them and then communicated it that way. The aim of this measure was also to focus on the sport and thus to calm things down.
“We urgently need to find solutions to improve the very difficult sporting situation and at the same time ignore issues that have a negative impact on it. Heiko Butscher has agreed to take over the team on an interim basis until further notice. At the same time, we are working on finding a successor for the head coach position.”
Reis took the job at the Vonovia Ruhrstadion in September 2019 during the outbreak of the Corona Virus pandemic. He secured Bochum’s place in 2. Bundesliga and then won the title in the following season. Their Bundesliga survival was secured in their first season back in the topflight before the disastrous start to the 2022-23 season cost him his job.
That he wasn’t the first Bundesliga coach to be fired was a surprise with RB Leipzig getting in first to remove Domenico Tedesco last week. As a player Reis made 197 appearances for Bochum, but sentiment has played no part here.
Reis, however, seems to have known what his fate was. Speaking after the Schalke defeat, he confessed that, “I saw team that gives it their all, that fights. We were not without our chances. Of course, I tell the same story every week and it makes me feel a little silly.”