After nine matches this season and with the club teetering too close to the bottom of the table for comfort, VfB Stuttgart have taken the decision to part company with coach Pellegrino Matarazzo.
In a statement the club thanked the US coach for his service. “VfB owe a lot to Pellegrino Matarazzo” club CEO Alexander Wehrle said. “Promotion back to the Bundesliga and staying up twice in the league are closely linked to his name. The way in which Rino identified with VfB and always put the team spirit in the foreground is anything but a matter of course. I got to know him as a special person, which made the decision to stop working with him all the more difficult.
“Ultimately, however, we have come to the conclusion that a change in the coaching position is necessary to reverse the trend after the negative results of the past few weeks. We wish Rino all the best for the future. He will definitely continue his coaching career successfully.”
So that is the end for the coach appointed back in December 2019. The 44-year-old has seen the Swabians endure a poor start to the season and they remain the only club without a win after bottom side Bochum beat Eintracht Frankfurt at the weekend. VfB were beaten 1-0 by Union Berlin to leave them 17th in the table with just five points from nine games.
“Our journey together at VfB is coming to an end” Matarazzo said in a statement. “It was intense and beautiful years with many incredible moments and memories that will last forever. I will be eternally grateful for the chance I was given here to gain a foothold in the coaching business.
“I always enjoyed coming to work and was able to work with a lot of great people. VfB is something special that you only understand after you are a part of it. I wish this team, this club with these fans, all the best and maximum success.”
There is no news as yet as to a potential successor, but previous media reports have linked Adi Hütter and Sebastian Hoeneß to the role while Domenico Tedesco and Gerardo Seoane have both been fired from their Bundesliga posts this season and would be available.
“When we brought Rino to VfB almost three years ago, we were absolutely convinced of his potential and his skills as a coach” sporting director Sven Mislintat added. “Rino not only met our expectations, he even exceeded them in many respects. Even in difficult sporting situations, we never questioned him because we were convinced that in him we had the best possible coach for us and our path.
“After an in-depth analysis of last season, when, as is well known, we were only able to secure our league status at the last minute, we started the new season with high hopes. Unfortunately, the results so far have not fulfilled these hopes. We are now at a point where we are convinced that Rino’s split is inevitable.”