After much speculation over the weekend, VfB Stuttgart have officially announced they have parted company with trainer Bruno Labbadia.
Labbadia only succeeded Pellegrino Matarazzo in December but has been unable to turn around the club’s fortunes as they hurtle ever closer to relegation. The 3-0 loss at Union Berlin was the final straw for Labbadia as the Swabians desperately search for a solution to their current woes.
The club have named former Bayern Munich II and Hoffenheim coach Sebastian Hoeneß as their third coach of the season.
“We thank Bruno Labbadia for the work he has done” said CEO Alexander Wehrle in a club statement. “We committed Bruno last December because we were firmly convinced that we could initiate a trend reversal with him. Bruno has worked with the team from day one with great commitment and passion, but unfortunately, this did not pay off in the form of points.
“In the end, we came to the conclusion that we need a new impulse, Sebastian Hoeneß has already gained important experience in the Bundesliga and also knows the junior and transition area very well as a coach. We are sure that Sebastian is the right coach for the upcoming challenges, and he will master this difficult situation together with the team.”
Sporting director Fabian Wohlgemuth added his thoughts saying, “Bruno Labbadia accepted the big challenge last December. Under not easy circumstances, he has tried a lot to lead the team back on the road to success. The turnaround has not been successful and despite partly good performances, we have continued to lose ground in the fight for class preservation in recent weeks. We thank Bruno for his commitment to VfB and wish him all the best for the future.
“It’s about the immediate effect, but also about what we want to push forward beyond the season at VfB. Sebastian Hoeneß has proven that he can lead teams and at the same time have a very positive influence on the development of individual players. As a coach, Sebastian knows both how to deal with top talents in the junior field and professional football – he will quickly find the right address. With this profile and his way of working, he is the right man for us. We are pleased that Sebastian has chosen VfB and will do everything we can together with him to make the fight for class retention successful.”
Stuttgart face 1.FC Nürnberg in the DFB Pokal quarter-final on Wednesday before the resume their fight against relegation next weekend against VfL Bochum.
“I am really looking forward to the challenge at VfB and thank you for the trust and the good conversations with those responsible” Hoeneß said today.
“I have a great emotional connection to VfB. I already accompanied the club as a fan in my youth, here I played myself for several years in my youth and won the German championship title with the U17 in 1999.
“ For us, there are now three tasks, exactly in this order: to make the cup game in Nürnberg successful, to secure our place in the Bundesliga and after the season, to carry out a clear analysis together with the sporting leadership in order to take the necessary steps for a successful future of VfB Stuttgart.”