2nd March 2017. By Danni Biggs
The well-known teams that are Werder Bremen, Wolfsburg and Hamburg are up against each other to avoid dropping to Bundesliga relegation zone this 2016/17 season. Currently, Werder and Wolfsburg are on level points while Hamburg is 2 points below and sitting in 16th place and are all in a fight to stay above the Bundesliga relegation zone. On Friday we saw Bremen grab a 2-1 win against fellow strugglers Wolfsburg, which saw them rise above the dreaded bottom two.
Although not in the bottom two Hamburg are not out of the woods as the 16th place holder (which they currently are) has to play in a play-off game against third place 2. Bundesliga finisher. The winner of this game determines who will play in the Bundesliga next season. Hamburg finished mid-table last season showing that this season they are struggling as well as Wolfsburg and Werder Bremen who also had decent results in the previous season.
Can Werder Bremen and Hamburg Avoid Relegation?
Both Werder and Hamburg finished last season around the 40 point mark. However, already played 22 games out of the 34 these teams as well as Wolfsburg are just on half the points they finished on last year. Can the teams finish the season on a high?
Things have gone from bad to worse for the Hamburg club. Just as things start to look up for Hamburg, along came Bayern Munich. The side faced a punishing match against German giants Bayern as they suffered an 8-0 defeat by top of the table. Following a start of a shambolic season for Hamburg we thought they were turning a corner. Hamburg went into the Munich match with being undefeated in four continuous games. Indeed a defeat was expected, but this one hurt and in the words Hamburg’s goalkeeper it was ‘simply unbearable’.
Following Werder Bremen’s match against Wolfsburg on Friday their win was vital. That night Serge Gnabry steered his team away from relegation danger as he found the net away from home. Gnabry has a handy-knack of hitting the ball into the back of the net away from Weser-Stadion. In fact Werder’s last three victories have been away from home, and 9 out of 10 of Serge’s goals have been on his travels. If only all their games were away fixtures. Challenge is now for Bremen and Gnabry to bring their form to the Weser-Stadion.
Andries Jonker Signs Deal to be Head Coach for Wolfsburg
The first seven matches for Wolfsburg saw them win just one game, which left them just two points above relegation zone. Due to a poor disappointing start in the Bundesliga, Wolfsburg has sacked their coach Dieter Hecking.
“Following the disappointing results of late, we came to the conclusion that we needed to change the coach and give the team a new impulse” declared Wolfsburg general manager, Klaus Allofs.
The big 5-0 defeat against Bayern Munich was Allofs’ last game in charge. Klaus joined Wolfsburg in 2012 after being in charge of rivals Werder
Bremen for many years. The relegation-threatened Wolfsburg club has parted ways with director of sport Klaus Allofs in a bid to revive their success after a troubled season.
The clubs Under 23’s Coach Valerien Ismael a former center-back for Bremen and Bayern Munich was to take over on an interim basis. However, recently following four losses in five league games the Frenchman was indeed sacked on Sunday and has since welcomed Andries Jonker.
Following the sacking of Ismael, Jonker has left his role of assistant manager at Arsenal to return to Wolfsburg where he also was once assistant manager, now returned as head coach. The 54 year old Dutchman has taken over as head coach for Wolfsburg with being just two points above the relegation zone. “This is a huge challenge,” Andries added. “All that counts is getting the 40 points as quickly as possible.”
Jonker to Steer Wolfsburg Away from Relegation Zone
With 22 games gone, Jonker has 12 league games to turn Wolfsburg struggle with relegation zone around. “He is an internationally experienced coach and proven tactician who has the best prerequisites for Wolfsburg to get back on the track to success quickly and sustainably,” Rebbe said, as the new sporting director of Wolfsburg.
Andries a 54 year old Dutchman has regularly kept in touch with Wolfsburg even after his departure to the London Gunners admits that the inquiry as head coach for Wolfsburg came as a bit of a shock. When at Wolfsburg from 2012 to 2014 Jonker worked under Felix Magath, Lorenz-Guenther Koestner and also Hecking. Prior to Wolfsburg, Jonker was also assistant manager at Bayern Munich, meaning he is up to knowledge with the Bundesliga and the perfect addition to Wolfsburg to revive their success.
Jonker’s first match in charge is on Saturday against 11th placed Mainz. Can Andries Jonker’s managerial skills come into immediate effect? We will wait and see as his side aim to turn their struggling season around.