My Soccer World

Football: Stuttgart Sack Veh, Appoint Babbel

Posted on: November 24, 2008

STUTTGART, Germany : VfB Stuttgart announced on Sunday they have sacked coach Armin Veh in the wake of their 4-1 Bundesliga defeat at Wolfsburg on Saturday with reserves coach Markus Babbel replacing him.

“It was a huge, but joyful surprise to find out I am coach,” said former Liverpool and Bayern Munich defender Babbel, who won Euro ’96 with Germany, and only began his coaching career last season.

“It is a difficult phase at the same time, but the team has potential.

“It is now my job to work to the team’s strengths, but it will not be an easy task.”

Having only retired in 2007, Babbel began as assistant manager at Stuttgart last season, working with the reserves side, before discovering this weekend he had been promoted to team manager with experienced Rainer Widmayer as trainer.

“I still need to fill out some forms and send them away for my coaching diploma,” admitted the 36-year-old.

“It is something I have to do as I see my future in this business.

“I have already learned so much from Armin Veh and I will work closely with Rainer.”

But Babbel’s promotion comes at the expense of Veh who took over the reins at Stuttgart in February 2006 and the pinnacle of his time in charge was when his team won the Bundesliga title in May 2007 – with Babbel in the side.

But Veh could not sustain the success and Stuttgart finished sixth in the league last season while Saturday’s hammering by Wolfsburg was their fourth away defeat this term to leave them mid-table.

“There are great, but also difficult hours in football and after discussions with coach Armin Veh last night, we came to the decision we need a change,” said VfB president Erwin Staudt on the club website.

“Armin Veh and assistant coach Alfons Higl have been released.

“This was a difficult decision, because we are grateful for what they have done for the club over the last three years.

“I spoke to the team this morning and made it clear that everyone must now work to their full potential.

“The leaving of Armin Veh does not create an excuse for the players.

“I expect each and everyone of them will concentrate on the task in hand.” – AFP/de

Channel News Asia

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