Sports managing director Jörg Schmadtke described the current situation as a “complicated situation”. “The fact is: the performances do not meet our requirements,” said the 57-year-old to the “sports buzzer”. Van Bommel tries to keep things calm. “If you don’t score a goal yourself, you can’t win either. That’s it, ”he recently said succinctly.
The last victory so far was achieved by Wolfsburg on September 11th with a 2-0 win against the previously disastrous promoted team Fürth. The change from Glasner’s approach based on defensive stability to dominant ball possession football is not bearing the hoped-for fruit for the time being.
A meager nine goals in the first eight games, after four wins and a draw at the start of the league, there have recently been three defeats in a row. Not too much has happened in the table, the gap to Leader Bayern is six points. In any case, the injured ÖFB team kicker Xaver Schlager and substitute goalie Pavao Pervan cannot help it.
Pressure is also increasing in the premier class
In view of two draws in the CL so far, the pressure to write in full in Salzburg is great for van Bommel, who became known as the “Aggressive Leader” as a player at Bayern Munich. The 44-year-old has an impressive vita as a player (including Bayern, FC Barcelona, AC Milan), as a coach at PSV Eindhoven (2018 and 2019), but has not yet achieved any success. It is up to Salzburg to deepen Van Bommel’s worry lines with the “double” – the duel in the Autostadt will take place on November 2nd. In between, the “wolves” in the league have extremely demanding encounters with Freiburg (currently 4th) and Bayer Leverkusen (3rd).
The next two weeks could be groundbreaking, as the club’s engagement in Austria should already be. Since the summer, Lower Austria has been the area of hope for the factory club, which has opened a new “playground” for its talents at the second division SKN St. Pölten in the form of a cooperation.
The short way to adult football seems more promising than their U23, who played in the regional league, who they broke up. VfL sports director Marcel Schäfer made it clear that the effort is in no relation to the income.
Wolfsburg cooperation with St. Pölten
Three young kickers are currently “parked” on the Traisen, one of which has already become fully established at the SKN. The 20-year-old goalie Lino Kasten, who has been with VfL since 2015 and simply a U18 team player at the DFB, is the undisputed number one of the St. Pölten family, who sidelined the veteran Christoph Riegler in the summer. The two attacking wingers, the US-American Ulysses Llanez (20) and the South Korean Yun-sang Hong (19) have already shown their skills, especially the former with two goals in the last three games.
Wolfsburg was not the only interested party in a cooperation with the SKN. For example, the former Salzburg managing director Jochen Sauer, who has been head of the Bavarian youth team since 2017, also stayed in St. Pölten to find out about cooperation options at the interface with the adult sector. The step from the regional league to the upper house was “too big”, as VfL man Schäfer put it.
Again, these are worries that Salzburg doesn’t have. With their cooperation club FC Liefering, the “cops” have exactly what the Germans are actually looking for. The integration of Liefering’s talents into the team of Salzburg’s long-term champions almost always runs smoothly and quickly – and Wolfsburg could definitely feel that on Wednesday.