No fifth division team has to worry this time. Amateur football clubs were on high alert in the summer of 2016, but this time they can rest easy in Schwachhausen, Sprockhövel and Stadtallendorf: they don’t have to look for a new coach just because Markus Weinzierl left 1. FC Nuremberg entered.
It was completely different a good six years ago when Weinzierl took on a new job. Anyone who knew the dimensions of the story back then could cut a particularly good figure at the round tables in the district league sports clubs. The story had an almost spectacular punchline and went something like this in a very shortened form: Markus Weinzierl puts Wedeler TSV in trouble by leaving FC Augsburg and working for FC Schalke 04 in the future.
As far as we know, Weinzierl had no evil intentions at the time. He didn’t want to pay anyone back, he wasn’t up to anything either, he probably had no idea what it would all trigger when he moved from Augsburg to Gelsenkirchen. But the end of the story was that the fifth division team Wedeler TSV suddenly no longer had a coach. Because Weinzierl was at FC Schalke at the time, Augsburg had to look for a successor. The FCA finally found him in the person of Dirk Schuster at SV Darmstadt 98, who in turn served himself in Bielefeld and got Norbert Meier. Now it was Arminia’s turn and they signed Rüdiger Rehm from SG Sonnenhof Großaspach, who then approached SV Eichede. And then Eichede came up with the idea of hiring the Wedeler TSV coach.
It was not only said at regulars’ tables in district league sports clubs: Weinzierl, he can only do Augsburg
It doesn’t hurt to keep all of this in mind, because Weinzierl’s past plays a central role in what is now happening in the present. Weinzierl, 47, is now coach of 1. FC Nürnberg and takes over a team that has only ten points after the first ten games. Getting the players up, allowing them to feel a certain lightness and conveying a football idea: Weinzierl now has to do all of that. That’s his job, that’s the here and now – but in all of this there is a question that touches on the past. The question is: Can Weinzierl traditional club?
It’s been a good four months since Weinzierl said goodbye in Augsburg. He returned to FCA in April 2021 and was just as successful there as in his first term, during which he advanced from the Bundesliga relegation battle with Augsburg to the European Cup. Because Weinzierl later stayed neither at Schalke nor at VfB Stuttgart for more than a year, it was said not only at regulars’ tables in district league sports clubs: Weinzierl, he can only do Augsburg.
When Nuremberg’s newcomer was confronted with this thesis on Tuesday, he said: “You have to evaluate each situation individually.” Schalke and Stuttgart are larger than Augsburg and therefore, said Weinzierl, “more special in the task”. In traditional clubs, a few people often have a say, the fans like to reminisce about past successes, and of course some club icon from the old days always knows better. Having experienced that, said Weinzierl, is now an advantage – now that he is dealing with a large traditional club for the third time in his career. “The experience helps me,” said Weinzierl, calling the task in Nuremberg “not easy” and “a big challenge” – but also “interesting” and “attractive”.
Sports director Hecking does not want to move away from the ambitious goal for the season too early
Weinzierl chose the right words, because it’s actually interesting: where does it lead when two people who have something to prove come together.
Sporting Director Dieter Hecking said he didn’t want to move away from the goal for the season too early when he was sitting next to Weinzierl in the media room at the Nuremberg training ground on Tuesday afternoon and was asked whether he was sticking to the goal of finishing first through sixth this year. “It’s clear that we have to put the goal aside for the time being,” stressed Hecking, “nevertheless I remain ambitious, and I’ve said that to the team.”
This team has already proven a lot this season – just not that what’s on the outside is what’s inside. Nevertheless, they are still convinced in Nuremberg that the squad they put together in the summer is not a misnomer. This has to be shown in the future. The fact that this succeeds is now the responsibility of the man who is now also concerned with the past.