Jonker replaces Ismael at struggling Wolfsburg


Berlin (AFP) – Andries Jonker was on Monday named head coach at struggling Bundesliga club VfL Wolfsburg following Valerien Ismael’s sacking after just four months.

Ismael, 41, was told his services were no longer required on Sunday night in the wake of Wolfsburg’s 2-1 defeat at home to Werder Bremen on Friday.

The loss left the 2015 German Cup winners just two points from the relegation spots after only six wins from 22 league games so far this season.

The 54-year-old Jonker will arrive in Germany having left his post as head of Arsenal’s youth academy.

“Andries Jonker knows VfL Wolfsburg and has kept regular contact with the club since his move to London,” said Wolfsburg’s director of sport Olaf Rebbe.

“Both of these factors were decisive in being able to realise this top solution in a short period of time.

“He is a coach with international experience and a proven tactician, who brings with him the best conditions to help get VfL quickly and sustainably back on the path to success.”

Jonker will be introduced at a press conference planned for 2pm (1300 GMT) on Monday.

He has plenty of experience of German league football and was Louis van Gaal’s assistant at Bayern from 2009 until April 2011 when he stepped up as caretaker coach until the end of the season after Van Gaal was sacked.

Jonker then had a stint as Wolfsburg’s assistant coach from 2012 to 2014 when he left to become the head of the Gunners’ academy. 

The Dutchman is Wolfsburg’s third coach this season, the club having also sacked Dieter Hecking in October.

Wolfsburg finished second to Bayern Munich in 2014/15 and were eighth last season, but their fall from grace has been dramatic this campaign.

Record-signing Julian Draxler was eventually sold to Paris-St Germain in January after repeatedly saying he wanted to leave.

Wolfsburg have lost five of their last six matches in all competitions.

Ismael is the eighth German league coach sacked this season.

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