Wolfsburg sack ‘surprised’ Van Bommel


Berlin (AFP) – Former Netherlands midfielder Mark van Bommel admitted he was shocked to be sacked by Wolfsburg on Sunday after less than five months as head coach following four straight Bundesliga defeats.

In a statement, Van Bommel said he was “surprised and disappointed” by the decision, “because I am convinced that together we would have managed to get back on the road to success.”

“I hope the team can quickly manage to turn things around.”

Wolfsburg said they want to name his successor “in a timely manner”.

“The bottom line was that there were more dividing than connecting factors,” Wolfsburg’s managing director Joerg Schmadtke said.

The 44-year-old, who made 79 appearances for the Netherlands and played in the 2010 World Cup final, was appointed in June and started his tenure with four consecutive wins to top the table.

However, Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at home to Freiburg — when there were calls of “Van Bommel out” from the stands — was Wolfsburg’s fourth straight league loss.

Wolfsburg dropped to ninth in the table after Cologne fought back to earn a 2-2 draw at home to Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday.

Wolfsburg are bottom of their Champions League group after draws with Sevilla and Lille before last Wednesday’s 3-1 defeat at RB Salzburg. 

Van Bommel is the first coach to be sacked in the Bundesliga this season.

He made an embarrassing start in August when Wolfsburg were thrown out of the German Cup in the first round after Van Bommel made one more substitution than is allowed in an extra-time win over fourth-tier Preussen Muenster.

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