Fresh Impulses ⋆ An Old International

Fresh Impulses

The head coach of FC Magdeburg,Thomas Hoßmang, has resigned, raising more questions and emphasizing that need at all levels at the club is necessary. Now more than ever.

Thomas Hoßmang, the coach of FC Magdeburg as resigned on Tuesday (February 9, 2021), leaving his assistants to step in and the club with the task of finding a replacement.

At the one side, there is relief that this mesalliance has been terminated. For too long the team seemed misbalanced and out of sync. For several games at the start of the season, the starting XI changed each time. Once there was a solid team to start matches, fans got on the back of the coach, demanding to rotate. Which he did not and at that time in January it was fatal. Concentration lacked and long balls played were the result.

The coach has resigned and it is the question, why now and not earlier? His argument that he leaves the post in order to allow fresh impulses to ignite the team seem valid. Again, why only now and not earlier? The team are in urgent need of new impulses – they need to win ten of the last sixteen matches to be absolutely save. Yet, the question is, whether he resigned because he chose to or whether this was the result of a debate within several committees and boards of the club. Has he, proverbially, ‘been’ resigned?, i.e. the decision was not his alone but the club’s but in official channels, it will always be the coach who has resigned. This may save Magdeburg some money as they do not need to pay his salary until the end of the contract. Had the club sacked him, it would have been a signal from the club, that the fate is in the club’s hands, not the coach’s. The coach resigned because the directors of the club could not, did not want to?

A lot of guess work. Neither side however comes out of this unscathed. The club have lost their coach and more credibility; their communication since autumn 2018 is amateurish and needs an overhaul. The boards and committees look weak: why have they not sacked him in autumn? Or in fact after the defeat against Dresden? Or just before Christmas just as they did in 2019 with Stefan Krämer when there was no need to sack a coach? The club have installed his assistants for the time being; maybe this will be made permanent. Money once more seems to be an issue here. Only the coming weeks will bring clarity on that issue. Others need more time.

There is a feeling that even within the board room there is disunity and discord. For too long too much influence and in fact, power, has lain with Mario Kallnik, director of finances but also, jointly, director of sport. He assembled the squad – so how does the performance reflect on him? This is a rhetoric question of course as the table speaks volumes. There is quality in the team but the last season still hangs over them or messes with the players’ heads; Corona is certainly an issue which will have an effect on everyone at the club. Solid psychological support may help to solve some of the most pressing issues: confidence and performance on the pitch. Again: 30 points from sixteen matches are required.

Monday next week, Magdeburg travel to Munich, where they have played well this season, taking a point from 1860 in September, beating Unterhaching. At home Bayern’s reserves were beaten as was Türkgücü, the next opponent. They have sacked their coach recently, so both teams come with new men on the sidelines, making a prediction more difficult. However, from matches against teams from Munich, Magdeburg have done well this season. It may just be that little straw of hope needed by supporters.

Good writing does not come by chance, so consider this:

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