They are back, the memories of two consecutive seasons that they would have liked to erase forever at VfL. In the 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 seasons, the “Wolves” managed only 16th place in the Bundesliga table. It was only through relegation from the Zitterweg that they survived in the league. First against neighbors Eintracht Braunschweig, the following year against Holstein Kiel.
And now, in this series? Is it possible that the season is not over for the green-whites after matchday 34 and that there are still two decisive games against the third of the second division? Could that actually happen – even if the team is theoretically much better than it was then and was in fact geared towards competing for Champions League places? Or, more seriously, is there even a risk of worse, falling to 17th place and direct relegation?
Wolfsburg now in basement duel with Bielefeld
Question marks surround VfL Wolfsburg in a season that is confusing anyway. On the one hand, there was the surprise dismissal of Dutch coach Mark van Bommel in October last year – at a time when VfL sat ninth on 13 points, four points off a place in Champions League. Six months later, the situation is much worse: with 31 points, coach Florian Kohfeldt’s team is only five points ahead of third-placed Arminia Bielefeld.
The East Westphalians are guests of the VfL Arena next Saturday (3.30 p.m., in the center live on NDR.de). But who said that a victory in front of his home crowd would chase away any idea of relegation or even direct relegation for Lower Saxony?
Schmadtke demands a different look
Even general manager Jörg Schmadtke, who does not suffer from a lack of self-confidence, took on a more thoughtful tone after the 0-3 at FC Augsburg. “The situation hasn’t changed drastically now. But we have to be careful and not think that we’re going to fix this one way or another, but we’ll have to score points. And that requires a different appearance,” he told NDR.
“We will also very clearly address the things that we didn’t like.”
Jörg Schmadtke, General Manager of VfL Wolfsburg
In Augsburg, he supported 25-year-old assistant coach Vincent Heilmann in the training area, who in turn represented head coach Kohfeldt (corona infection). The former Werder coach should be back against Bielefeld. Its task is to find an answer to the question of when the trend reversal will succeed. More recently, VfL have suffered three consecutive defeats in the Bundesliga.
Wolfsburg’s attack falls short of expectations
A better offense would definitely help with the turnover. This is where the next question mark arises: why is the offensive, which is theoretically so well endowed, so far from expectations? Because the fact that Lukas Nmecha, Dodi Lukebakio and Luca Waldschmidt as well as winter additions Max Kruse and Jonas Wind have scored twelve goals together is simply not enough considering their real abilities.
There are still six matches left for the “Wolves” in this Bundesliga season. After Bielefeld, the games against Borussia Dortmund (A), 1. FSV Mainz 05 (H), VfB Stuttgart (A), 1. FC Köln (A) and Bayern Munich (H) are still on the schedule. At the moment, it doesn’t seem unreasonable that the game plan is supplemented with two more entries – the dates for the home and away matches of relegation.