VfB Stuttgart has reacted to the sporting crisis and released coach Pellegrino Matarazzo. The Swabians announced this on Monday evening after their ninth winless game in the Bundesliga. A successor has not yet been determined.
Stuttgart lost 1-0 to 1. FC Union Berlin on Sunday. They are the only club not to have won this Bundesliga season. In the table, VfB is penultimate with five points.
“VfB owes a lot to Pellegrino Matarazzo,” said CEO Alexander Wehrle. He met sporting director Sven Mislintat and the club’s new advisor, Sami Khedira, at the club’s premises on Monday. “Ultimately, however, we came to the conclusion that a change in the coaching position is necessary to bring about a turnaround after the negative results of the past few weeks.”
Matarazzo “not only met the expectations, he even exceeded them in many respects. Even in difficult sporting situations, we never questioned him because we were convinced that in him we had the best possible coach for us and our path,” said Mislintat. “We are now at a point where we are convinced that the breakup with Rino is inevitable.”
The hitherto largely unknown Matarazzo had taken over the position of the dismissed Tim Walter at VfB during the winter break of the 2019/2020 season and led the then second division side back to the Bundesliga the following summer.
“These have been intense and beautiful years with many incredible moments and memories that will last forever,” said Matarazzo. “I will be eternally grateful for the opportunity I was given here to gain a foothold in the coaching business.”
In the first season after the resurgence, the Swabians under the Italo-American inspired at times with bold attacking football, played until the end for international places and ultimately finished ninth in the table. Last season, VfB, who were shaken by many injuries and corona worries, only managed to stay in the class on the last day of the game thanks to a last-minute goal from Wataru Endo against 1. FC Köln (2-1).
Matarazzo was in office at VfB for more than 1000 days and thus symbolized the new path that the Stuttgart team had taken under sporting director Sven Mislintat after relegation in 2019. Both in the previous season and in the course of the current season so far, Mislintat had repeatedly defended Matarazzo despite a lack of success.
The sports director finally wanted to ensure more continuity on the Swabian coach’s chair, known for many years as the ejection seat. After the bankruptcy against Union on Sunday, he had not given Matarazzo a new job guarantee.
Overall, VfB have only won three of their 26 league games in the 2022 calendar year. Ultimately not enough for Matarazzo to stay in office.