The 1: 4 defeat in Augsburg relentlessly reveals the current deficits of VfB Stuttgart. The Swabians are worried about injuries more and more – but the players do not want to accept that. Now is a key game.
Daniel Didavi could have made it easy for himself. If the veteran of VfB Stuttgart had put the 1: 4 defeat at FC Augsburg on the increasing injury concerns, who could have contradicted him? VfB, already plagued by personnel problems, also lost goalscorer Chris Führich (ankle problems) and defender Marc Oliver Kempf (thigh) early on in Augsburg.
Didavi: “That was up to us”
Didavi did not accept that. “It wasn’t just misses today, it was the attitude,” said the visibly frustrated midfielder. “That was up to us.” One cannot contradict the 31-year-old on this point either.
As much as the Swabian Bundesliga club is worried about the absence of goal scorers Sasa Kalajdzic, Silas, Omar Marmoush or defensive ace Konstantinos Mavropanos – VfB itself had proven in Augsburg that it can work without these supports. In the opening minutes, the team of coach Pellegrino Matarazzo dominated the ball and opponents, after just seven minutes, Führich put the guests in the lead with his first Bundesliga goal, after which the Stuttgart team just had to go on. But they didn’t.
Augsburg is getting closer to VfB
“We dominated Augsburg, then we’ll stop,” said Didavi. Before the break, Reece Oxford (30th minute) equalized after a corner with a header. Jeffrey Gouweleeuw (53rd), Florian Niederlechner (72nd) and Alfred Finnbogason (81st) gave Stuttgart the rest. The FCA still remains third from bottom of the table, but moved up to one point against VfB.
“We missed a huge chance to break down seven points,” said sporting director Sven Mislintat. At least now, the Cannstatters are in the middle of a relegation battle. And by now at the latest, the importance of the next home game next Saturday (3:30 p.m.) against Arminia Bielefeld should be clear to everyone. If VfB also loses against Arminia, who is still without a win in the league, an extremely uncomfortable winter threatens once and for all.
“That is exactly the same. If we win or play a draw, the gap remains or we pull away,” said Mislintat, who emphasized that he wanted to approach the critical situation with “absolute calm and serenity”. So don’t panic is the motto, the 48-year-old coach Matarazzo had already issued a job guarantee before the season – regardless of relegation or staying in class.
Hope for the return of the injured
Instead of discussing one personality, Mislintat prefers to rely on others. “Now we’re going to make sure that we play a good game against Bielefeld, then we will hopefully get three or four guys back after the international break,” said the squad planner, referring to Silas, Mavropanos, Marmoush, Roberto Massimo and regular goalkeeper Florian Müller. By then, at the latest, the argument of the lack of personnel should no longer be used. One that Daniel Didavi didn’t want to use anyway.