At the start of the international match week, VfB Stuttgart invited to public training on Monday. VfB coach Pellegrino Matarazzo welcomed a half-dozen curious people in addition to a rump team. Including Thomas Bareiß from SWR-Sport.
Admittedly, it’s been a while since I attended a training session at VfB Stuttgart. In principle, however, it was the same as always. Talented footballers maneuvered a ball back and forth, sometimes more, sometimes less delicately, in all sorts of game forms. Only because of Corona you had to watch from a hill on the grounds of the adjacent police sports club. Nevertheless, one was close.
Firstly, it turns out differently and secondly than you think
For my taste, the lush green was very calm, almost leisurely. Somehow there wasn’t a real move in there. Sure, about half of the squad is injured or on the road with the respective national team. It was pretty fresh by the way, luckily the sun came out. Somehow, while watching, I thought pensively whether VfB would be back on the road to success if one or the other injured person made his comeback on the field.
After all, I was able to watch Silas Katompa Mvumpa sprint, pass and shoot again seemingly without any problems after his cruciate ligament rupture in his right knee. One-to-one fights were not on the program. I’m curious to see how he will survive the closed test match against FC Zurich on Wednesday, I thought when suddenly the slightly chilled atmosphere was cut through by a loud voice.
“Look at my behavior and make a decision.” This instruction, which cannot be ignored even on our hill, came from Pellegrino Matarazzo. An attack game on the outside with a conclusion in the penalty area was due. In the absence of defensive staff, the coach himself was the central defender. Nice!
With VfB coach Pellegrino Matarazzo the momentum comes
It was already fun and exciting. On my sunny lookout, I had to grin a bit as the two-meter man, at the age of 43, threw himself passionately into the duels. Mind you, no contemptuous grin. More like a mixture of amazement and respect.
With this trick, Pellegrino Matarazzo managed to turn a floundering training session into a football game of the usual hardness. And in the end he went one better with a challenge. For the last six attacks, he announced to his boys that he would not allow any more hits. If the trained defender loses, he has to do 20 push-ups, while his pros lose 30. Far too little for a professional for my taste. Ultimately, Mateo Klimowicz and Tanguy Coulibaly showed no nakedness. And the “Rino” quickly pushed away the 20 without any problems.
On the way home I thought: Nice to have been to VfB in Cannstatt again. Even if the chapel was only half full. Anyone who keeps it with VfB knows that the breast ring is in a really tricky season – the outcome is uncertain. After all that I have heard from the club that is positive about those responsible for sport and that I have now seen on the training ground, I have great confidence that VfB Stuttgart will win this new battle for relegation. And somehow, when I got off at home, I was happy that I was one of that half dozen who were able to see it for themselves on site that day.