Bayern Munich’s only non-German captain, Mark van Bommel, in their entire history was entrusted with the VfL Wolfsburg job in a surprising move for the 2021-2022 season. Oliver Glasner had led the team to a fourth placed fourth last season; Wolfsburg was very difficult to beat, lost only to the biggest teams in Germany and finished the season with a respectable 61 points. Glasner then left and took the vacant head coach job at Eintracht Frankfurt, a job vacated by Adi Hütter who went to Borussia Mönchengladbach to take over for Marco Rose who left for Borussia Dortmund (to give you an idea of the nonsensical coaching carousel that went on in Germany last season).
Mark van Bommel, an intense defensive midfielder who fairly or unfairly pretty much didn’t let anyone get past him in his Bayern days, was deemed to be the type of person who fit the Wolfsburg mentality — a tough defensively minded ex-player who would instill that philosophy into his players and continue Glasner’s work.
It wasn’t to be.
BREAKING: Mark van Bommel has been dismissed as Wolfsburg coach.— Derek Rae (@RaeComm) October 24, 2021
“I’m surprised & disappointed as I’m convinced that together we would have managed to return to a successful path.” He has wished the team all the best. https://t.co/yTea58xxEc
Wolfsburg has been poor to say the least; while their overall game hasn’t been too awful (the likes of Kevin Mbabu and Ridle Baku have performed well), goals have been hard to come by and they have been conceding far more than Glasner’s side would. They have been winless in their last eight games in all competitions and perhaps, while we Bayern Munich fans hate to see it, the right call from Wolfsburg was to axe the former Bayern Munich midfielder.
Perhaps, this is a reminder that great ex-players do not necessarily make great coaches. Perhaps Wolfsburg is better off going for an experienced manager; they certainly have the squad to do better than they have done lately.