Schmadtek, president of Wolfsburg: Van Bommel has more experience than you think

The surprises are often in the details. It was clear that Mark van Bommel would be the new head coach of VFL Wolfsburg – the club announced its official completion yesterday. The fact that Kevin Hovland has returned to his old club in the role of assistant coach, Alex Abrich and Vincent Hellmann also moving from Eindhoven to Wolfsburg is no longer real news. But surprisingly, Michael Fronczyk also became an assistant coach at VfL.


The coach has more experience as a player than he has as a coach, and he doesn’t know (yet) Wolfsburg – the same as Frontich and Hovland. It became clear early on that Van Bommel himself was the coveted solution from manager Jörg Schmadtke and sporting director Marcel Schaefer. As Oliver Glasner’s farewell to Frankfurt became more specific in the final round of the league, the Dutchman’s commitment was near-perfect – or, as Schmadtek put it, “the possibility is very high” that the former Bayern Munich star will come to Wolfsburg.

Because conversations with him have been going on for some time. At first, Schmadtke emphasizes, it’s more general, because: “We always think about it, we talk to coaches from time to time to see how they’re doing, how they see football, what ideas they have.” And not just to get a VfL training contract at the next opportunity, but “to ask your questions, maybe to hear a different point of view. We approached Mark from that point of view.”

Now VfL is getting a head coach who has yet to reach his stature as such. His coaching activity can be controlled: in Eindhoven, in which he played himself, he had the 2018/19 season (runner-up), after a poor start to the season after that, he had to leave. Prior to that, he was a junior and assistant coach for the national teams of Saudi Arabia and Australia, headed by his father-in-law Bert van Marwijk. Wealth of experience manageable? This is wrong, says Schmadtek: “He worked in the youth and seniors sector, was an assistant coach for his father-in-law, and he actually exchanged ideas with him during his active time. He handled training questions longer than one or some might think.”

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As a Dutchman, until proven otherwise, Van Bommel represents attacking football, preferably in a 4-3-3 system. The imbalance between attack and defense was repeatedly shown against him in Eindhoven. “He has to,” says Sky expert and compatriot Eric Meijer of his charismatic Dutch approach to football. “Pour German Sauce”, In other words: “Not only attractive, but also effective” Let’s play.

He should be able to explain it well: in 2010 the Free University of Amsterdam gave him the Language Prize – because he was one of the Dutch national players You have better public speaking and use significantly fewer empty phrases. According to Schmadtek, most importantly is the experience of a successful career in Eindhoven, Barcelona, ​​Munich and Milan: “He knows the situation in the dressing room very well – and can draw the right conclusions from it. Unable to translate what he said. Football potential in a teaching position, we do not see this The danger is with him at all.”

So the bottom line is what Schmadtke Wednesday at 12 noon, VfL announcement time, via Hommage as his statement, which contained no further surprises: “We dealt extensively with Mark van Bommel and personal conversations confirmed our impression that he fits our philosophy perfectly. He is an internationally recognized football expert who knows what to expect in the Bundesliga. In addition, He has tremendous ambition, which has already distinguished him in his long playing career. Mark van Bommel is our dream solution and we are convinced that we can continue the successful path of VfL with him and his coaching team.”

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