Kohfeldt on Kruse: "I think it’s difficult how he’s being treated in some cases"
Four players gone, three new ones there: VfL Wolfsburg is with a changed squad in the preparation for the explosive basement duel on Sunday (17.30 o’clock, LIVE! at kicker) started against Greuther Furth. Afterwards, coach Florian Kohfeldt spoke.
Wants to turn the trend around with three new arrivals: Vfl coach Florian Kohfeldt. picture alliance/dpa/dpa-central-image
Five degrees Celsius, extreme wind, rain, uncomfortable. The weather was perfect for VfL Wolfsburg’s situation on Tuesday. And yet there is at least a bit of a spirit of optimism around VfL, which has been mightily active on the transfer market in recent days. To the satisfaction of coach Florian Kohfeldt. After training, the soccer coach spoke about..
… the departures of Wout Weghorst, Josuha Guilavogui, Daniel Ginczek and Admir Mehmedi: First of all, Kohfeldt thanked the quartet ("Very deserving players have left us"), first and foremost ex-captain Guilavogui, who wore the VfL jersey since 2014, now joined Girondins Bordeaux. "It was not a question of meeting his desire for more playing time." And also Weghorst, who went to Burnley, had approached the VfL with the desire to switch. "It was hard for him to leave VfL in such a situation, but it was his dream to play in the Premier League." However, with the additions to the offense, Max Kruse and Jonas Wind, Kohfeldt believes "we can add a little more diversity to our game.". So it was also "an opportunity that we have taken". The coach speaks of "important days for VfL. "We have clearly demonstrated that the sporting management is ready to act and not accept the situation without complaint."
He will give our squad a direction that we find very good.
… the three newcomers: All three were on the training ground on Tuesday. The 18-year-old Kevin Paredes, who was acquired for 6.5 million euros from D. C. United came, will certainly need the most time for acclimatization. "Very exciting", Kohfeldt finds the American for the left wing. "He brings an incredible amount of speed, seems carefree." Jonas Wind, signed for twelve million euros from FC Copenhagen, is a "playmaking and headstrong center forward who enriches our combination play," Kohfeldt says. And Kruse, whom Kohfeldt knows well from their time together in Bremen: "In terms of soccer skills, the organization of the pressing, communication and mentality, he will give our squad a direction that we find very good."
Reunion with Kruse not a solo effort
… his role in the Kruse deal: "It’s not a coach who signs players here, it’s the club.", Kohfeldt emphasizes. It was a "completely joint decision" and and "not a Florian Kohfeldt proposal", he assures. The 39-year-old of course knows about the special qualities of the 33-year-old and emphasizes the way he lives soccer, how he communicates and can turn a bit of the mood in the cabin to the positive, to a winning mentality".
… the guy Kruse, who has also been polarizing time and again in the past: "I think that he is already also wrongly perceived in recent years." Kohfeldt asks what is expected from a footballer. "That he performs and leaves the last drop on the pitch. I can’t remember a game of Max Kruse in the last six years in which he didn’t do that. And I am not aware that he has had any dramatic escapades lately. I find it difficult how he is dealt with in part. But I also know that leaves him relatively cold."
Overview: The most important transfers 2022 in Bundesliga and 2. League
… the resulting changes in the team: Kruse, in particular, is likely to be in the starting lineup on Sunday against Furth, and Wind can quickly become a starting candidate as well. There is little time to integrate the newcomers into the game, although the coach does not see this as a major problem. "I’m not worried that we lose automatisms from the back through them. It would have been a bit more complicated if we had to replace two central defenders." Nevertheless, the game in the final third will also inevitably change due to the new duo. "Both can definitely play together", says Kohfeldt "Max played as a striker for me in Bremen. We will see what is better for the team." In any case, it is conceivable that Kohfeldt his 3-4-2-1 formation "in detail" changed.
Game against Furth "an important game for all of us"
… that of Managing Director Jorg Schmadtke in general to the "endgame" declared duel with Furth: It could be interpreted that anything less than a win against Furth would lead to another change of coach in Wolfsburg. Now came striker Kruse with the explicit indication that Kohfeldt played an important role in his decision. Would it not be curious then, the VfL would sever this connection after only 90 minutes again? "It’s an important game for all of us", stresses the coach. "But we do not deal internally with such scenarios and topics. If we were to do that, then we would factor in failure. That would cost so much energy." So Kohfeldt thinks positively: "I am very convinced that we will win at the weekend, then this question does not arise."
… the mood within the team: "It would be presumptuous to propagate the new mood after 90 minutes of training", Kohfeldt holds back. He knows that the squad "seasoned players with influence in the cabin" lost. "Something new is now forming in the subject of hierarchy and roles. But it’s not like we didn’t have any more seasoned players either." With Guilavogui went a deputy of captain Koen Casteels and member of the team council, it requires there a replacement? "That", says Kohfeldt "we will still discuss in the next few days."
Returners expand options
… convalescents Xaver Schlager and Lukas Nmecha: Schlager was back on the pitch with the team for the first time after his cruciate ligament rupture last August on Tuesday, made, albeit still throttled, first game forms along. "Wonderful", says Kohfeldt "a beautiful moment. Also how the guys welcomed him after the long injury. We can have hope that by the end of February he will be back on the Bundesliga pitch." This also applies to Nmecha, who will return to Wolfsburg this week from his rehab in Belgium. "If nothing happens, he will almost certainly be back on the pitch in February." Further reinforcements so that the VfL in the relegation fight can use well.