The president of the Association of German Football Instructors approves the years of trust in the VfB coach even in difficult phases.
As a coach, Benno Möhlmann has managed many professional clubs himself, while as chairman of the German Football Coaches Association he organizes courses and acts as a contact for coaches. In the interview, the 68-year-old talks about Pellegrino Matarazzo’s tenure at VfB Stuttgart, which has already lasted 1,000 days, his surprise at the sacking of several coaches – and why coaching often becomes a challenge after many years at the same club .
Mr. Möhlmann, did Pellegrino Matarazzo receive a congratulatory message from your association on Sunday?
(laughs) No, it’s not meant for 1000 days in office. But maybe we will present it. It’s a long time.
Are you happy when a manager has been with a club for so long?
Basically yes, because it just doesn’t happen that often anymore. Clubs are reacting faster than they used to, sometimes too fast for my taste. This should not always be wrong, but the moment in time is sometimes surprising. If there is a reaction at the beginning of a season or two days before the end of the game, usually something went wrong beforehand. A clarifying conversation would often be better than dismissal.
As a coach you have been in charge for more than 1,000 days in some cases, for example at Hamburger SV and Arminia Bielefeld. In your experience, does staff continuity increase the likelihood of success?
The key to success is having a good team and then doing a good job as a coach every day. But that’s not necessarily easier for someone who has been at a club for years.
After a certain time, the team knows the speeches and the content of the training. You have to be careful not to get tired, but stay true to yourself. Otto Rehhagel also repeated himself at Werder Bremen during the years I was a player there. He was involved with such intensity that he carried us away at times. Ultimately, I believe clubs with fewer coaching changes do better. VfB in particular showed that.
Last season, however, it was against relegation until the end.
That is true, but in the end they have always achieved their goals with Pellegrino Matarazzo, being promoted and staying in the Bundesliga twice. In the years before that, they changed coaches often and were relegated twice.
How do you rate Matarazzo’s work?
From the outside, of course, it is not so easy. But I think you can see the clear style of the coach in Stuttgart. It’s a neat game, but usually very attack-oriented. What I also notice is the good cooperation on the field.