Bochum - Stuttgart

Germany: Bundesliga
Vonovia Ruhrstadion0-0

VfB trainer challenges squad: "It's a question of character."

By Peter Vice

After four games without a win, VfB Stuttgart head-coach Pellegrino Matarazzo issued a direct challenge to his players ahead of their weekend clash. 

Pellegrino Matarazzo.
Pellegrino Matarazzo.

Results have quickly gone from bad to worse for VfB Stuttgart. Thought the season remains young, the Swabians haven't been able to respond to their head-coach's tactical directives in recent fixtures. A win against one of the lesser promoted sides (VfL Bochum) this weekend, should be feasible. According to the team's trainer, however, only if the squad adjusts it's overall posture on both sides of the ball.

"I wasn't pleased with our lack of forward momentum," Matarazzo said when referencing the team's 1-3 to Leverkusen last week, "There was sand in the gears. The performances were unacceptable from my vantage point. Summoning up energy is a question of character. This [coming] game is important for us to show what we can do and what we really want."

Stuttgart couldn't manage a goal last week despite the fact that they were gifted a man advantage shortly after the half-hour mark. Florian Wirtz even added another tally for the visitors while the hapless hosts struggled to get their offense into gear. Defensively speaking, Stuttgart have conceded twelve goals through five rounds. Only Bochum and Fürth have allowed in more.

"Defending to the last man, blocking crosses, and winning aerial duels," the American trainer elaborated, "are [also] matters of attitude."

1Manuel Riemann
11Herbert Bockhorn
4Erhan Mašović
37Armel Bella-Kotchap
3Danilo Soares
8Anthony Losilla (C) ↩84
20Elvis Rexhbecaj
22Christopher Antwi-Adjej ↩71
38Eduard Löwen ↩78
17Gerrit Holtmann ↩84
40Sebastian Polter
21Michael Esser
7Danny Blum ↪84
10Takuma Asano ↪71
27Miloš Pantović
35Silvère Ganvoula
16Konstantinos Stafylidis ↪84
24Konstantinos-Vassilios Lambropoulos
6Patrick Osterhage
23Robert Tesche ↪78
1Florian Müller
5Konstantinos Mavropanos ↩85
16Atakan Karazor
2Waldemar Anton
24Borna Sosa
3Wataru Endo (C)
7Tanguy Coulibaly ↩85
23Orel Mangala ↩85
31Mateo Klimowicz ↩46
17Omar Marmoush
18Hamadi Al Ghaddioui ↩46
33Fabian Bredlow
4Marc-Oliver Kempf ↪85
37Hiroki Ito
6Clinton Mola
10Daniel Didavi ↪85
11Erik Thommy ↪46
21Phillipp Klement
22Chris Führich ↪46
30Roberto Massimo ↪85

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