Bundesliga News

Grading the Bundesliga summer coaching hires

By Jonathan Dicks   @Jonathan_Dicks

It’s been another offseason filled with coaching changes as the Bundesliga gets ready to meet 7 new trainers. Here are the grades for each summer hire.
Niko Kovac.
Niko Kovac.Photo: Sven Mandel / CC-BY-SA-4.0
Wolfsburg: Niko Kovac, Grade: A

The former Eintracht Frankfurt and Bayern Munich manager is back after a spell in Ligue 1 with AS Monaco. While Kovac’s time in Bavaria ended abruptly he still left with both a Bundesliga title and a DFB-Pokal trophy to his name. Kovac added another cup win with Frankfurt so the Croatian knows how to get it done on the big stage. Wolfsburg may have hit the jackpot with this hire.

Hoffenheim: Andre Breitenreiter, Grade: B+

After a horrific end to last year’s campaign Sebastian Hoeneß is out and Zürich’s title-winning manager Andre Breitenreiter is in. The former Paderborn, Schalke and Hannover coach has seen both ends of the table in the top flight and 2. Bundesliga, but the hiring of a coach coming off a domestic title feels right. Breitenreiter already has 181 games coaching German football under his belt as he plans to turn around a talented Hoffenheim squad.

Borussia Dortmund: Edin Terzic, Grade: B

The sudden departure of Marco Rose turned some heads at Signal Iduna Park, but a familiar face is back to pace the touchline. While Terzic did lead Dortmund to the DFB-Pokal title in 2021, his only head coaching experience is during this time as Dortmund’s interim manager. As a favorite of both Dortmund players and fans, the 39-year-old could be the answer to piece together a cast of new and young talent.

Hertha Berlin: Sandro Schwarz, Grade: C+

Fredi Bobic has his guy as Schwarz returns to Germany by taking a job at the most chaotic, drama-filled club in the first division. Schwarz earned some admirers during his time coaching Mainz with his aggressive style of play and found success this past season at Dynamo Moscow with a 3rd place finish. While Schwarz feels like a good fit, Felix Magath’s disparaging comments display the job at Hertha Berlin is nearly an impossible gig.

Borussia Mönchengladbach: Daniel Farke, Grade: C-

The longtime Norwich City trainer is back in Germany looking to quickly return Gladbach to European football. While Farke’s time in England ended poorly, the German can recount on his experience managing Dortmund’s reserve team. Farke will most likely play a 4-2-3-1 as he hopes to rejuvenate a club that was in the knockout stages of the Champions League just 2 years ago. But will his lack of successful top flight coaching experience hamper this rebuild? Gladbach wanted Lucien Favre as this job seems too big for Farke.

Schalke: Frank Kramer, Grade: D+

For a club who’s had 9 different head coaches since 2019, Schalke’s immediate return to the first division after winning the 2. Bundesliga is quite remarkable. Kramer has a world of experience in German football, but his most recent spell with Arminia Bielefeld didn’t exactly go to plan. It’s hard to imagine that Kramer will do what’s needed for a club of this size, with this fan base (which is more than just survival).

Augsburg: Enrico Maaßen, Grade: D

The former amateur player and SV Rödinghausen coach took over Dortmund II and gained promotion in 2020 to the 3. Liga. Augsburg are taking quite the risk with an inexperienced 38-year-old manager in hopes to inject some freshness into a stale team. This decision is dicey and could come back to bite Die Fuggerstädter.

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