VfB Stuttgart officially confirmed the separation with trainer Bruno Labbadia early Monday evening. Former FCB II and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim head-coach Sebastian Hoeneß is now the man charged with leading the team.
"There are three tasks for before us now," Hoeneß announced at his unveiling, "and they are in chronological order: Frirst, to make [Wednesday's] cup match in Nuremberg a success. Secondly, to achieve class preservation in the Bundesliga. Third, to make a clear analysis after the season together with the sporting management in order to take the necessary steps for a successful future for VfB Stuttgart."
"Ultimately, we came to the conclusion that we needed a new impetus," sporting CEO Alexander Wehrle said when commenting on Labbadia's sacking, "Hoeneß has already accrued important experience in the Bundesliga and we are convinced that he is the right an for the job. We need an immediate impact, but also must look at longer term goals beyond the season."
"Sebastian Hoeneß has proven that he can lead teams," sporting director Fabian Wohlgemuth added, "As a coach, Sebastian knows both how to deal with top talent in the youth sector and professional soccer - he will quickly find the right approach."
As much as Hoeneß and the club sought to deny that Hoeneß was merely a temporary solution to help the club avoid relegation, it is difficult to see the new gaffer fulfilling his new contract (good through 2025) if Stuttgart end up dropping down. The league's current last placed team has much work to do in order to stay up.
In the historically tight 2022/23 Bundesliga relegation race, matters may come down to the final matchday of the season. Interestingly enough, Stuttgart will face Hoeneß' former club Hoffenheim on the season's final matchday. Hoffenheim are currently led by former VfB Stuttgart head-coach Pellegrino Matarazzo.