VfB Stuttgart vs FSV Mainz 05: No reaction is also a reaction

After the game against Mainz, the VfB players face a silent crowd of fans. Photo: Baumann

Strangely unmoved, the Stuttgart crowd take note of Bruno Labbadia’s side’s first appearance in the 1-1 draw with FSV Mainz. Managers are satisfied despite very poor performance.

After the final whistle, a heaviness of lead settled on the Cannstatt curve. Usually, VfB players are cheered or whistled there for the previous 90 minutes – or they receive fair applause. After the 1:1 (1:1) of VfB Stuttgart against FSV Mainz 05 came out of the curve: nothing. No whistle, no applause, no singing. Silent as snow, the audience said goodbye to their heroes in the dressing room, according to the motto: no reaction is also a reaction.

None of the 45,903 spectators found the first performance of Bruno Labbadia’s team exhilarating after their return to Neckar. At best, the opener from Serhou Guirassy (36th) after a great run from Wataru Endo was hot in the Mercedes-Benz Arena. Otherwise: a lot of hassle, a lot of cramps, little shine.

Sporting director Wohlgemuth speaks of ‘very good performance’

Even if those concerned saw things differently afterwards. The new sporting director Fabian Wohlgemuth even wanted to see a “very good performance” from his team. Bruno Labbadia also confirmed: “I am very satisfied. We implemented a lot of what we planned to do. »

The Cannstatt boys actually brought to the pitch the “fundamental virtues” praised by Wohlgemuth. There was a willingness to run and sprint, and mistakes made by teammates were usually corrected immediately. The back four acted in a very orderly fashion, moving cleanly, no frills, no risk in building up the game. Through, through and back – that’s how it was for long stretches, especially in the first half. Courage and the willingness to take risks, on the other hand, were rare. The same rhythm to put the solid defense of Mainz under pressure.

Mainz quickly countered VfB’s opening goal

The lead came almost out of nowhere: Endo passed a pass from Naouirou Ahamada straight to Guirassy, ​​who remained calm in front of Mainz substitute goalkeeper Finn Dahmen. Shortly before, he had missed the huge opportunity to take the lead, which commanded the respect of his coach. “He didn’t hesitate for long and followed very well.” Too bad that the VfB almost immediately demolished what had been painstakingly built at the rear. Ahamada didn’t see Mainz’s Barreiro coming from behind trying to clear. Fed up with the ball, the French touched the leg of the Mainz midfielder. A net penalty, even if the referee Felix Brych had to use television images. Marcus Ingvartsen converts without a hitch (40th). “It happens,” defended Labbadia the polluter. Fabian Wohlgemuth was also lenient. “He certainly won’t make such a mistake again in his young career.”

But like last year, that’s usually one mistake too many, so VfB didn’t concede in their 30th consecutive home game. He thus further extended the Bundesliga record. Now is the time to end at least one other streak that has accompanied the team, which has remained in 16th place in the Bundesliga, for almost as long. No away game has been won since December 2021. Now, on Tuesday (8.30 p.m.) at TSG Hoffenheim, there will be the next opportunity to finally overcome the away curse.

Now it’s off to Hoffenheim, then to Leipzig

Points would be pressing given the unchanged precarious situation in the table cellar; in Hoffenheim, however, they are just as little to be expected as next Friday evening in Leipzig. Labbadia still tried to make the most of the 1-1 draw with Mainz when he said: “In this relegation battle, every point can still be important.”

What else is happening in the transfer market?

We could also formulate it: Each player can also be important. Asked about the new signings until the end of the transfer deadline on January 31, sporting director Wohlgemuth did not hide that he would very much like to see Josuha Guilavogui (32) in the ranks of Stuttgart. The player himself would also like to go to Stuttgart, only VfL Wolfsburg are (still) opposed. A hot poker game could break out between VfB and VfL over Guilavogui’s personality. Otherwise, in view of the squad changes, Wohlgemuth’s words apply: “After the game, I see less need than I thought before the game.

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