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Analysis: Why did the spark not ignite between Gerhard Struber and Red Bull Salzburg?

Analysis: Why did the spark not ignite between Gerhard Struber and Red Bull Salzburg?

If the club part ways with the coach prematurely, there must be good reasons for this. For bulls, these things are obvious and are primarily sporting in nature. With the absence of participation in the European Cup in the spring and the exit from the cup, an eleventh consecutive championship title is at risk in the hot title race.

Sporting Director Bernhard Sjoenbuchner and Managing Director Stefan Reiter, together with the board of directors, made the “difficult decision” to place Gerhard Struber on leave after 34 matches. In addition to Harald Lürzer, the board of directors also includes Herbert Resch (deputy) and Franz Rauch. It's possible that Red Bull director Oliver Mintzlaff has a hand in it as well.

A turbulent, revolutionary beginning for Strober

Whether Red Bull Salzburg's decision was right or wrong will become clear after the remaining six matches in the tournament. But why did it get to this point where the third of 15 coaches in the Bulls era was fired early?

Our investigation into the reasons begins with the sudden departure of former coach Matthias Geisel. The German said an unglorious farewell to Mozart City two days before the start of the season and caused chaos. The club management was surprised and forced to act.

Little chance with Salzburg fans

Gerhard Struber has already been selected as his successor in the second championship match. From the start, you had the feeling that the Bulls' first Salzburg-born coach never had the chance to prove himself. Not to mention conquering the hearts of fans, as Jesse March once did when he was a human hunter. In an emotional message yesterday, Struber spoke of taking over as “one of the greatest moments of my coaching life”. But the spark never spread.

The goals were the same every year: winning the national double was almost mandatory. In the Champions League, you want to upset the big boys and ideally reach the round of 16 or spend the winter in the European Cup.

Freund's support was sorely lacking

However, just a few weeks later, Strober found himself facing some excessive criticism online. “The way Gerhard was treated publicly was unfair,” Reiter stressed. Longtime “friend” Christoph Freund of Struber has arranged an appointment for the 47-year-old with current sporting director Bernhard Sjoenbuchner in the summer.

Apa/Barbara Gendel

Onur Senel has been appointed interim coach of Red Bull Salzburg. He succeeds the fired Gerhard Struber.

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The problem: Freund's move to Bayern Munich was already certain at this point. Strober thus lost someone close to him who could have supported him in a difficult season. No team in the world can adequately compensate for the long injury list with 14 absences at times. Additionally, he was unable to contribute his ideas due to lack of preparation with a newly assembled team. Because in the rhythm of three days, the sporting event happened quickly. There was almost no time to try new things.

Thor's record is unpopular

In the Champions League, Andreas Ulmer and company suffered from the lack of penalty whistles. The end of the European Cup could not have been more tragic. With a stoppage-time goal against Benfica Lisbon, the Europa League was lost.

But there were also records and best marks: in the tournament, defense emerged as the trump card. Struber has formed the best defense since joining Red Bull in 2005. With just 12 goals conceded after 22 rounds, Salzburg have not conceded fewer goals at this stage of the season in the past 19 seasons than they have this year. As impressive as these stats are, they don't exactly spark a storm of celebration in the Red Bull world. There is a demand for attacking spectacles and powerful football. But fans didn't get to see that much.

Sturm Graz makes Red Bull Salzburg nervous

When the dominance failed to materialize even after full preparation, a poor performance in LASK followed and the Bulls felt Sturm Graz pressing down on their necks, and the club management became visibly nervous. The rope was pulled and Onur Cinel was given the task of somehow saving the season. The 38-year-old is the second-youngest coach in the club's history after Geisel, and is coaching a top-flight team for the first time.

Following the rescue mission, Senel will compete in the European Championship in Germany with Austria as 'assistant' to team boss Ralf Rangnick before returning to FC Liefering in the second division in the summer.

Goalscorers are missing everywhere

The management could not or did not want to announce yesterday who will miss Salzburg in the new season. But a new coach must be found soon if he is to have a say in the team's planning for the new season. Whatever it is, a cool striker is definitely at the top of my wish list. The scissors with the built-in target guarantee likely concealed many construction sites, even under Strooper's supervision. And with the resulting peace of mind, his job at his “Heart Club” may have saved him.

(Source: Salzburg 24)

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