1. FC Kaiserslautern: Shakes in the club after the firing of Antwerp

Football Before the relegation of the second division

Tremors at 1. FC Kaiserslautern after the dismissal of Antwerp

The 50-year-old Marco Antwerpen was in the 3rd division 52 times on the sidelines of 1.  FC Kaiserslautern

Coach Marco Antwerpen lost the last three matches of the third division season with 1. FC Kaiserslautern

Source: Getty Images / Christian Kaspar-Bartke

1. FC Kaiserslautern first takes the guesswork out of it – and then provides clarity. The firing of coach Marco Antwerpen and the succession plan with Dirk Schuster created a lot of unrest for the club before the relegation against Dresden. The first termination has taken place.

EIt is likely that this dismissal took the coach of 1. FC Kaiserslautern off the guard. Despite all the conflicts with the club’s management that have simmered for a long time, the disputes with sports director Thomas Hengen have been going on behind the scenes for weeks.

But if you clear your closet a week before the relegation battles against Dynamo Dresden, have to make room for Dirk Schuster and classify your relationship with the team as unreserved, you probably do not understand the world anymore. Marco Antwerpen At any rate, “Sport 1” was talking about a “crazy decision” that shocked him: “I do not know why this person is doing it.”

That person is Thomas Hengen. According to the club, which gave a deep look into its simple lack of emotion, it happened “after an intensive analysis of the current situation”. In fact, it is not necessarily to Antwerp’s advantage. Kaiserslautern had lost their last three games of the season with a goal difference of 2: 7, thus wasting the direct promotion place and ended the season in third place. In the 2-0 defeat to Viktoria Cologne on Sunday, FCK showed obvious weaknesses in the defense and acted with virtually no ideas in the attack.

In the pre-match press conference in Cologne, Antwerp gave a one-minute monologue in which he praised his team’s performance throughout the season and the support of the fans, but also expressed self-criticism over some of his behavior on the sidelines. In retrospect, his statement should be interpreted as a farewell speech.

The board of 1. FC Kaiserslautern draws consequences

Nevertheless, the firing caused a shake in the club. For example, Fritz Fuchs, a member of the supervisory board and advisory board of KG in FCK, subsequently resigned. Football, Fuchs had said, was “a very ordinary business. In this sport, as in life, it is not possible without the principle of clarity / truth. In my opinion, the decision is unfortunately wrong. I feel sorry for Marco Antwerpen and Frank Döpper (Antwerp assistant coach, editorial staff). They looked after FCK in the best way and brought the greatest success since the club came in the third division. It’s so much sadder when it’s going to end like this. ‘

The separation from Antwerp is also controversially discussed among the supporters, FCK has long had a huge audience access again. Lautern’s biggest fan forum is called “Der Betze brennt”, the title has only lost its relevance in rare phases. Operator Thomas Hilmes says: “The fans reacted very shocked and sometimes annoyed at the dismissal of Marco Antwerpen. He led FCK from a relegation to a promotion place and was also the crowd favorite due to his somewhat harsh nature.”

Dirk Schuster left Erzgebirge Aue at the end of May 2021 and most recently worked as a TV expert

Dirk Schuster left Erzgebirge Aue at the end of May 2021 and most recently worked as a TV expert

Source: pa / Hasan Bratic

Antwerp’s replacement Schuster will take over the training this Wednesday and thus the preparation for the relegation matches on 20 and 24 May. He should also stay if the promotion to the second division goes wrong. In his coaching career so far, the 54-year-old has worked for Stuttgarter Kickers, Darmstadt 98, FC Augsburg and most recently FC Erzgebirge Aue. With Darmstadt, Schuster managed to move up from the 3rd division to the Bundesliga. Assistant coach Sascha Franz comes to Betzenberg with him.

Antwerp took over the four-time German champions on 1 February 2021 as the successor to Jeff Saibene, saved FCK from falling in the regional league and was highly respected by the fans. Sports director Thomas Hengen has for the past few weeks kept a low profile around a possible contract extension for Antwerp and only talked about a possibility that the 50-year-old’s contract would be automatically extended in the event of promotion.

According to speculation, the former national team player Miroslav Klose should have been traded as a possible successor. Cologne “Express” had reported that the name Klose had made the rounds on the sidelines of the Viktoria-Cologne game. There should have been a loose contact at the end of April.

Antwerp’s adviser Stefan Backs had already before the split criticized the club’s management. “If all that’s true, it’s amazing, to say the least, how to handle a coach who not only saved Lautern from relegation, which he thought was safe, but who also allowed the most successful third division season in history to be played,” said Backs. at Sport1.

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Hengen had previously used a rumor that Antwerp was about to switch to Schalke 04 as an opportunity to escalate the conflict with its coach. “Such deliberately spread rumors fit the picture that the club is currently giving. I did not think a professional club that could still move up to the second division would be so chaotic,” Backs said.

Antwerp had assumed they would stay at Betzenberg on Tuesday morning. In a telephone call with Hengen, he must, according to information from BILD, have found out about his departure.

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