Wolfsburg parted company with coach Dieter Hecking on Monday after a poor start in the Bundesliga season, with one win and six points from seven matches.
The club said the decision was reached “by mutual agreement” following a meeting between Hecking and director Klaus Allofs. Hecking had failed to receive any backing from Allofs following Sunday’s 1-0 home loss to promoted RB Leipzig.
Valerien Ismael, coach of Wolfsburg’s reserve side, will take over for the time being, the club said. Ismael is a former Werder Bremen and Bayern Munich defender.
Wolfsburg began the season with an overhauled squad and the ambition of reaching a European competition. But the club is only 14th after seven matches despite such signings as Germany striker Mario Gomez.
“Despite great matches in the Champions League, we failed to qualify for an international competition last season,” Allofs said in a statement. “And the reshuffle of the squad has not produced the results we were hoping for.
“After the latest disappointing performances, we decided to give the team a new impulse by changing the coach,” Allofs said. Hecking said he was “naturally disappointed.”
Hecking became Wolfsburg’s coach shortly before Christmas in 2012. In 2015, Wolfsburg won the German Cup and finished runner-up to Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga, notching a 4-1 win over the champions. It reached the quarterfinals of the Champions League last season, losing to eventual champion Real Madrid.
Hecking is the third Bundesliga coach to lose his job this season, after Werder Bremen’s Viktor Skripnik and Hamburg’s Bruno Labbadia.