Coach Niko Kovac cracks down on Max Kruse: The footballer, who was kicked out at VfL Wolfsburg, no longer takes part in team training, but does goal-shooting exercises with the substitute keeper. Kovac received praise from football celebrities for his clear course.
Trainer Niko Kovac takes tough action at VfL Wolfsburg in the "Causa Kruse": Joint warm-up and stability exercises with teammates will be tolerated for the time being, otherwise Max Kruse, who has been sidelined at Lower Saxony since Tuesday, has only been a marginal figure in the truest sense sense of the word. While the squad of the North Germans started preparing for the Bundesliga away game on Sunday (3.30 p.m. / DAZN) at Kruse’s ex-club Union Berlin, the former national player had to keep himself and the VfL substitute keeper busy with goal shooting exercises.
Head coach Kovac had already informed the 34-year-old via Sky last week that he would no longer play a game for the wolves. The professional, whose contract in Wolfsburg runs until the end of the season, would give "no impulses", a "constructive cooperation" would not come from him, the coach justified his decision, which was coordinated with the sporting management.
Kovac received praise from football celebrities for his clear course. "A player can be as good as he wants. If he doesn't want to fit in, then he can't play for the club," said former Wolfsburg champion coach Felix Magath on ran.de. Kovac would have lost "if he hadn't taken the player out of the squad," added the 69-year-old. Regarding the statement by Union Berlin manager Oliver Ruhnert that Kruse could be "managed", Magath said smugly: "Nevertheless, we can now calmly say that Union Berlin is better off today without the player than a year and a half ago with him. A player can be as good as he wants - if he doesn't want to fit in then he can't play for the club."
Record national player Lothar Matthäus also supported the decision of the Wolfsburg coach: "As long as Kruse is there, he is a disruptive factor in the dressing room. Kovac and VfL cannot use that in this situation." However, according to the captain of the 1990 World Cup team, the mere presence of the eccentric Kruse could be a problem for the Wolves: "He will no longer play, but he can continue to train. So the issue will continue every day and has not been ideally solved by the club." The timing is very questionable. "If you no longer need Kruse, you could have clarified that during the transfer period," emphasized the 61-year-old Matthäus.
With just one win from six games, last year's Champions League participant is currently only 16th in the Bundesliga table.