Head coach Armin Veh's encore tenure in charge of Eintracht Frankfurt has ended after less than a year. He was the victim of both his own history - and factors beyond his control writes DW's Jefferson Chase.
When Armin Veh was appointed head coach of Frankfurt for the second time last June, hopes ran high.
Not only was the garrulous 55-year-old a former Bundesliga title winner, but he also engineered the Eagles' promotion back to the top flight in 2012 and took them to the Europa League the following season - Frankfurt's best performance since the days of Jay-Jay Okocha, Tony Yeboah and Andreas Köpke.
Eight months later, after a seven game winless streak, Frankfurt are third from bottom, and Veh is free to hang out his shingle elsewhere. You don't have to look far to see what went wrong.
Eintracht's attack has been insipid, scoring only once in their last four matches. That's hardly surprising when you consider the Eagles are without their main man up front, last season's top Bundesliga goalscorer Alex Meier. And Meier is only one of seven major squad members sidelined at present writing. Veh can legitimately claim that his plans for the team this season have been scuppered by human frailty.
History haunts Veh
At the same time, the coach's own past put pressure on Eintracht bosses to make a change. Say what you want about Veh, but the man has seem more than his share of football in Germany, having coached seven different clubs, including Stuttgart and Frankfurt twice.
Some Frankfurt fans never really forgave him for voluntarily leaving their club in 2014 to return to Stuttgart, the team he surprisingly took to the league title in 2007. Rightly or wrongly, Veh is perceived as someone who is always looking to improve his situation and lacks loyalty, which is why there were audible cries for his dismissal on Saturday.
Not that his players necessarily feel that way. After the 1-1 draw with minnows Ingolstadt that sealed Veh's fate, veteran defender Marco Russ said he thought the team could only beat the drop with Veh. He must have felt pretty chagrined when he heard the news on Sunday that his former boss had gotten the axe.
Frankfurt's board of directors say they will appoint a new coach "before too long." With only nine rounds left to play this season, it's an appointment they had better get right. Otherwise, the Eagles could plummet down a division for the fifth time in their history.