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String of Disappointments Sends Stuttgart's Veh Packing

VfB Stuttgart fired coach Armin Veh on after a string of poor Bundesliga results culminated in a 4-1 hammering at VfL Wolfsburg.

Veh on the sidelines protesting a call with his arms spread

Veh said he understood the team's decision

Stuttgart president Erwin Staudt spoke Sunday, Nov. 23, of a "difficult decision." He said former Germany defender Markus Babbel was now in charge and would hopefully "bring the team back on to the road of success."

Babbel was an assistant coach in Stuttgart after ending his career as a player there in 2007. He is now team manager while the daily training is to be conducted by Rainer Widmaier.

Veh, 47, replaced Giovanni Trapattoni at Stuttgart in February 2006 and led them to a surprise Bundesliga title in 2007.

Stuttgart players celebrate their Bundesliga title win in 2007

Stuttgart haven't always impressed since winning the league in 2007

Stuttgart finished sixth last season but are now suffering through a poor campaign. The team has slumped to 11th place with a winless run of four games and just one victory in the last seven league matches.

"It was a difficult decision for all they (Veh and assistant Alfons Higl) achieved over the past three years," said Staudt.

Veh admitted on Thursday that he was to blame as well along with other club officials for not having brought the right new players to the club after the 2007 title.

"I can't lash out at the team because I made mistakes as well," he said.

But Veh had urged his team around Germany players Mario Gomez and Thomas Hitzlsperger to reverse the negative trend in Wolfsburg instead of going down 4-1 at the team of Felix Magath, himself a former Stuttgart coach.

Major matches ahead

The task to motivate the players now lies with Babbel who has little time as Stuttgart have a UEFA Cup date at Italian club Sampdoria on Thursday and host Schalke 04 in the Bundesliga on Sunday.

"I talked to the team this morning and told the players that they must live up to their potential," said Staudt "The separation from Armin Veh is no alibi for the players."

Veh was the second German top flight coach to get his marching orders this season, following Jos Luhukay at Borussia Moenchengladbach.

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