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VfB Stuttgart - Die Roten

Started on 21 February 2015 by LFC
Latest Reply on 26 February 2015 by Justice
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DEADLINE DAY: Escudero joins Stuttgart but Abdellaoue could be off in January

VfB Stuttgart have completed the signing of Argentinian winger Damián Escudero, with just sixteen hours of transfer deadline day remaining.

Stuttgart were thought to have spent their transfer budget for the summer, but Felix Magath says that the board were willing to splash out another £3.4 million in order to bring the player in.

"I had nothing left to spend on new players. I always said to Bernd [Wahler, club chairman] that I would look to strengthen the wide positions, especially since Martin Harnik left for Newcastle United earlier this summer. I had a shortlist of a few players. Damián stood out and I asked Bernd if he could invest the money necessary to bring him to the club. I'm delighted he accepted my request because I believe Damián to be a fantastic talent."

The 27-year-old signs a four year contract worth £13k per week, joining from Brazilian club Vitória. He has had previous spells with the likes of Villarreal and Boca Juniors.

Other news emanating from The Mercedes-Benz-Arena is that Norwegian striker Mohammed Abdellaoue has been told to find himself a new club in January.

The 28-year-old has found himself frozen out of the squad due to both injury and new summer signings such as Jonathan Soriano. Early signs of Magath's style of play is that it only accommodates one striker and with several others ahead of him in the pecking order, Magath feels Abdellaoue will be better off somewhere else with more game time.

Sources close to the club have reported on discussions between the player and Magath, in which the German manager told the striker to do himself justice by finding a new team, something Abdellaoue reluctantly accepted.

The final piece of news to come from Stuttgart on this busy deadline day is that Romanian midfielder Alexandru Maxim, 23, is happy to stay at the club for the foreseeable future, with interest from Sporting Lisbon and Everton having seemingly diminished.

Earlier this summer, the two clubs were thought to be seriously courting him, prompting Maxim to plead with Magath to let him leave should an offer come in for him.

But Marco Silva and Roberto Martinez did not make any official bids for the player, and in an interview with Stuttgart's TV station Vfbtv, he has assured fans that his "heart is with this club now - only this club."

VfB Stuttgart - September Results

Felix Magath's Stuttgart side picked up just four points from a possible twelve as Die Rote slipped down the table. All games played by the senior side were in the Bundesliga this month, with matches against Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Mönchengladbach, VfL Wolfsburg and Hannover 96.

Bayer Leverkusen 3-0 Stuttgart
Stefan Kießling (31, Pen 33, 54)
Stefan Kießling, 9.5

Following their 5-1 victory over FC Koln last time out, Stuttgart should have gone into this away game on a high. However, they were on the back foot from the word go, and Stefan Kießling punished them after half an hour when he turned in Karim Bellarabi's cross following Stuttgart captain Christian Gentner's wild pass.

Moments later, Gentner was the villain again, this time bringing Kießling down inside the area and giving the German the chance to double Leverkusen's lead. He did so with ease, tucking the penalty into the bottom right and sending Sven Ulreich the wrong way. The final goal came after half time, with some poor defending from Stuttgart being the cause. Bellarabi was able to get to the byline where he once again found Kießling unmarked and the striker bagged his hat-trick. Disappointing for Stuttgart.

Stuttgart 2-1 Borussia Mönchengladbach
Timo Werner (10), Sercan Sararer (19)
Max Kruse (1)
Max Kruse, 8.3

Stuttgart fans thought they were in for more heartbreak very early on in this game after Gladbach scored from kick-off. The game hadn't been going for longer than 40 second before Max Kruse hit Raffael's pass across goal from a tight angle, beating goalkeeper Ulreich in between the posts. It was a fantastic finish but Stuttgart looked virtually dead at the back, allowing the build-up play to work for Gladbach.

However, the team soon kicked into life when Adam Hlousek's 25 yard free-kick hit the post via a deflection from the wall. Timo Werner picked up his second goal of the league campaign as he turned in the rebound from close range with the goalkeeper still grounded. The game would be won soon after as Alexandru Maxim found Sercan Sararer on the byline. The Turkish winger tried to whip in a cross from the goal line but ended up scoring an incredible goal, chipping the ball over the keeper from a near impossible angle and beating him at the far post.

Stuttgart may be considered lucky to have won this game as Gladbach continued to push for an equalizer, which they would have had late on but for an offside flag which ruled out Raffael's 93rd minute goal.

VfL Wolfsburg 2-1 Stuttgart
André Schürrle (30), Marcel Schäfer (35)
Timo Werner (12)
Ricardo Rodríguez, 7.8

This game was predicted to be a tough one for Stuttgart before it started but Timo Werner grabbed an early goal to give Wolfsburg something to think about. The goal came following a lovely passing move from Die Rote, with the end product being a beautiful through ball from Sercan Sararer which Werner ran onto in the penalty area. The 18-year-old netted for the second consecutive game with a first time shot which beat Diego Benaglio with its pace.

Stuttgart sat back and tried to defend their lead but were punished on the half hour mark when former Chelsea man André Schürrle chested down a cross from fullback Ricardo Rodriguez which dissected the defence, before firing low to Ulreich's left. Wolfsburg took the lead just five minutes after their equalizer when the Stuttgart defence failed to deal with a Rodriguez free-kick. The cross eventually found its way to Timm Klose who squared the ball to Marcel Schäfer for the winner.

A decent performance from Stuttgart, but they must improve. Mahamadou Diarra made his debut in this game.

Stuttgart 0-0 Hannover 96
Miiko Albornoz, 7.6

An uneventful game. A lot of half chances - Stuttgart were the better side but couldn't find a way through.

Bundesliga Table

Neal's avatar Group Neal
9 yearsEdited
Meh start to the season, but you've made some really nice signings. Harnik was a big loss, but I feel confident that the likes of Soriano as well as the currently on-form Sararer can pick up the slack! Nice start, and hey, I DID make you do this ok :P
An ok start to the Season, some though opponents in the first games with Mönchengladbach, Leverkusen, Dortmund and Wolfsburg, that are 4 Teams I would bet on continental qualification!

Keep that up and you'll do alright with Stuttgart!

Frustration for Moritz Leitner as Magath refuses to call time on his loan

All smiles: Leitner seemed much happier at Dortmund but he'll have to wait another season before he can return to the Signal Iduna Park.

Moritz Leitner has spoken to Kicker about his disappointment at the lack of game time he is experiencing at VfB Stuttgart. The 21-year-old midfielder is on loan from Borussia Dortmund.

Now in his second season at The Mercedes-Benz-Arena, (having been in a regular in Huub Stevens' squad last year) he finds his opportunities limited playing under new man Felix Magath.

"I've spoken to Felix and I'm not happy. The team has played seven competitive games so far this season and I haven't been a part of even one. I requested I be sent back to Dortmund, but Felix flat out denied me the opportunity. I'm worried that my progression is severely stalling while I'm not getting game time, and that's not something I want. I know I'm unlikely to play if I did go back to BVB but they could at the very least send me out on loan again - this time to a club where I'd be appreciated."

There has been no word from Magath himself but it is understandable why the Stuttgart boss wants to keep the young midfielder for the time being. Die Rote have four quality central midfielders, and two of those start every game. If injury were to strike, they could easily be left exposed and that's when Leitner would get his chance.

The loan deal was extended under Huub Stevens' management, with the promise that Leitner would be a first team regular, but Magath was clearly not going to honor that promise for the sake of the team.
Not an ideal start to the season but I can see you climbing the table soon.
Surprised that you aren't playing Leitner, to be honest. Better than Gentner, surely :P

Karl-Heinz Förster: Stuttgart must improve

After scraping through September with just four points from a possible twelve, VfB Stuttgart have been told to kick themselves into gear by former player Karl-Heinz Förster.

Förster spent nine years at Stuttgart between 1977 and 1986, making over 300 league appearances. He became a real fan favourite alongside brother Bernd, so the comments he made in midweek will not do Felix Magath any favours. Such words from Förster could be enough to make the Stuttgart board sit up and take note.

He made the comments after Stuttgart's 2-1 loss away to VfL Wolfsburg in their penultimate game of September. Whilst performances haven't been the worst from Die Rote, (barring the 3-0 loss to Leverkusen) the results just haven't been coming together for them and they sit in 13th place after six games with just two wins to date.

"Stuttgart's form under Magath has been shaky, and I'm troubled by this. I have a great affection for the club and its fans and whilst it is early on in the season, the signs are worrying. I hope Felix can turn things around quickly because right now things look bleak."

It remains to be seen whether Stuttgart will be affected by the words of a fan favourite, but Magath's side doesn't have it much easier next month and he faces arguably his biggest challenge since taking the helm at The Mercedes-Benz-Arena in the shape of a home clash against giants Bayern Munich.

VfB Stuttgart - October Results

After a difficult September, Felix Magath's side aimed to turn a page in October, and did so to an extent, picking up six points from three games. They were in action against Werder Bremen, Bayern Munich and Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga but they were on the receiving end of a humiliating defeat to third division side Holstein Kiel in the DfB Pokal.

Werder Bremen 0-1 Stuttgart
Jonathan Soriano (81)
Gōtoku Sakai, 7.7

Impressive victory over Werder Bremen with a late goal coming from Jonathan Soriano - the Spaniard's first league goal since joining in the summer.

Stuttgart 1-3 Bayern Munich
Konstantin Rausch (Pen 89)
Robert Lewandowski (24, 39), Claudio Pizarro (90+1)
Robert Lewandowski, 8.8

Fought bravely but Bayern Munich were too strong. Late goal gave them hope and they inevitably threw men forward to find an equalizer but were left exposed and punished by Peruvian striker Pizarro.

Hertha Berlin 1-3 Stuttgart
Jan Schlaudraff (82)
Jonathan Soriano (33), Timo Werner (59), Alexandru Maxim (81)
Alexandru Maxim, 8.7

Another win on the road sent Stuttgart up the table. Played very well, took chances that came their way and dealt with opposition effectively. Only negative was an injury that Soriano picked up - he'll be out for up to a month with an arm fracture.

Holstein Kiel 1-0 Stuttgart
Manuel Schäffler (49)
Tim Siedschlag, 7.7

Poor performance from an almost unrecognizable Stuttgart team. Magath took the opportunity to rotate, giving game time to Moritz Leitner and Thorsten Kirschbaum but decision backfired in an embarrassing defeat to the third division side. Credit to Holstein Kiel for holding out late attacks from the opposition.
An on and off start to your season sure the results will pick up

Are the consistently good performances from Antonio Rüdiger the reason for Stuttgart's climb up the table in recent games?

VfB Stuttgart have risen up the Bundesliga table recently and sit in 6th place after nine games. Performances from Antonio Rüdiger have been excellent and there have even been calls for Joachim Löw to give the 21-year-old the chance to add to his one international cap.

Pundits have been busy analyzing Rüdiger lately and many have reached the same conclusion - the Berlin-born central defender has been one of the most consistent defenders in the league so far this season.

Usually paired with new signing Angelo Ogbonna in the heart of defence, Rüdiger has been a rock for Die Rote in the opening few games and the fans will hope that this form can continue for a long while.

Stuttgart have conceded 13 goals in their opening nine league games, the ninth highest in the league, but Rüdiger has been a shining light in the Stuttgart defence despite this.

Some vital tackles, interceptions and headers have kept his team from falling even further behind. Rüdiger uses his strong physicality to outmuscle his attacking opponents and has so far been successful in doing so, with portions of the Stuttgart supporters vying for him to be given the captain's armband when current skipper Christian Gentner moves on.

The quality performances that he has been putting in regularly will have no doubt alertted a number of other European teams and with most of his career still ahead of him, it remains to be seen whether or not the player, who is still eligible to play for Sierra Leone, will stay at The Mercedes-Benz-Arena much longer.

What is almost certain is that he will be part of the German national side's future if he can keep impressing and silencing his critics.

VfB Stuttgart - November Results

Stuttgart extended their unbeaten run in the Bundesliga to five games after picking up points against Eintracht Frankfurt, FC Augsburg, FSV Mainz and TSG Hoffenheim. Stuttgart will only have the league to worry about now, having been eliminated from the DfB Pokal last month by Holstein Kiel.

Stuttgart 2-0 Eintracht Frankfurt
Angelo Ogbonna (8), Alexandru Maxim (72)
Christian Gentner, 8.5

After their disappointing cup loss to Holstein Kiel, Stuttgart bounced back with a 2-0 win at home to Frankfurt. Goals from Ogbonna and Maxim were enough to get them the three points. Things could have gone downhill had Kadlec tucked away his penalty directly after Ogbonna's goal but the Czech blazed it over the bar.

FC Augsburg 0-1 Stuttgart
Sercan Sararer (90+3)
Antonio Rüdiger (73)
Sercan Sararer, 8.3

Augsburg threatened to bring Stuttgart back down to earth, especially after in-form centre back Antonio Rüdiger was sent off with fifteen minutes to play. However, a late goal from Turkish winger Sararer saw Stuttgart pick up their second consecutive win. Lucky to beat a determined Augsburg though.

Stuttgart 1-1 FSV Mainz
Adam Hlousek (63)
Koo Ja-Cheol (21)
Adam Hlousek, 8.3

Deserved to win. Much improved from their last outing in Augsburg, but finishing let them down. They were unlucky to go behind in the first half but were rescued through Adam Hlousek's late goal - his first in the league for Stuttgart.

TSG Hoffenheim 0-0 Stuttgart
Gōtoku Sakai, 7.1

A very attacking game. Hard to call who deserved to win when both teams played well. Good defending/poor finishing was the order of the day.

Not a bad month, CL spots look a great possibility!

VfB Stuttgart - December Results

After a rocky start to the season, it's safe to say Felix Magath's Stuttgart are now very much in form as they continue their unbeaten run into the New Year. They came up against four teams in this festive month - SC Freiburg, SC Paderborn, HSV Hamburg and Schalke - winning three of the four games.

Stuttgart 3-1 SC Freiburg
Timo Werner (29), Sercan Sararer (84), Jonathan Soriano (88)
Christian Günter (7)
Christian Gentner, 8.0 (VfB)

This was a fairly even game, with Stuttgart probably just deserving a win. They left it late though and had to come back from one goal down but credit to them for fighting on and doing their job. Beginning to look like a good team under Magath's management.

SC Paderborn 1-1 Stuttgart
Marvin Ducksch(64)
Damián Escudero (79)
Damián Escudero, 8.2 (VfB)

Resilient defending from Paderborn held Stuttgart onslaughts out but they had enough chances to win the game and should have done so. Perhaps disappointing to draw to this team but the unbeaten run continues and Escudero is beginning to show signs of talent, when a few weeks ago it looked bleak for the new signing.

Stuttgart 1-0 HSV Hamburg Sercan Sararer (17)
Valon Behrami, 7.8 (HSV)

Another good win for Die Rote in this game against an arguably stronger side. Hamburg fielded the likes of Lewis Holtby and Marcell Jansen but the home side completely dominated with Sararer proving to be an important member of the squad once again with a goal.

Stuttgart 3-0 Schalke Timo Werner (3), Damián Escudero (11), Benedikt Höwedes OG (13)
Adam Hlousek, 8.4 (VfB)

A brilliant win here for Stuttgart in what will be considered Magath's best victory to date since returning to the club. Schalke are usually considered a formidable opponent but were ripped to shreds by the dominant home side early in the first half. They later sat back and invited pressure but defended well throughout to keep a clean sheet. The unbeaten run for Stuttgart in the Bundesliga now stands at nine games, with their last loss in the league coming at home to Bayern Munich back in October.

Winter Break - The Top 3

Manager: Josep Guardiola
Points: 47
Games played: 17
Games won: 15
Games drawn: 2
Games lost: 0
Goals scored: 41
Goals conceded: 8
Top scorer: Robert Lewandowski (16)
Most assists: Sebastian Rode (6)
Highest average rating: Robert Lewandowski (7.49)
Biggest summer signing: Robert Lewandowski, free transfer

It is perhaps no surprise that the league champions are leading the rest of the pack but to be unbeaten at this stage of the season is impressive and Pep Guardiola and his side deserve a lot of credit.

Lewandowski's performances have been top class and the Polish striker is making sure that Dortmund regret allowing him to leave, though it was always likely to happen with the players' talent and ambition.

Manager: Jürgen Klopp
Points: 33
Games played: 17
Games won: 10
Games drawn: 3
Games lost: 4
Goals scored: 27
Goals conceded: 16
Top scorer: Shinji Kagawa (7), Adrián Ramos (7)
Most assists: Shinji Kagawa (5)
Highest average rating: Shinji Kagawa (7.81)
Biggest summer signing: Shinji Kagawa, £6.3m

Manager: Felix Magath
Points: 31
Games played: 17
Games won: 9
Games drawn: 4
Games lost: 4
Goals scored: 26
Goals conceded: 16
Top scorer: Sercan Sararer (7)
Most assists: Alexandru Maxim (7)
Highest average rating: Sercan Sararer (7.28)
Biggest summer signing: Angelo Ogbonna, £2m

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