Sunday, November 5, 2023

A communication disaster: Commentary on the posse surrounding Martina Voss-Tecklenburg

A communication disaster: Commentary on the posse surrounding Martina Voss-Tecklenburg Article by Helene Altgelt • 14 mins Martina Voss-Tecklenburg is no longer national coach. This brings to an end a week-long farce that was characterized by poor communication on both sides. This is an undignified end for the coach, who enjoyed an excellent standing after the European Championships. A comment During the European Championships: “MVT” was still celebrated as a heroine "The way they act on the pitch is exactly the style of play that we want and that I also use as a guide for the national team. So I am incredibly proud that they are implementing it that way and also very much proud of the coaching team," said Joti Chatzialexiou last year. Chatzialexiou is the head of national teams at the DFB and was full of praise for “MVT” and her team during the 2022 European Championship. In 2022, Voss-Tecklenburg was at the peak of its success: Despite the mixed preparation, her team delivered a strong tournament and silenced the critics. Be it the opening spectacle against Denmark, the defensive battle against Spain or the highly disciplined semi-final against France, Germany solved the tasks with a clear tactical plan. Only in the final, without two top performers (Popp and Bühl), did the DFB team fail against England. Voss-Tecklenburg’s standing couldn’t have been better. Chatzialexiou and other people in charge raved about the national coach, who laid the foundation for the European Championship success with the right tactics and the strong team spirit. The DFB really wanted to keep the successful coach and extended her contract with significantly improved pay. Chilled relationships - angry players Everything is different now. Failure in sport is one thing, dealing with it is another. After the World Cup exit, a lot fell apart between the DFB and the coach. For a long time, their future remained unclear and the tone of those responsible was cold. "I would have liked to have carried out an analysis, especially to finally get rid of the World Cup backpack. That is not the case due to Martina Voss-Tecklenburg's situation. You can't choose," said Chatzialexiou in this phase of uncertainty. Any kind of speculation about Voss-Tecklenburg's illness, which caused her to take a break after the World Cup, is inappropriate. However, the national coach's subsequent vacation on vacation, which pushed back the urgently needed fundamental analysis, raises questions. The fact that Voss-Tecklenburg, on the other hand, gave some public lectures, albeit in coordination with the DFB, fits into the picture. Lena Oberdorf wasn't the only one who was annoyed about it. But the 21-year-old put it most clearly: "There are a few question marks, of course. I would have wished for something different. To say: OK, let's first clarify what happened at the World Cup." Something similar can be read between the lines in the statements made by her teammates. Lea Schüller said after the game against Wales: "It was good for us that there was now an interim solution. You could tell from training session to training session that we became more and more relaxed." Her colleagues also repeatedly spoke about the lack of clarity. The players were clearly affected by the uncertain future - first assistant coach Britta Carlson took over, now Horst Hrubesch, but still without long-term prospects. And all of this while Olympic qualification was and is at stake. The DFB also has to put up with unpleasant questions here, because the association couldn't really handle the chaos confidently - neither internally nor externally. The communication and style of MVT and DFB raise question marks Above all, Voss-Tecklenburg's communication causes frowns and question marks. Because she would have been forgiven for the sporting debacle at the DFB. The first sounds from the DFB after the shocking exit in the group phase were surprisingly benevolent: the coach is not up for discussion, even if a lot of things need to be worked through now. The DFB didn't shine with this: there was no clear communication at any point. And initially, before a real analysis, issuing a hasty job guarantee only to withdraw it shortly afterwards is not the best style either. With a clear point in time for the analysis, both sides could have saved themselves a lot of back and forth. With precisely this willingness to self-critically come to terms with the situation, Voss-Tecklenburg would probably have had a future. As a national coach, or as a sporting director, as was rumored from time to time. Both sides could actually have lived with that - the cash-strapped DFB, to save the severance payment, and Voss-Tecklenburg, to continue to be involved. But the 55-year-old has blocked these paths for herself.