Jens Lehmann has revealed he was dismissed at FC Ausburg because he secured safety for them in the league even though that’s not really what happened.
Jens Lehmann had been working at the club as assistant coach after being allowed to leave Arsenal in the post-Wenger shakeup.
The former Mainz and Wolfsburg man, Martin Schmidt was named as their new coach.
At the time of his sacking, Augsburg sat in 15th place, just outside the Bundesliga relegation places, although they did have a four-point cushion over VfB Stuttgart in 16th. They were still very much in danger of being relegated.
“Over the last weeks and months, we have done everything we can to master our difficult situation together,” managing director Stefan Reuter was quoted as saying at the time of the sacking.
“After the 0:4 against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and the extremely fluctuating achievements before however, the conviction was missing that we will create this in the long run in the previous constellation.”
In other words, the powers that be didn’t believe that Jens & co could turn things around going forward after watching their side not only lose 4-0 against Hoffenheim but also go out of the DfB cup in extra time against RB Leipzig.
At the point of his dismissal, FC Augsburg had 25 points from 28 league games, scoring 37 but conceding 54. They finished in 15th place with 32 points from 34 games, four points above the drop zone.
“The league [place] was indeed achieved, which might not have succeeded if they had not brought me,” Lehmann told Bild.
“You felt the team needed a fresh impetus from the outside, which is normal when a coach is in office for a long time and the results are not good for a long time,” Lehmann said of his influence on the team.
“I do not want to say that they did not succeed with someone else.
“Regarding the external presentation, I regret it, because the fast end of course looks funny.
“Stefan Reuter called in. The phone call lasted ten minutes so he said: We separated from Manuel Baum I thought: What’s up now Hopp or top?
“Maybe you would have a personal conversation, who was really behind the decision,” said Lehmann who added: “Stefan Reuter, the President or anyone, it was my first firing in football. At least no one can accuse me of disloyalty.”