Union Berlin takes action again and fires second coach this season

Union Berlin has dismissed Nenad Bjelica. The defeat in the relegation clash against VfL Bochum cost the 52-year-old Croat his job. Earlier this season, the capital club had already parted ways with Urs Fischer.

Union Berlin takes action again and fires second coach this season Embed from Getty Images

Union Berlin's predicament is becoming increasingly precarious as the Bundesliga season nears its conclusion.

Participating in the Champions League for the first time this season was a monumental achievement for Die Eisernen, but the domestic front presents a grim picture of survival. Their recent 3-4 loss to VfL Bochum not only intensified the relegation fears but also spotlighted the team's inability to secure crucial points in the dying stages of the league. Positioned only a single point above the relegation playoff spot, currently occupied by FSV Mainz 05, Union is dangerously close to a dramatic fall from grace.

The ongoing struggles culminated in the sacking of Nenad Bjelica, who had taken over the reins from Urs Fischer in November. Fischer’s dismissal came after a series of poor performances, and Bjelica was expected to stabilize the team. However, his tenure was marred by controversies and underwhelming results, notably a physical altercation with Bayern Munich’s Leroy Sané, which resulted in a three-match ban for Bjelica. Such distractions have done little to reassure the club’s management and fans.

Despite initially receiving support from the club's hierarchy, continued poor results under Bjelica's guidance forced the club's hand. Marco Grote, previously in charge of Union's Under-19 squad, has been appointed to see out the remainder of the season. Grote had previously stepped in on an interim basis after Fischer's departure and managed to snap a series of losses, which provides a glimmer of hope for the club in these trying times.

Union Berlin’s immediate challenge is a critical match against FC Köln, who are themselves deep in the relegation mire, sitting in seventeenth place. This match is not only pivotal for Union's survival but also represents possibly the last chance for Köln to claw their way out of the drop zone. The stakes could not be higher for both teams, making this encounter a potential turning point in the relegation battle. As the season draws to a close, Union Berlin must gather all their resolve to avoid what could be a disastrous end to what was initially a historic season.

Updated: 02:51, 6 May 2024

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