“He has an incredible experience both as a player and a coach,” said St. Pauli sports director Rachid Azzouzi. “I am absolutely convinced that he is the right man”. A week since the sacking of Andre Schubert, the club announced the arrival of Michael Frontzeck who has signed a contract until June 2014. Here’s a brief summary of the man tasked with improving the fortunes of the boys in brown…
1. As pointed out by Rachid Azzouzi, Frontzeck does indeed have experience as both a player and a coach. The 48 year old began his professional football career in 1979 with Borussia Mönchengladbach and having come through the youth ranks the left-back played over 190 first team games in 10 years.
2. In 1984 Frontzeck earned his first call up to the German national side, and went on to earn 19 caps in total. He was part of the Euro 1992 side that finished as runners-up.
3. In 1989 he decided to leave Mönchengladbach and joined Stuttgart. In 1992 he was part of the Stuttgart team that won the Bundesliga. He went on to play 163 games and score 16 games in his 5 year spell with Stuttgart.
4. Frontzeck left Stuttgart to join Bochum, and then returned to Mönchengladbach before a move to Manchester City. Unfortunately I can’t find anything about his spell at Man City, except for one comment on a fans forum which describes him as “one of the worst players I have ever seen” and goes on to say “One comment I can remember is they said he is like Homer Simpson but that was being unfair to Bart’s dad”.
5. After 23 games for Man City he returned to Germany with Freiburg and then a third spell at Mönchengladbach before retiring in 2000.
6. After a couple of coaching roles, Frontzeck earned his first managerial role with Alemannia Aachen in 2006. Aachen had been promoted to the Bundesliga during the previous campaign under Dieter Hecking, but Hecking left Aachen after just three games to take up the managerial position at Hannover 96. Frontzeck started well with Aachen, but they struggled to maintain their good form and were relegated after winning only one of their last 8 games of the season. He resigned following relegation.
7. His next stint in management came at Arminia Bielefeld in January 2008. But the following season Frontzeck saw his Bielefeld relegated and he left.
8. In June 2009 he was announced as the next Mönchengladbach manager. In his first season as manager he guides the side to a 12th place finish, but the following season his side struggles after an injury crisis. His reign ends after a disappointing 3-1 defeat against…FC St. Pauli. He is sacked.
9. That win against Mönchengladbach at the Millerntor on Matchday 22 had put St. Pauli into 11th in the Bundesliga table with 28 points. Mönchengladbach were rock-bottom with 16 points. Incredibly, St. Pauli only picked up one more point before the end of the season and finish bottom of the league. Mönchengladbach had a revival after the sacking of Frontzeck and finished in the relegation play-off place with 36 points. They won the play-off and stayed in the Bundesliga.
10. Finally, if that isn’t enough information for you, MoPo provides us with this little fact. Michael Frontzeck is the third bald manager of St. Pauli in succession, following Stani and Schubert.
Welcome, Michael. Good luck!