In what proved the dream night for Wolf, it was also the same for two other debutants in Baden-Württemberg. First Carlos Mané beat Balázs Megyeri from a central position, before the Portuguese had two inside five minutes after slamming home into the roof of the net after being found by Berkay Özcan.
Then it was Benjamin Pavard’s turn to get on the score sheet, as the French defender headed home at the near post from an Alexandru Maxim corner. Indeed, Pavard had also produced a raking cross field pass for Mané’s first.
Although Fürth improved in the second half, Stuttgart would round off the proceedings late on as Christian Gentner got in on the action. The VfB veteran producing a fine right footed finish into the top right corner, to get Wolf off to the dream start in professional management as he looks to guide die Schwaben back to the Bundesliga.
If new VfB Stuttgart boss, Hannes Wolf, could have dreamt of the perfect start to life at the Mercedes Benz Arena, what he was served up in the opening five minutes wouldn’t have been too wide of the mark as die Schwaben took only 71 seconds to take the lead and then doubled it soon after.
Coincidentally it was a man who Wolf had handed his Stuttgart debut that beat Balázs Megyeri, which was Carlos Mané. The Portuguese forward took the ball in his stride, steadying himself and then with the help of a Niko Gießelmann deflection beat the Hungarian to send the Cannstatter Kurve into raptures. In some strange paradox, it was fellow debutant Benjamin Pavard that provided the long-range assist from the heart of defence for Mané. So far it was the debutant manager that had taken the lead, courtesy of a goal from a debutant that was assisted by - you guessed it – a debutant.
With an injury crisis in attack that sees both Simon Terodde and Daniel Ginczek out on the treatment table, Wolf was forced to play the former Sporting CP man, Mané, in a central striker role. Yet, if early signs were anything to go by, the 22 year old was easily capable of filling the shoes left by last seasons 2. Bundesliga torjägerkanone, Terodde, and the 25 year old, Ginczek.
Only minutes after he had got his first in a die Roten shirt, Mané once again found space in the Greuther Fürth defence and once again beat Megyeri. A counter attack lead by Jan Zimmermann found Berkay Özcan, on the edge of the box. The Turk inadvertently directed the ball into the path of Mané who made no mistake, lashing the ball into the roof of the net.
From a Fürth perspective it had been the worst possible start. With the return of Robert Zulj following his three match retrospective suspension, die Kleeblätter will have been hoping to frustrate Stuttgart like 1. FC Heidenheim and VfL Bochum have done with much success in recent weeks. Yet unlike the aforementioned two teams their defending had been non-existent, especially for Mané’s second. Marco Caliguiri and Marcel Franke had been given the run around. The fact that they are without a clean sheet since the opening day victory against 1860 Munich shall prove a worrying concern for Stefan Ruthenbeck.
But if they thought the worst was over, Fürth were gravely mistaken. In keeping up the trend set by the Portuguese, Pavard this time turned from creator to scorer. The Frenchman, and former Lille defender, outmuscled Serdar Dursun at the near post and nodded home at a tight angle from an Alexandru Maxim corner. In the absence of the likes of Stephen Sama and Toni Šunjić, Pavard providing Wolf with a lot of food for thought with an accomplished defensive display alongside Timo Baumgartl throughout.
It had been a stinking first half performance from die Kleeblätter, Greuther Fürth, summed up by no better than the hapless Dursun. Whilst VfB Stuttgart had been fantastic, Ruthenbeck’s side had gone a long way to making the task a lot easier for die Schwaben. It could have been a lot worse than three at the break too, but thankfully Megyeri could save at long range from Maxim whilst five inches is what separated an acrobatic Mané effort from the 22 year olds hat trick.
Gentner rounds off proceedings
The new VfB Stuttgart boss, Wolf, comes with high pedigree having studied as a protégée under Jürgen Klopp in the Borussia Dortmund youth set-up. From the early signs, it looks like he will look to reinvigorate die Schwaben with a youthful, attacking brand of football. Özcan, Pavard, Mané and Baumgartl amongst the number of young players afforded an early opportunity to impress by Wolf.
To be fair to them, die Kleeblätter made life a lot harder for Stuttgart in the second. Most likely due to the rasping message Ruthenbeck no doubt had in store for them at half time. They managed to forge something that resembled a strike on goal and it required a strong Mitchell Langerak palm to prevent Dursun’s left footed effort from finding the top corner. It would prove to be their only shit on target throughout the entire match.
However with that being said when a fourth came, Fürth were once again masters of their own downfall. Nicolai Rapp gifting possession to another one of the youngsters, Anto Grgic, who teed up Christian Gentner on the edge of the box. Gentner picked his spot and rifled an effort into the Hungarian Megyeri’s top right corner to add the final blow on what had been a dreadful night for Fürth.