14 August 1996 - 20 May 1998

Taking over from Rolf Fringer (to whom he had been assistant) after the 1995/96 season, Joachim Löw coached Stuttgart to two fourth places in the Bundesliga (1996/97 and 1997/98 - and at one point heading the table), a DFB-Pokal win and a European Final appearance in the Cup-Winners Cup the season after. Appointed in the first instance as the 'caretaker' manager, he was given the position permanently after five games without a defeat.

The skepticism was never to go away though, with constant inferences from the dinosaurs still inhabiting the planet of his demeanour being 'too nice' to take such a position of responsibility, conjuring up the "Der Nette Herr Löw" tag that stayed for so many years. Exactly a week after the Final in Stockholm, where Stuttgart narrowly lost to a star-studded Chelsea side, Jogi's contract (due to end in 1999) was 'unanimously' terminated by the Stuttgart board.

A succession of coaches followed and they have not reached a European final since.

European Cup-Winners' Cup Final
VfB Stuttgart 0 - 1 Chelsea

Stockholm, 13 May 1998,

Zola Touch Clinches Cup For Chelsea
Stuttgart's coach Joachim Löw, rumoured to be on his way out after disagreements with management and players, said he felt his side had the better of the first half.
"We had several changes to score but in the second half we played too many long passes and Chelsea were more difficult to control," Löw said.

Gianfranco Zola was the hero as Chelsea won the European Cup Winners' Cup 1-0 against Stuttgart in Stockholm.He had been on the pitch for barely 30 seconds when Dennis Wise clipped the ball into space down the Chelsea left.
At once, Zola was away, skating clear of the Stuttgart back line as he sped into the box.As goalkeeper Franz Wohlfahrt came off his line, Zola unleashed a guided missile with his right foot that screamed past the Austrian and into the roof of the net.
From the start, the match proved to be a difficult one for all the players because of the condition of the pitch and it looked for a long time as though no-one would score.Stuttgart wasted a number of chances with Dennis Wise having Chelsea's best.He ended the first half with a screaming volley a fraction wide - although the flag was already up.Then in the second, Flo was allowed to control with his hand before whipping in a cross from the left. Petrescu and Vialli linked, and Wise's shot shaved the upright.
Although there were no more goals there was plenty of drama including two sendings-off.Dan Petrescu was dismissed for a bad tackle, as was Gerrard Poschner of Stuttgart, apparently for foul and abusive language. - from bbc.co.uk

A report on the match from Chelsea FC's Official Website

Press Conference, Stockholm, 12 May 1998

Road to the Final:

18 Sep 1997IB Vestmannaeyjar (Iceland)ReykjavikW 1 - 3First Round, 1st leg
2 Oct 1997IB VestmannaeyjarStuttgartW 2 - 1 (W 5 - 2 agg)First Round, 2nd leg
23 Oct 1997Germinal Ekeren (Belgium)(A)W 4 - 0Second Round, 1st leg
6 Nov 1997Germinal Ekeren(H)L 2 - 4 (W 6 - 4 agg)Second Round, 2nd leg
5 Mar 1998Slavia Prague(A)D 1 - 1Quarter-Finals, 1st leg
19 Mar 1998Slavia Prague(H)W 2 - 0 (W 3 - 1 agg)Quarter-Finals, 2nd leg
2 Apr 1998Lokomotiv Moscow(H)W 2 - 1Semi-Finals, 1st leg
16 Apr 1998Lokomotiv Moscow(A)W 1 - 0 (W 3 - 1 agg)Semi-Finals, 2nd leg

Stuttgart: The future of VfB Stuttgart coach Joachim Löw may be riding on the outcome of today's European Cupwinners' Cup semifinal, first leg match against Lokomotive Moscow.
Löw's authority has been steadily undermined since the end of last year, when Stuttgart's form began to dive.
A win against Lokomotiv would turn down the heat a fraction, but rumour has it that regardless of how Stuttgart finish the season, Löw will be sacked sooner rather than later.
His style of easygoing management has been considered responsible for the team breaking down into rival cliques.Löw's quiet manner relies on individual players taking responsibility for their own conduct both on and off the field - but this trust has been abused often, to the detriment of the entire team.
2 April 1998, Online Newspaper Archives

The Dismissal

Der lange Abschied des netten Trainers Joachim Löw - 22 May 1998
Welt.de reports on 'The Long Goodbye' of Nice Mr Löw with Jogi quoted not long after his appointment "I'm still assuming a new coach will turn up here."
And while the tagline of that famous Elliott Gould film might have been "Nothing says Goodbye like a Bullet", perhaps we could amend it in this case to be "Nothing says Goodbye like winning the World Cup 16 years later"!

Jogi is interviewed after his dismissal

DFB-Pokal Victory
VFB Stuttgart 2 - 0 Energie Cottbus

Olympic Stadium, Berlin, 16 June 1997

Giovane Élber's goal from the Final against Energie Cottbus, and Jogi celebrates!
More footage of Jogi from the match

An article on the DFB-Pokal win, originally on dfb.de to celebrate Jogi's birthday in 2018.

Footage of the famous 'head shave' of Jogi by Thomas Schneider at the victory celebrations - hence the unusually short hair for a while afterwards!

Miscellaneous Stuttgart photographs

1. Bundesliga4th
1. Bundesliga4th
European Cup-Winners CupFinalist

Post-match Interviews:
VfB Stuttgart 0 - 2 Fortuna Düsseldorf, Spieltag 7, 21.09.1996
MSV Duisberg 3 - 1 VFB Stuttgart, Spieltag 15, 24.11.1996
Kaiserslautern 4 - 3 VfB Stuttgart, Bundesliga Spieltag 6, 14.09.1997

Jogi is interviewed on das aktuelle Sportstudio, 14 September 1996, while interim coach of Stuttgart.

Last updated 3 February 2018
With thanks to everyone on the Group, especially Silke, .
Also thanks to kicker.de
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