Peter Stöger said earlier in the week that Kevin Wimmer’s apparently pending move to England this summer will not play a role in the Austrian defender’s status for Saturday’s home match against Werder Bremen.
As is his tendency, the 1. FC Köln coach has continued to keep his cards close to his vest when it comes to discussing his team selections for an upcoming match.
“It’s an open battle,” said the coach Thursday about who will pair with Dominic Maroh this weekend. Without injuries or red-card bans to help drive decisions, Stöger has the luxury of choosing two of three guys who’ve all performed well recently. Maroh and Mavraj were instrumental in the EffZeh’s blanking of Dortmund last Saturday night, leaving “really no reason to change anything.”
At the same time, it was the first match Wimmer has missed all season, primarily because his performance has been of a level that has Tottenham Hotspur ready to pay 1. FC Köln somewhat handsomely to wrest him from the Cathedral City to deliver him to London. Clearly, even though Mavraj played so well, a player of Wimmer’s quality doesn’t need to lose his starting spot over a red card, does he?
“He has done nothing wrong,” says Stöger of Wimmer.
That “nothing” has to include the player’s desire to move to the English Premiership this summer. While the team continues to stay slightly out of reach of the relegation zone, the first and only goal of the club is to assure they secure their spot in the 2015-16 Bundesliga, meaning the coach will worry first and foremost about how to get the points needed to achieve that.
After that? Well, then you might assume that a player who will definitely not be around will no longer get the benefit of playing time in whatever games remain, right?
“That could someday play a role,” says Stöger, “but not yet.”