Like a few other American players this past weekend, Hansa Rostock defender Heath Pearce had to watch from the bench as his team drew a home match with VFL Osnabruck 2-2 in Second Bundesliga play. The Hansa board and fans, after years spent in the First Bundesliga expected to be further along by now in their quest for promotion back to the top flight, not languishing in 12th place with only three wins in 12 matches.
So, this morning Hansa fired coach rank Pagelsdorf and will look to start anew. The 50 year-old former HSV coach was let go at a press conference this morning in Rostock and according to Kicker, Thomas Doll is ready to step in and take over. Doll, a longtime Hansa player back in the 1980s, is seen as a caretaker rather than a long-term solution given his spotty coaching record.
Pagelsdorf is the third coach to be fired in the Second Bundesliga so far this year, following Thomas von Heesen at 1. FC Nürnberg and Rudi Bommer at MSV Duisburg.
So, what does this mean for Pearce? Pagelsdorf was the coach who brought him on so he'll need to work even more to prove himself to Doll. That said, recent national team call ups have left Pearce out of the side and he appears to be having a tougher time getting reintegrated. Thus, a fresh start may give Pearce a chance to step up and reclaim his starting position at left back.
Doll has a reputation for being hard-headed coach and not much of a tactician - his substitution decisions at Dortmund last year left many observers scratching their heads. He is capable of motivating some (but not all) of his players but he always gives everyone a chance. One thing with Doll, if you get in his doghouse, there is no coming out. For Pearce, the trick will be to make sure he never gets in there in the first place.