Nenad Bjelica

Why was FC Union Berlin’s manager Nenad Bjelica sacked?

The Croatian was sacked after just six months in charge

Union Berlin sacked manager Nenad Bjelica after their latest defeat. The Iron Ones have been on a poor run of form lately, and their last defeat left them hovering just a point above the relegation zone in the Bundesliga table with just two games remaining.

Bjelica, former manager at Turkish side Trabzonspor, had taken over the helm of the club in November last year when long-time coach Urs Fischer was given the boot following a run of nine consecutive defeats. But Berlin’s side barely improved even under the new manager.

It all came crashing down for Bjelica in recent weeks though, as the club lost four of their last five games. The 4-3 home loss to VfL Bochum at the weekend proved to be the last straw for the 52-year-old.

Although only two more games remain, this could be a desperate attempt by Union Berlin to prevent themselves from getting mired in the relegation battle. There’s still a one-point cushion between them and the 16th-placed Mainz, but the margin for error is really small now.

Union Berlin’s fast start seems like a distant memory

Contrary to their form now, Union Berlin had actually begun their campaign in resounding fashion. A thumping 4-1 victory over Mainz was followed by another 4-1 vanquish of Darmstadt on matchday two. Roaring into first position, it seemed like the Iron Ones could be a dark horse in the title race this season, but all such hopes were quickly laid to rest with a shocking nine-game losing run. It also marked the end of an era for Urs Fischer, who had guided the side to top-five finishes in each of their last two seasons. Today, far from competing for the title, Berlin are scrambling to stay afloat in the top-flight.

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