Veh defends Grafite omission
Wolfsburg coach Armin Veh defended his decision to drop last season's Bundesliga top goalscorer Grafite for yesterday's 2-1 win over Borussia Monchengladbach.
The Brazilian striker was left out of the starting XI for the first time in 15 months, with Obafemi Martins preferred to partner Edin Dzeko up front, but Veh insisted he had made the right choice. "It is simple: We have three good strikers and I think it is absolutely normal that I swap them around," he said.
Grafite, who had criticised Veh for substituting him in recent matches, took his banishment to the bench professionally. He came on after just under an hour and accepted the days in which he and Dzeko were the first names on the coach's team sheet are now over. "It was not a problem at all for me to be on the bench," he said.
"The coach came to me before the game and explained it to me and I took it in a relaxed way and even shared his view. The important thing is the team and today we won three points as a team. I will now work hard and fight to be in the starting XI next time."
Defender Alexander Madlung and midfielder Christian Gentner scored the goals for the reigning champions to take them up to fifth in the Bundesliga ahead of their UEFA Champions League clash with Besiktas on Wednesday.
Monchengladbach, meanwhile, slipped into the bottom three with their fifth straight league defeat, but their coach Michael Frontzeck still saw signs of progress.
"I cannot criticise my team today," he said. "We can build on today's performance. "I am happy with the way we performed, but obviously not with the result. We played far better today than we did in our last two matches."