Jupp Derwall: Bundestrainer (1978/1984)
Josef ‘Jupp’ Derwall was appointed as West Germany’s National Team Manager following the 1978 World Cup Finals.
Derwall was born on March 10, 1927 at Wurselen. His playing career (as a midfielder) spanned the 1950s with spells at Alemania Aachen and Fortuna Dusseldorf. This was in the Regional Leagues long before the launch of the Bundesliga.
His International career was limited to only two caps in 1954.
He started managing a few clubs for short spells in the late 50s and early 60s (Biel (Swiss club), FC Schaffhausen, Fortuna Dusseldorf and FC Saarbrucken).
He joined the DfB in 1970 and was to become Helmut Schoen’s Assistant for the next eight years. He also managed the West Germany during the 1972 Olympics.
He took over following Helmut Schoen’s 14 years reign that had overseen the best era of the National Team with many titles along the way (Including the World Cup and the UEFA European Championships). It was an era exemplified by the likes of Uwe Seeler and Franz Beckenbauer.
However, when Derwall took over the National Team was at its lowest ebb after a disappointing World Cup in Argentina. It was a stagnating team that needed rebuilding.
He had been appointed as his heir apparent 15 months before taking full control.
Schoen’s departure had also signaled the end and retirement of his able Lieutenant Berti Vogts, as well Bernd Holzenbein.
In addition to the loss of Vogts and others, the West German National Team had been unable to find a suitable replacement for Franz Beckenbauer for the position of Libero, since his departure to New York Cosmos in 1977. This struggle would continue for the duration of Derwall’s reign.
His immediate brief was to prepare a team for the 1980 UEFA European Championships in Italy.
He sought to rejuvenate the team around emerging stars such as VfB Stuttgart duo of Karlheinz Foerster and Hansi Muller as well as Bayern Munich’s Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, who would become one of the best players of his Generation under Derwall’s tenure.
West Germany’s first match under Derwall was a Friendly at Prague vs. Czechoslovakia on October 11th, 1978.
Derwall appointed Bayern Munich goalkeeper Sepp Maier as his new Captain.
To occupy Vogts’ old position, he moved Manfred Kaltz from the center of defense and made him his new right back. Karl-Heinz Förster became his new Stopper displacing Rolf Russmann.
He also sought to re-integrate Real Madrid based Uli Stilieke, who had been absent since his transfer to Real Madrid in 1977.
Stilieke would be absent from this first match as Real Madrid would not release him.
Stilieke’s availability would be a constant source of headache for Derwall, at a time when foreign-based players were rare and their releases even less.
Fortuna Dusseldorf’s Gerd Zewe made his debut as the new Libero. He would be the first ever debutant under Derwall. His clubmate Klaus Allofs also made his International debut but as a substitute in the remaining minutes of the match.
Following Heinz Flohe’s International Retirement, his Koln clubmate Bernhard Cullmann started in his place. The Germans raced to a (4-1) halftime before eventually winning (4-3).
Rainer Bonhof and Hansi Muller had each scored from free kicks.
Rainer Bonhof also scored from a penalty kick awarded after Rummenigge had been fouled by Rotislav Vojacek in the box.
Derwall had been satisfied with the result in his first match but urged caution to his young side, since the Czechs had pulled two goals back in the second half.
Next up for the Germans was another Friendly on November 15th, 1978 at Frankfurt vs. Hungary.
This match was billed as the Official Farewell of Helmut Schoen to the West German Team and Public.
Photo From: Mondial, old series, issue 26, January 1979(Jupp Derwall and Helmut Schoen, November 15, 1978, West Germany 0-Hungary 0)
Prior to the kickoff he was presented with a replica World Cup trophy.
Derwall was forced to make some changes to his squad.
Karl-Heinz Förster was forced to miss this match through injury; therefore, Rolf Rüssmann was drafted in as his replacement.
Hansi Muller was overlooked after being sent off in a Bundesliga Match vs. Bochum, as a result Klaus Allofs started in his place.
Schalke striker Klaus Fischer was under pressure as he had not scored in nine League matches and many were demanding his removal.
Derwall stuck by him and was nearly rewarded when Fischer scored in the 30th minute. However, his effort was ruled offside.
The match was played under a heavy fog. The Referee had no choice but to abandon the match at the 60th minute (still scoreless). Despite the match not finishing the DfB officially recognized the result and the match.
To round out the calendar year, the West Germans took on their rivals Holland on December 20th at Düsseldorf.
Through a prior agreement, Sepp Maier was rested for this match. Derwall was looking at the long term and wanted to test a new goalkeeper as the 34 year old Maier was no longer a hope for the future.
Werder Bremen goalkeeper Dieter Burdenski started in the net and Bernhard Dietz assumed the Captaincy in Maier’s absence.
Derwall could count upon Stilieke for the first time, as he was released by Real Madrid. This was Stilieke’s first appearance for the National Team since February 1977.
Hansi Muller’s league suspension had been reduced on appeal (from 8 to 4 matches) but he was still ineligible for this match.
It must be stated that the Dutch were also weakened by many withdrawals. Holland’s Anderlecht contingent (Arie Haan, Ruud Geels and Robby Rensenbrink) were missing as they were preparing for the UEFA Super Cup.
Rene van der Kerkhof missed the match through injury, while Kees Kist and Dirk Nanninga withdrew as well (Nanninga pulled out to help out in his wife’s flower shop as they were busy for the Christmas season).
In the end, the Germans comfortably won (3-1) with both Rummenigge and Fischer opening their accounts in the Derwall era.
Rainer Bonhof scored once again scored through a trademark free kick.
Frankfurt’s Ronald Borchers made his International debut in the closing stages.
The year 1978 closed with Derwall satisfied with the progress of his team and the rebuilding task seemed to be headed in the right direction.
Photo From: Kicker Sportsmagazin Edition, 100 Jahre Deutsche Landerspiele
In 1979, the serious work of qualification started. The Germans would play all their away matches first.
The first opponents were Malta on February 25th, 1979. A win should have been a formality, however, the venue was the infamous Gzira Stadium with a field with no grass and saturated with water.
Despite dominating, the Germans could not win and had to settle with a scoreless tie on a bad field as well as blowing wind.
Malta’s Ernest Spiteri-Gonzi actually scored a goal that was ruled offside.
Derwall felt playing conditions were “inadmissible” in this day and age. He stated that “asking our men to play on that sort of a pitch would be like asking Picasso to paint on a wall.”
The next qualifier was vs. Turkey on April 1st, 1979 at Izmir.
For this match Derwall had dropped his Captain Sepp Maier. In the days leading up to the match, Maier had been the ringleader of a player’s revolt at Bayern Munich that had voted against the hiring of Austrian Max Merkel as coach.
This had led to the resignation of Bayern Munich President Wilhelm Neudeker.
It was the first time that he had been dropped since 1973.
However, Derwall reassured him that this was only a temporary measure. He felt that the events at Bayern Munich might affect his mind and body and his form at International level.
The Schalke contingent of Rolf Russmann, Klaus Fischer and Rudiger Abramczik were also dropped as they were off –form in the Budnesliga.
While Fortuna Dusseldorf duo of Zewe and Allofs were also unavailable perhaps due to their Cup Winners Cup commitments (they would go on to reach the Final vs. Barcelona).
Stuttgart’s Walter Kelsch made his debut for the National Team in the second half as a substitute.
On the field the Germans could make no breakthrough and again came back satisfied with an away point after another scoreless tie.
On May 2nd, 1979 at Wrexham, West Germany played its final away qualifier vs. Wales.
Sepp Maier was re-instated as Captain for this match. Bernhard Cullmann was placed as Libero with Stilieke in front of the defense to mark Terry Yorath.
Hansi Muller was overlooked for this match. Many believed it was because he would be unsuited against the Welsh heavy tackling.
For once the Germans played in a positive manner away from home and came away with a win (2-0) from goals by Zimmermann and Fischer.
Stuttgart’s Bernd Martin made his International debut coming on as a substitute just before the end.
In late May, Derwall took the West German National Team on a tour of Republic of Ireland and Iceland for a couple of friendlies.
Stilieke and Bonhof were not released by their Spanish employers (Real Madrid and Valencia) and Fischer and Dietz were not released because of re-arranged Bundesliga League matches.
Burdenski and Allofs were only available for the first Friendly at Ireland. They had to leave right after for League matches as well.
Derwall took the opportunity to experiment and try out new players.
On May 22nd, they faced the Republic of Ireland at Dublin. Derwall handed debuts to no less than five players, the most by a German National Team Manager.
The debutants were Stuttgart’s Bernd Foerster (brother of Karlheinz), SV Hamburg duo of Wiliam Hartwig and Caspar Memering, Stuttgart’s Dieter Hoeness (brother of Uli) and the brilliant Bernd Schuster of Koln.
The Controversial Schuster would go on to be perhaps the biggest source of conflict for Derwall’s time as Manager.
The Germans comfortably won (3-1) with the debutant Hoeness scoring on his debut.
A few days later at Reykjavik on May 26th, he did even better and scored twice in West Germany’s win (3-1) at Iceland.
Kaiserslautern’s Jurgen Groh made his debut for the National team that day.
The most significant debut was that of Koln goalkeeper Harald Schumacher. He replaced Maier in the second half. He would become the starting goalkeeper for the rest of Derwall’s reign.
Sepp Maier’s career was essentially finished after he broke his arm in a car accident in that summer. He never regained his old form and his advanced age was also a detriment to full recovery.
Maier’s absence elevated Bernhard Dietz as the Official Team Captain.
Dieter Burdenski was temporarily the starting goalkeeper when the new season kicked off in the Fall with a Friendly vs. defending World Cup Champions Argentina in West Berlin on September 12th, 1979.
The Germans won (2-1) against essentially a weakened ‘B’ team.
The Germans clinched closer to ‘Europeo 1980’ qualification by defeating Wales on October 17th (5-1) with Fischer scoring twice. Once again Uli Stilieke was not released by Real Madrid.
Kaiserslautern’s Hans-Peter Briegel made his debut for the National team in the second half replacing Rummenigge.
On November 21st, 1979, a confident Germany took on the Soviet Union in Tblissi and convincingly defeated them (3-1) with Rummenigge scoring twice.
Derwall experimented with Norbert Nigbur in the net and handed out debuts to Borussia Dortmund’s Mirko Votava and Borussia Mönchengladbach striker Harald Nickel.
They clinched qualification to the Euros after defeating Turkey (2-0) on December 22nd at Gelsenkirchen with goals by Fischer and Zimmermann.
The Germans ended the year on a high note and confident for the upcoming Euros. They were still undefeated under Derwall.