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Wolfsburg dismiss Andries Jonker and appoint Martin Schmidt

Andries Jonker left a position with Arsenal's academy to take over Wolfsburg in February 2017.

Wolfsburg have dismissed head coach Andries Jonker after just over six months and brought in former Mainz coach Martin Schmidt as his replacement. 

Members of former Arsenal academy head Jonker's coaching staff, including Freddie Ljungberg, have also left the club.

Jonker joined Wolfsburg from Arsenal in late February but won only five of his 16 Bundesliga games in charge.

On Monday, Jonker and his staff -- which included former Arsenal star Ljungberg -- were sacked after Wolfsburg took only four points from their first four games, with kicker reporting that he had lost the trust of both the club's hierarchy as well as the dressing room.

Wolfsburg sporting director Olaf Rebbe said in an official statement on the club's website that the "stagnation of the development of our largely newly assembled squad in recent weeks" had been "crucial" in their decision.

Jonker is the first coach to be sacked in Bundesliga this season and Rebbe added: "It was not easy for us to make such a call at this early stage of the season."

Jonker took over Arsenal's academy in 2014, when he replaced Liam Brady.

Wolfsburg, who face Werder Bremen on Tuesday and Bayern Munich on Friday, announced later on Monday that Schmidt had signed a contract until 2019.

"He's the right man for the tasks ahead of us," Wolfsburg executive Tim Schumacher said.

Sporting director Rebbe added that Wolfsburg are "convinced that he's a great fit for VfL with his experience and strengths."

Schmidt said that while he turned down an approach from Wolfsburg last season, he is now looking forward to the challenge, "even though there is not a lot of time to settle in as we are going into two important matches." 

Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.

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