What a difference a month makes. Having closed out an eminently forgettable 2015 with a promising 3-1 home victory over VfL Wolfsburg, VfB Stuttgart managed to at least haul themselves off the bottom and just over the drop-zone line heading into the winter break.
Four more wins on the spin since league action resumed has now propelled the club from the Baden-Württemberg capital up to the fringes of the battle for Europe, in an improbably short space of time. The architect of this sea-change in fortunes has a name: Jürgen Kramny.
Bumped up from the U-23s in an initial caretaker capacity after the club parted ways with Alexander Zorniger in late November, Kramny has succeeded in turning around VfB's plummeting fortunes at remarkable speed. The team's former defensive frailty has been shored up and a forward line that showed undoubted promise under Zorniger continues to flourish, playing to the new coach's more counter-attack oriented brief.