Ailing Green-Whites sign Schöttel

Peter Schöttel has been named new Rapid Vienna manager.The former defender, who currently coaches league rivals Magna Wiener Neustadt, agreed with Rapid bosses a two-year deal, it was confirmed today (Mon). Schöttel was hotly tipped to take over at the Green-Whites for weeks.He will succeed Peter Pacult who was fired last month amid accusations he has held talks with the Red Bull empire about an assignment without informing the board of his own club. RB Leipzig has signed Pacult recently. The club currently struggles in the fourth-highest German league, but company boss Dietrich Mateschitz said he was optimistic that the team will prosper and play on top-flight level in a few years time.Ex-Rapid star Zoran Barisic, who acted as caretaker manager of Rapid’s senior quad in the past weeks, will manage the team’s amateur team from summer. Thomas Hickersberger – the son of ex-national team boss Josef Hickersberger – is set to become Schöttel’s assistant manager.Schöttel is regarded as a legend by Rapid supporters. No other player performed more often for the club in its 112-year history than the 44-year-old (524 appearances). Schöttel did not compete for any other team in his whole career as youth squad and professional player. He retired 10 years ago.The ex-national team ace faces a complex task as Rapid look back on a disappointing season. Reports have it that the squad could be restructured completely as many players’ contracts expire in a few weeks. Schöttel may bring in some more players of his current club after it became clear earlier this year that Magna midfielder Guido Burgstaller will play for the side who stage their home matches at the Gerhard Hanappi Stadium in Vienna-Penzing from next season.Rapid are only fifth in the Austrian Bundesliga. The team, who were beaten by SV Ried 1-2 on Saturday, face city rivals Austria Vienna next Sunday. Austria Vienna have good chances to win the title this year after coming second last season as they celebrated a 1-0 victory against Wacker Innsbruck at the weekend. Red Bull Salzburg remain contenders for the trophy as well thanks to a 1-0 away win against Mattersburg. Fans held their breath when former Hannover 96 striker Roman Wallner netted for the Bulls in the fifth and final minute of overtime from a penalty.Sturm Graz managed to keep the lead. The side managed by German Franco Foda beat LASK Linz 2-0. In a match with no impact on the title chase, Kapfenberg lost at home against Magna by a score of 0-1.The Austrian Bundesliga table after 34 of 36 rounds:Sturm Graz, 60 pointsRed Bull Salzburg, 59Austria Vienna, 58SV Ried, 54Rapid Vienna, 50Magna Wiener Neustadt, 49Wacker Innsbruck, 47Kapfenberg, 35SV Mattersburg, 30LASK Linz, 19