Hamburg name van der Vaart as skipper
Rafael van der Vaart is the new captain of Hamburg.
The Bundesliga club have lost three games in a row, including the 9-2 drubbing against Bayern Munich two weeks ago, forcing coach Thorsten Fink to make the change.
Fink, 45, took the action ahead of the weekend fixture against Mainz, believing his former captain Heiko Westermann was under too much pressure and that van der Vaart is the ideal replacement.
"Westermann's responsibility has become too much," Fink told Bild.
"Van der Vaart now has to be an example and take on even more responsibility."
The former Basel manager believes the club's problems lie deeper than just who occupies the hot seat.
"In my one-and-a-half years here I have seen plenty at the club. Why in the past have so many coaches gone? If it goes bad, we are always looking for excuses," Fink said.
The former Bayern Munich player will hope his move will lead to three points against Mainz on Saturday.