Werder is relegated from the Bundesliga after 41 years. The bad end took a long run, but is only logical after an unprecedented series of wrong decisions and clubbing. The association has almost abolished itself in the compulsive attempt to hold on to a Bremer Weg. A comment.
Bremen’s first descent after 41 years can no longer surprise anyone. Not after these last weeks, last months, last years. Because what became a certainty on Saturday after the 2: 4 against Borussia Mönchengladbach is the temporary low point of a decade of decline and countless mistakes that this time no last-minute goal and no relegation could conceal. In the end, the strategic failures were simply too serious.
Werder wanted too much too quickly, a potential relegation candidate should become a serious contender in the fight for international competition in one or two years. That can work, but not with Werder’s history.
The crash began as so often in the fat years. The last seasons under Thomas Schaaf heralded the decline, but most of them didn’t want to see that in Bremen. Or not admit it. With every season the bloodletting increased, a Champions League squad became one full of gray mice. The short interlude with the external helpers Robin Dutt and Thomas Eichin was quickly ended, Werder preferred to chase after a phantom.
The successful epochs with Otto Rehhagel and Thomas Schaaf were to experience a renaissance, for which Werderans only made staff available who also had a Bremen past. Marco Bode heaved Frank Baumann into office, who tried one after the other with Viktor Skripnik, Alexander Nouri and Florian Kohfeldt. Clemens Fritz is now allowed to lead the scouting department. Outside help was only brought in in absolute exceptional cases and for tasks in the periphery. The big decisions were made exclusively among the members of the Werder family. Or in the Werder Klüngel, depending on how you look at it.
Werder Bremen: Personnel changes alone are not enough
But to believe that a few personnel changes alone could be enough is a fallacy. Werder must be aware that every single one of the 34 game days in the second division can be pure hell. Werder’s descent is not the much-cited industrial accident that can be repaired in passing. This has already struggled with clubs that weren’t as bothered by the water as they were for Bremen. Ask at HSV …
But you can also look to Berlin and Stuttgart, Bochum, Kaiserslautern, Hanover and TSV 1860. Some of these clubs are back in the Bundesliga, others have spent almost a decade in the second division, Lautern is in the third division, In the meantime, sixty played against Schalding-Heining and FC Pipinsried. Hansa Rostock made it to the second division a few hours before Werder’s relegation after nine years.
Werder must be aware of how tight the line is between a long-term rebuilding and the urgently needed immediate promotion. Often enough, Werder took the second, third and fourth step before the first and has now received the receipt. Werder now needs a good second division team with a good second division coach and possibly a sports director who knows this league.
“There will be no ‘business as usual'”, it was said last summer after the near death of the relegation and a seasonal analysis, which apparently came to nothing. There was a lot of talk but little achieved. An unfavorable constellation that the club finally has to admit and clarify the really big questions.
Those based on a club culture that is shaped by a clear concept of performance – and not by a utopia. How does Werder intend to survive in professional football in the coming years as an economically weak location and without an above-average scouting department? Is the renouncement of external experts and investors still appropriate or just a full-blown Bremen hubris? Who is digging through the financial rubble that is driving the club to the brink of ruin and cleaning it up?