Arminia Bielefeld creates the little sensation, Mainz creates something historical. Edin Terzic has to stay in the league as boss, Schalke and Werder, on the other hand, are welcome to go down. The talking points of the 34th matchday.
“Everything done right”, one has to state at the end. Arminia Bielefeld has worked her way in the Bundesliga for a second year and has taken a high risk for it. The coaching change from Uwe Neuhaus to Frank Kramer was not well received by everyone and the timing was quite surprising – after all, the team was never really beaten.
But as it is with clubs that cannot keep up financially with the competition – Bielefeld has by far the smallest budget and personnel costs of only around 16 million euros: All the more the big decisions have to be made. And at the Arminia everything was really right. The promotion might not have been a big surprise anymore, the relegation is very likely.
Werder has spent almost five times and Schalke even more than seven times more money on their squad than Arminia. The current squad did not cost the club two million euros in replacement and in fact one would have attested three or four players in the first division before the season. But as a collective, Bielefeld was in a class of its own. And that’s why Arminia is the team of the season.
Edin Terzic led Borussia Dortmund to the promised land in the last few weeks of the season, an alleged disaster season both in compulsory (Champions League participation) and in the freestyle (DFB Cup victory), the best since transformed four years. He saved the club millions and millions of euros and reconciled the fans who had lost their faith in this fickle team in the meantime. And he has drastically increased the chances that Erling Haaland or Jadon Sancho might still stay in Dortmund. Or even both in the end ?!
Arminia Bielefeld is the team of the season
To find out, the 38-year-old would need his own team. At VfL Wolfsburg and Eintracht Frankfurt, the coaching question is still unanswered, and one or the other ambitious second division team is still looking …
You could have let it coast down. After the rescue, just pour it in Wolfsburg, experience a mild Saturday afternoon, play a little and then drive back home. Nobody would have hit it. But Mainz 05 has changed more dramatically than any other team in the league over the course of the season.
At the start there was this almost scandalous 1: 4 against Stuttgart, when the team almost gave away to a promoted team. In the end, Mainz won at the Champions League club Wolfsburg on the last day of the game and caught up with the Wolves in the second half of the table. Mainz has got 32 points and nine wins in the back series after seven points and one win from the preliminary round. This has never happened in the long history of the league.
With the return campaigns by Christian Heidel, Martin Schmidt and Bo Svensson, Mainz made some very clever decisions and rekindled the old Mainz spirit. There is again a hungry team on the field and a coach on the sidelines who looks like a promise for the future. You don’t (yet) have to think in Klopp or Tuchel spheres with Bo Svensson. But this coach could actually shape a new era in Mainz.