May 29, 2017

2. Bundesliga Season 2014/2015 Fan Preview Part 1

The 2. Bundesliga is back and we have an all-new format for the season preview. We have asked 18 fans from the 18 different teams to give us an insight into their club, their expectations for the season and what we should keep an eye out for. Here is Part One of the series that shall be published throughout the weekend. Enjoy.

 

TSV 1860 München 1860 München 

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High hopes – Edu Bedia

How was last season?
Similar to previous seasons – many changes on and off the pitch, boardroom unrest, much expectation, but poor home form and lack of goals meant an ultimately disappointing conclusion.

Expectations for this season?
Much lower.  Losing our two best players in Osako and Stoppelkamp this summer is a huge blow.  Also losing the experience heads of Lauth and Bierofka will be felt.  New players have arrived but worrying lack of goals in the squad at this stage.  Off the field problems and ongoing issues with the stadium also need to be resolved.

What do you think about your manager?
Ricardo Moniz joined this summer from Polish side Lechia Gdansk.  He certainly has an impressive CV but must be given time by the 1860 board to implement his ideas.  1860 must learn that change isn’t always for the best and a long-term strategy is needed to turn around the club’s fortunes.  Hopefully Moniz is the man to do this and can build a successful team over the next few seasons.

New signings Edu Bedia and Ilie Sanchez have both arrived from Barcelona B so it will be interesting to see how they adapt to Bundesliga 2.

Young player to watch? 

Julian Weigl made his first team debut in February and didn’t look back.  The 18-year-old midfielder certainly appears to have a bright future and will look to cement his place and gain further experience this coming season.

Player you most want to see leave? 

Stephan Hain had a season to forget following his move from Augsburg.

Team you most want to beat?

Although Ingolstadt are the local rivals, I am going to say RB Leipzig.  Another Hoffenheim in the making – no history and no tradition.  A cup draw against that team who play in red would also be nice.

Season prediction?

Promotion is once again probably beyond us with a top half finish more realistic.  As ever with 1860 it will be a rollercoaster season!

Rob Walker (@1860_UK)

 

VfR Aalen 1921 VfR Aalen

How was last season?

Expected to be the first relegated team, we did surprisingly well. We won sensationally against some big names and never were on a relegation spot all season long. So you could say the season was pretty good.

Expectations for this season?

The same goal as last season: to avoid relegation. It’s very simple, we’re a small town club with a very limited budget, so staying up is like wining the Champions League for us.

Made a point – Stefan Ruthenbeck key to Aalen staying up

What do you think about your manager?

With that small budget our coach Stefan Ruthenbeck is doing a great job! Though he never played in the 1. or 2. Bundesliga, he’s a great coach. Especially the tactical area is one of the big strengths of Ruthenbeck. Plus, as a former youth coach he can develop young players which is an important part of the VfR philosophy.

Player to watch?

Nejmeddin Daghfous is a very talented player, who is even good enough for the Bundesliga. Another key player is Canadian international André Hainault. He performed very well last season and became a pillar of the defense.

Young player to watch? 

Former Unterhaching player Thomas Steinherr is very talented and has very excellent ball skills. Definitely someone, who could rock the 2. Bundesliga. In addition Oliver Schnitzler, the German Under-19 International goalkeeper, who will be the new number two this season.

Player you most want to see leave? 

The good news is that a lot of players on a very high salary left the club by the end of last season. So at the moment I’m very happy with the squad.

Team you most want to beat?

Like last season, it would be nice to beat the big teams again. But two wins against our local rival Heidenheim would be much more important.

Season prediction?

The position in the table doesn’t matter as long as we stay up.

Stefan Galla (@esteban_furbo)

 

VfL Bochum 1848 VfL Bochum

How was last season?

Last season was one of the hardest I can remember as a fan. The attack almost did not show anything positive at all. A lot of players had to play positions they are just not trained at. In general there was a huge seed deficit in the whole team making it a hurtful season.

Expectations for this season?

Expectations are ‘carefully high’. The last couple of years Bochum fans were expecting a turn to the better before every season. 8 years in a row the team did not reward the fans but got a worse result in the league every season. So the fans are careful, but the new signings sound very good I have to say.

What do you think about your manager?

I like Peter Neururer but the crowd is, just like last time he coached us, now split in 3 groups. One group loves him and does not question anything he does, one group is not convinced by him and wants him gone but still supports him and the team, and one group simply hates him and everything he does and say is wrong in their eyes.

Happy to be back! Stanislav Šesták returns.
Happy to be back! Stanislav Šesták returns.

Player to watch?

The return of Stanislav Šesták makes me smile just thinking about it. Not only because of the good old times, but because I know that he still has exactly what we need at the moment. Speed, good technical abilities and identification with the club. Stani, I’m excited!

Young player to watch? 

Well , the team in general is pretty young this season. The average age is only 24 years. But the hottest young prospects are in my eyes Lukas Klostermann and Henrik Gulden. Also Selim Gündüz and Onur Bulut showed in the preparation matches that this might their year to break through.

Player you most want to see leave? 

Piotr Cwielong. He is one of the weakest signings of the last years.

Team you most want to beat?

Every team of course, but especially Fortuna Düsseldorf and RB Leipzig. There was always a great rivalry between Bochum and Düsseldorf. The last years matches against them and Köln were always the ones with the most heat. And Leipzig? Well, I just really want to beat them!

Season prediction?

Somewhere between 4th and 9th place

Marco Volkmar (@MarcoVolkmar)

 

SV Darmstadt 1898 SV Darmstadt 98

 

Goalscoring hero – Dominik Stroh-Engel

How was last season?

Simply amazing. Last year’s campaign was and will always be remembered as something very special and outstanding for every single Darmstadt supporter. After 21 years – we’re back to our spiritual home!

Expectations for this season?

Avoid relegation – just like last season. And we all know that we failed miserably on that front…luckily in the positive way!

What do you think about your manager?

Dirk Schuster is definitely the father of our success. He formed a tightly knit team with a smashing, truly phenomenal character. He knows that going to the limits – and sometimes beyond – is absolutely necessary. He is a “football-worker”, he requires 100% effort from his team- in a nutshell: He worked wonders on a shoestring budget, a true stroke of luck for the Lilies!

Player to watch?

Hopefully Dominik Stroh-Engel. Again.

Young player to watch? 

Julius Biada, Maurice Exslager, Serkan Firat.

Player you most want to see leave? 

No one, yet…

Team you most want to beat?

RB Leipzig, for representing just about everything that’s wrong in ‘modern football’ and due to two 1:0-defeats last season. Followed by Karlsruhe and Nürnberg, both old school Southern German rivals.

Season prediction?

We’re staying up!

Christian (@exillilie)

 

Braunschweiger TSV Eintracht 1895 Eintracht Braunschweig

How was last season?

Last season was the first Bundesliga season the club played in 28 years. Expectations weren’t very high but the team fought till the last game to prevent relegation. The whole city and region was very proud of them.

Expectations for this season?

Marc Arnold and Torsten Lieberknecht signed good new players, after the club lost important players like Omar Elabdellaoui (Olympiakos), Ermin Bičakčić (Hoffenheim) and Domi Kumbela (Karabukspor). So most of the fans, media and the front office are expecting a solid season in order to establish in 2. Bundesliga – but without losing the focus on promotion in the next few years.

What do you think about your manager?

Torsten Lieberknecht is a living legend. He has been a club member since 2003, until 2007 as a player and since 2008 as manager. He has a great ability to recruit young and talented players for little money and build a proper team. Furthermore he is a tactical genius.

Player to watch?

Defender Marcel Correia is one of the players to watch. Because of a lot of injuries in the last two years „Cellos“ development slowed down a little, but if he stays healthy he might be one of the best defenders in Germany. Another one is Havard Nielsen. He is a talented offensive Player who has to improve his ability to score.

Young player to watch? 

Salim Khelifi and Saulo Decarli from Switzerland as well as Mushaga Bakenga from Norway.

Can Torsten Lieberknecht work another miracle?

Player you most want to see leave? 

Actually, we wouldn’t want to see any player of the current roster leaving, but nobody is really sad about Daniel Davari leaving the team this summer.

Team you most want to beat?

Last year we had our derby with Hannover 96. This was the most important team to beat. This year we would like to see RB Leipzig losing, because it is a club without tradition and simply a marketing construct.

Season prediction?

It’s tough to make a prediction but we think Eintracht will finish among the top six.

Erik Baake (@abseitsmagazin)

 

Stay tuned for Part Two tomorrow!

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Aleix Gwilliam

Is a 27-year-old living in Barcelona who gets more pleasure from watching German lower-league football than from going to watch his hometown team at the Camp Nou every other week. Passionate about European football, its history and culture, you can follow him on Twitter at @AleixGwilliam

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