Every football club in the world would love to run riot in the highest tier of their national football pyramid. It means exposure not only for your club, but also for your city, your colors, your badge and your culture. Moreover, it also (normally at least) brings a lot of new money to the clubs treasure chest.
Only a chosen few ever reach the highest league though. And when they get there, it’s hard staying up.
Last season Eintracht Braunschweig tried honorably to inaugurate their club into the Bundesliga. However, in the end they finished in the relegation zone. Just like Greuther Fürth and Fortuna Düsseldorf a year earlier, and just like Hertha Berlin and St. Pauli before that.
This year it’s SC Paderborn’s turn to try to shake things up a bit in the Bundesliga. The very small Northern-Westphalia-club have signed a big group of players already to better their chances of establishing their colors in the Bundesliga. Elias Kachunga, Marvin Bakalorz, Idir Ouali, Lukas Rupp, Viktor Maier, Marvin Ducksch and Stefan Kutschke have all signed a contract with Paderborn.
That should be enough to stay in the Bundesliga, shouldn’t it?
Probably not, and here’s why. In the summer of 2012 Bundesliga newcomers Fürth signed a whole host of players, almost an entire new team, to make sure they wouldn’t get relegated. Mattias Zimmermann, Thanos Petsos, Abdul Rahman Baba, Edü, Nikola Djurdjic and Franck Ohandza all joined the Kleeblätter.
21 points and 21 defeats later, the Trolli Arena outfit were relegated. The season never turned into the party it was supposed to be, partly because the recruits didn’t perform to the level of expectation.
That same summer Fortuna Düsseldorf were also signing a big cluster of new players. Why? Well, simply because they too were newcomers. Right-back Tobias Levels, defensive midfielder Bastian Müller, attacker Robbie Kruse, and of course, goalkeeper Fabian Giefer all signed a contract with the Flingeraner.
But no. Not even in Düsseldorf did the project end in anything else than in pure tears. Sure, the Esprit Arena outfit collected 9 points more than Fürth, but it was still not enough to save the Bundesliga contract.
Two years earlier a very unique club named St. Pauli were tenderfoots in the Bundesliga. Players like Fin Bartels, Moritz Volz, Gerald Asamoah and Carlos Zambrano all joined the club, and during that season they manage to beat local rivals Hamburg SV 1-0 away. Still though, the club did not collect the necessary amount of points, and were thereby demoted.
So a tip to Paderborn’s head coach André Breitenreiter. Sign a team. Make sure the acquisitions acclimatize to their new environment. Spend your money more cleverly than the aforementioned did. Keep parts of the core that made dreams come true in Paderborn, like central defenders Uwe Hünemeier and Patrick Ziegler. And, for that matter, right midfielder Alba Meha, who scored 12 goals in 22 outings, and Mahir Saglik, who notched even more goals (15).
Additionally, Elias Kachunga and Jens Wemmer were both major parts of a dangerous and creative offensive last season. That’s a duo who from my perspective deserve to get the chance to show their worth at Benteler Arena this upcoming season.
So André Breitenreiter, learn from the failure of others. Don’t just sign 20 players, keep the core, and add some necessary spice.
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