Season Preview 2014-2015 : Eintracht Frankfurt

Nickname: Die Adler (The Eagles)

Founded: March 8, 1899

Club colors: Red and black

Primary Rivals: FSV Frankfurt, 1. FC Kaiserslautern, Kickers Offenbach, 1. FSV Mainz

Fan Friendship: Oldham Athletic, Atalanta Bergamo, Wacker Innsbruck

Trophies:

  • German Championship (1): 1959

  • DFB-Pokal (4): 1973-74, 1974-75, 1980-81, 1987-88

  • UEFA Cup (1): 1979-80

Stadium: Commerzbank-Arena (formerly: Waldstadion, inaugurated 1925). 51,500 capacity.

2013-14 Finishes:

  • Bundesliga: 13th

  • DFB Pokal: Quarter-finals

  • Europa League: Round of 32

Top Goal Scorer: Joselu (14 – all competitions)

2013-14 Season Summary

Club Reputation

A Rückrunde to forget in the 2011-12 season dropped the Eagles from their comfort zone to eventual relegation, much to the discontent of the club fans who brought turbulence just like fellow relegated sides Hertha Berlin and 1. FC Köln fans did when their underachieving sides went down to the second-tier. However, a quick promotion back and a European place finish right away under the guidance of Armin Veh put them back to the map. Their fan’s journey in the exciting Europa League campaign last season, especially the 7,000 fans who made their way to Portugal for the decisive knock-out match against giants Porto, was a great promotion for Bundesliga clubs fan structure.

Reality

When Armin Veh decided to leave the job to return back to his former side Stuttgart, for whom he won the title in an unforgettable manner back in 2007, many names were linked with the Frankfurt job. At the end, another title-winner, Thomas Schaaf, came out of his one-year hiatus from football to take up a new adventure, which automatically made many to believe that Eintracht Frankfurt will be one of the most entertaining sides in the Bundesliga this upcoming season, if they weren’t already.

Philosophy

Hoffenheim were the sole front-runner in providing plenty of goals (both for and against) last season, but no one can bet they will retain such “honour” this season, if Thomas Schaaf is going to take the same strides in his new post. The Werder Bremen living legend always went for the philosophy of scoring more than your opponent back during his time in Weserstadion, which seems the same thing that was in Markus Gisdol’s mind last campaign. By signing a host of forwards in the summer – including his former target-man Nelson ‘Haedo’ Valdez, and Swiss international Haris Seferović from Real Sociedad – the signs are pretty much clear ahead for a new era in SGE, led by the attacking-minded Schaaf.

Plan B

It would not be a surprise if Eintracht gave Schaaf time if initially things didn’t go according to plan, considering his reputation. The fact that they don’t have any midweek Europa League matches this coming season will obviously give the side plenty of room to prepare for their league outings, which will no doubt be to their benefit. They have good squad depth and the further additions since Schaaf took over the club will only help them to do much better than a bottom half finish this time around.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Chelsea used the Bundesliga as a league for their young players to get much-needed playing time in recent seasons, and the trend continued in this summer’s transfer window, as many as four players from the London side were loaned to different clubs in Germany’s top flight. Lucas Piazon is one of them after he signed with the Eagles, and immediately got off to a perfect start by scoring against Inter Milan on his debut. Eintracht also benefited from Nürnberg’s relegation, as familiar faces Timothy Chandler and Makoto Hasebe remained in the Bundesliga with a move to one of the founding members of the league.

With the acquisitions’ fate at Commerzbank Arena remains to be seen, they will be missing two of their best midfielder who were symbolic of the new-look Eintracht Frankfurt since their return to the Bundesliga. Swiss skipper Pirmin Schwegler (Hoffenheim) and highly-rated Sebastian Rode (Bayern) were the two big names to leave Frankfurt this summer, while Philipp Lahm’s potential replacement in the national team Sebastian Jung also left for Wolfsburg after being with the Eagles since he was eight years old. Also, let’s not forget about the Spaniard Joselu, who ended the season as top scorer despite a slow start, and signed with Hannover after his loan from Hoffenheim ended. All in all, it will be interesting to see how Schaaf fares under new circumstances, as he looks to avoid a bad season like his last one with Werder Bremen.

Takeaway from 2013-14

Inevitably, Eintracht’s European adventure comes to mind when we look back at last season, as they played on three fronts until mid-February, which was not helping their domestic performances. Once they get some breathing space after a heartbreaking exit from Europe – on away goal rules after giving Porto a run for their money – it was clear to see they had more than what it takes to stay in the Bundesliga. For now, you might hear the fans talking about a blessing in disguise about being knocked out of Europe but, at the same time, they hope it won’t be too long before they get another chance to shine on the continental front.

Trivia

Eintracht Frankfurt had to play seventeen league matches to reach the same points tally that they achieved after the six matches of their Europa League group stage (15).

Verdict

A mid-table finish, 10th to be precise. A good run in the Pokal would be additionally welcome for fans who might feel it’s their best chance of making it into Europe. Who’d blame them to think that considering Thomas Schaaf’s decent record (aside the first-round exits in his last couple of seasons at Werder) in the DFB-Pokal?

The Boss

Enough said about the man in the dugout already, who is regarded as one of the finest coaches of the modern Bundesliga era. After fourteen years at the helm at Werder Bremen (thirty-five years at the club if you count his playing days), which comes right after the 16-years partnership of Volker Fink and SC Freiburg in German football record of long-serving managers, came to an end in the wake of a dire season for the club, Schaaf chose to take some time off from football. But when the Eagles came calling for his return a year later, the attack-minded coach couldn’t resist of returning to the dugout.

Odds to win league: 500/1 (source: Paddy Power)

60-second dossier”

(source: statto)

  • Number of Matches won by 2 or more goals: 5

  • Number of Matches won by 1 goal: 4

  • Number of Matches drawn: 9

  • Number of Matches lost by 1 goal: 8

  • Number of Matches lost by 2 or more goals: 8

  • Number of matches in which a lead was blown, resulting in loss: 2

  • Number of matches in which a lead was blown, resulting in draw: 6

  • Number of matches in which a deficit was overcome to earn a draw: 2

  • Number of matches in which a deficit was overcome to earn victory: 1

Five-Year Record: 10, 17, 2 (Bundesliga 2.), 6, 13

Q & A with a club fan:  Rikki Altmann

  • Keep an eye out for . . .”  our young wild newbies Seferovic and Piazon will shake up the league and will create lots of great moments for the team

  • “Terrace favorite . . .”  Alex Meier Fußballgott. He has a little bit of a hard time right now with some injuries and the new manager Schaaf as well. I think Schaaf is just going to get the best out of our Fußballgott and Alex the great will come back even stronger

  • “Player you’d happily drive to another club . . .”  We have a great great team and I would like them to stay together not loosing any more of these great guys!

  • “Advice you’d give your manager . . .”  He knows best what to do.

  • “Opposition player you secretly admire . . .”  I like the German national TEAM winning the world championship as a great ensemble. Further I am sad that we have lost some great players as Joselu, Pirmin and Rode. I wish the best for those guys.

  • “Opposition player you despise. . .”  Arrogant and selfish players also having some unfair tendencies… Robben comes into my mind here

  • “Where will you finish . . .”  1-6… I loved the European adventure – I think they have the potential and will qualify for SGE Europe 2.0

  • Do you think Thomas Schaff is the right man for the job?  Yes. He is perfectly right, as he has already shown he can form a great team within the same economic and team conditions he finds in Frankfurt.

  • How was last season’s European adventure??  A dream 

Fixture list:

August

  • 23 SC Freiburg (H)

  • 30 VFL Wolfsburg (A)

September

  • 14 FC Augsburg (H)

  • 20 FC Schalke 04 (A)

  • 23 Mainz 05 (H)

  • 28 Hamburger SV (A)

October

  • 04 1. FC Köln (H)

  • 18 SC Paderborn (A)

  • 25 VFB Stuttgart (H)

November

  • 01 Hannover 96 (A)

  • 08 Bayern München (H)

  • 22 Borussia Mönchenglabdach (A)

  • 29 Borussia Dortmund (H)

December

  • 06 Werder Bremen (H)

  • 13 TSG Hoffenheim (A)

  • 16 Hertha BSC (H)

  • 20 Bayer Leverkusen (A)

January

  • 31 SC Freiburg (A)

February

  • 03 VFL Wolfsburg (H)

  • 07 FC Augsburg (A)

  • 14 FC Schalke 04 (H)

  • 22 Mainz 05 (A)

  • 28 Hamburger SV (H)

March

  • 07 1. FC Köln (A)

  • 14 SC Paderborn (H)

  • 21 VFB Stuttgart (A)

April

  • 04 Hannover 96 (H)

  • 11 Bayern München (A)

  • 18 Borussia Mönchenglabdach (H)

  • 25 Borussia Dortmund (A)

May

  • 02 Werder Bremen (A)

  • 09 TSG Hoffenheim (H)

  • 16 Hertha BSC (A)

  • 23 Bayer 04 Leverkusen (H)

Crucial Schedule Stretch:

There is no doubt about which match stand out from the rest in Thomas Schaaf’s maiden season at Frankfurt, as one just couldn’t find anything better than the Schaaf’s return to his beloved Weserstadion in early December. Meanwhile, he got off to a perfect start with a solitary strike from another debutant Hanis Seferovic – who was also on target in the Pokal opener – proved to be enough to down Freiburg at home. If we are going with the pattern of the last couple of seasons, the curtain-raiser win will do them good, as in past seasons since promotion the result of the first matchday perfectly predicting their season – a highly entertaining win against Bayer Leverkusen set the tone for a remarkable campaign a couple of seasons ago, and a humiliating 6-1 reverse against promoted side Hertha Berlin last term started things off in a very difficult season for Armin Veh’s side in the league.

 

The following two tabs change content below.
Eskender born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Despite the geographical difference, he is interested in every detail of German football. He breathes football to the point that he gets pleasure from nutmegging his innocent kid. You can also follow him on Twitter @eskeBMG

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.