As part of our season preview, we will be profiling all 18 clubs in the Bundesliga, and how we think they will fair during the coming season. Today, we will be focusing on 1.FSV Mainz 05.
The self-appointed “carnival-club” had a rather rough 2016/17 season that ended with their coach Martin Schmidt being sacked after they narrowly avoided relegation. Mainz finished in 15th place level on points with Wolfsburg, and with only their better goal difference compared to the “wolves” (-11 to -18) saving them from the relegation playoff.
At the beginning of the season Mainz seemed well equipped to handle the added pressure of the Europa League which they qualified for with their 6th place finish in 2015/16. However the additional games took a toll on the squad with several players going down with injuries. Moreover Mainz was probably one of the unluckiest teams last season, losing a few matches that they dominated.
In the end, a series of unfortunate events led to a talented Mainz team finding themselves in a relegation battle that will look to avoid this time around.
- Abdou Diallo - 5€ million
- Alexandru Maxim - 3€ million
- Viktor Fischer - 3€ million
- Kenan Kodro - 1.75€ million
- René Adler - free transfer
- Jhon Córdoba - 17€ million
- Florian Niederlechner - 2.3€ million
- Pierre Bengtsson - 1€ million
- Jonas Lössl - loan
- Devante Parker - loan
Mainz lost their start striker and one of their best players in Jhon Córdoba but they did receive a hefty fee for him that allowed them to make a few interesting moves.
A club like Mainz that has limited funds compared to their Bundesliga rivals always has to get creative in the transfer market. They continued their usual strategy of buying young players that they can develop and sell at a profit later. Diallo, Fischer and Kodro are all young players that did not work out as planned with their old club and hope that they can get more minutes in Mainz. Joining them are the more experienced Adler who replaces Lössl as the starting goalkeeper and Maxim who should bring more creativity to the midfield.
The club will look to bounce back from their terrible 2016/17 season and hope to avoid the relegation zone entirely. It will be a tough task for newly appointed coach Sandro Schwarz who in true Mainz-fashion was promoted from coaching Mainz II to the first team just like Klopp, Tuchel and Schmidt before him. A lot will depend on how quickly Schwarz can implement his ideas and tactics into a relatively young squad.
The youth of the team and the coach for that matter (Schwarz is only 38) could be a weakness for this team if things don’t go according to plan early in the season. It will be interesting to see how they react if the results do not meet expectations.
On the other hand this is a team that could turn some heads if a couple of those new acquisitions work out.
PREDICTION: 13th Place
Mainz is a bit of a wildcard this season. A new coach and several new players make it difficult to say where they will actually end up but they do have enough talent in the squad to avoid the relegation zone this season. Having said that if any of their youngsters aren’t up to par this season could spiral out of hand just like last season or maybe even worse.