1 SpVgg Greuther Fürth 34 20 10 4 73:27 +46 70
A solid season long performance from a club that has knocked on the door of promotion several times, only to fade down the stretch. This was clearly a stiffer GF, and they deservedly take the title and go up for their Bundesliga debut. Coach Mike Büskens got the most out of the squad, which started with a solid defense. Albanian Mergim Mavraj and German-Filipino(!) Stephan Schröck were two of the better 2.Liga defenders. The midfield was solid, probably Bernd Nehrig the best among a very consistent bunch. In attack, Canadian Oliver Occean was outstanding, with 17 goals. Sararer and Nöthe also added scoring punch. The late season addtion of oldtimer Gerald Asamoah proved to be an excellent move, as he added experience and scoring punch in limited action.
2 Eintracht Frankfurt (A) 34 20 8 6 76:33 +43 68
Everyone expected Eintracht to be there, and they can say “mission accomplished”. With their overall talent, it would have been a major disappointment if they didn’t immediately bounce back, and in the end it was comfortable. But there were some suspect performances, particularily the defenders were sloppy at times. It was the midfield that carried this club. Alexander Meier was the best player in the 2.Liga, and he also added 17 goals to lead the team. Veteran Benjamin Köhler was good (9 goals), and Sebastian Rode (21) looks like a young talent. Idrissou contributed 14 goals in attack, and Hoffer another 9, but with Gekas leaving midseason, attack will be an area Eintracht will want to strengthen for next season.
3 Fortuna Düsseldorf 34 16 14 4 64:35 +29 62
Fortuna completes their remarkable comeback and is back in the Bundesliga. They dropped out of the top flight 15 years ago…and 8 years ago could be found in the 4th division!! But they’ve climbed all the way back. They did it with some solid veterans and some young talent. Defender Jens Langeneke (34) was not only solid at the back, he added 9 goals. Oldtie Sascha Rösler (34) had 13 up front. Midfielder Max Beister (21) had 11 goals, and looks a major talent. Unfortunately outstanding defender Asani Lukimya is moving to Werder. Fortuna will have some work to do to survive the top, but they did everybody a favor by dumping Hertha out.
4 FC St. Pauli (A) 34 18 8 8 59:34 +25 62
The Paulistas were solid all season, but when they needed a win against the top, they fell short. By falling short, a lot of their players are leaving. Midfielder Max Kruse was very good (13 goals), is off to Freiburg. Young defender Lasse Sobiech looked a great prospect, but is off to Fürth (was on loan from Dortmund). Defender Moritz Volz heads to 1860, and effective midfielders Takyi and Naki say they’re leaving too. So a probable new-look Pauli for next season.
5 SC Paderborn 07 34 17 10 7 51:42 +9 61
Paderborn deserves top marks because nobody really expected them to contend. They fell off in the final stretch, but this was a fine season for the Westphalians. Nick Proschwitz was a one man attack upfront, with 17 goals. His absence in a couple of games due to injury might have put the breaks on their run. This was clearly a team that got the maximum out of their resources.
6 1860 München 34 17 6 11 62:46 +16 57
1860 surely expected to be a contender, but they quickly fell out of any race by sucking. Eventually they started playing decently, but hardly what was expected of them. Seems like they’ve been antagonizing their potentially huge fan base for too long. There were a few bright spots. Midfielders Stefan Aigner (11 goals) and veteran Daniel Bierofka were pretty good. Youngster Kevin Volland (19) scored 13 in attack, and generally was quite acceptable. Benny Lauth has made a career of not delivering, but he contributed 11 goals as well. The defense was generally crap.
7 1. FC Union Berlin 34 14 6 14 55:58 -3 48
Overall, Union did fairly well. They basically have little resources, and got a lot out of a team of nobodies. They fought pretty hard and ended up in a decent position. There’s probably not much more than they can expect.
8 Eintracht Braunschweig (N) 34 10 15 9 37:35 +2 45
Newcomers Braunschweig were pretty solid, but lack punch. Forward Dominick Kumbela was quite good, notching 10 goals, matched by midfielder Dennis Kruppke. Nobody else managed more than 2. However the Lions showed a stout defense, and that kept them out of trouble. This is a club that could potentially grow into a contender, with a decent fan base.
9 Dynamo Dresden (N) 34 12 9 13 50:52 -2 45
Dresden was similar to fellow promoted side Braunschweig, except on the offensive side. The Dynamo forwards (Pote, Dedic, Fort, Koch) combined for 38 goals. Unfortunately there was no scoring punch in the midfield, adding only 6. Most of the starters are reasonably young, so they could improve. Obviously there’s a huge pent-up demand for a decent eastern club, and it appears Dynamo has the inside track, with a potentially larger fan base than Union.
10 MSV Duisburg 34 10 9 15 42:47 -5 39
Disappointment combined with suckitude. The Zebras sucked out of the gate, and after around 25 matches, looked relegation material. They finished strong to leap out of relegation, but with a more expensive squad than many rivals, more was clearly expected.
11 VfL Bochum 34 10 7 17 41:55 -14 37
Bochum is one of the most disappointing teams in the 2.Liga. Perhaps they deserve an “F”. One positive is that they seem to have found a GK, Andreas Luthe, who was quite good. Their best field player was Japanese unknown Takashi Inui, who also led the team with (only) 7 goals. Bochum was hoping for Shinji Kagawa light, and he largely delivered. There were quite a few veterans, led by former international Paul Freier, but they all largely sucked. Sounds like a clean-house is needed for next season.
12 FC Ingolstadt 04 34 8 13 13 43:58 -15 37
This season was a tale of two Ingolstadts. The first sucked and was dead last. The second obviously received a kick in the ass and woke up, with a strong post-winterbreak. They proved to be a hard nut to crack and deservedly stay up.
13 FSV Frankfurt 34 7 14 13 43:59 -16 35
FSV will always struggle. They are a pip-squeak of a club, kinda like a fly on on the Eintracht-Elephant’s ass. But once again, they proved to be scrappy and managed to survive another campaign. They really don’t seem like they have any good players, although I guess GK Patrick Klandt was decent. Also, Bulgarian striker Ilijan Micanski proved to be a nice midseason acquisition, with 9 goals in 15 games.
14 Energie Cottbus 34 8 11 15 30:49 -19 35
I was a bit surprised that Energie sucked so much, as they have a reputation of getting a lot out of nothing. They do it by getting Walmart prices on discount East Europeans. However, this addition had lots of homegrown players, who were largely mediocre. But their imports largely sucked as well, so that’s a recipe for disaster. Bulgarian forward Dimitar Rangelov had done decently for the club in the past, so when he came on a loan, it was hoped he would do well. 12 goals, not too bad given the pathetic offense. But ex-Bundesligist Martin Fenin (Czech) sucked, as did most of the other imports, Croatian midfielder Banovic the least crappy. It will be interesting to see what happens, as Energie can often rise up from the ashes.
15 Erzgebirge Aue 34 8 11 15 31:55 -24 35
Not too shocked, because last season Aue played over their head (5th). Now the rest of the league saw them as they are…basically a crap team. Midfieler Jan Hochscheidt was pretty good, and forward Ronny König scored 9. The two combined for half the squad’s goals. Unless there are re-inforcements, Aue looks like they will be a certain relegation contender next season.
16 Karlsruher SC 34 9 6 19 34:60 -26 33
A disaster. KSC went into the toilet early, and never really came out. Horrible on both sides of the ball, they even had some name players that were clearly way past sell date (e.g. Delron Buckley, Christian Timm, Klemen Lavric) They had a very large squad, augmented with lots of young players, but didn’t really give them enough playing time. The veterans however got outfought by Regensburg, so KSC is down to the 3.Liga. I’d expect a massive rebuilding.
17 Alemannia Aachen 34 6 13 15 30:47 -17 31
Aachen is probably wondering how they got in this mess. They started crap, but then seemed to catch themselves, and 2/3 through the season were around 12th. Their problem was with a pathetic offense, they couldn’t win, and often settled for draw or close loss. They collapsed down the stretch and end with a disastrous relegation (although good for 3.Liga treasurers).
As far as the squad, everybody sucked, but again, the attack was pathetic, and that’s where you’d expect some results. Benjamin Auer, Romanian Sergiu Radu (bounced around with several Bliga clubs), David Odonkor (16 caps for Germany!!, once considered a very promising winger) could only notch 12 goals.
18 Hansa Rostock (N) 34 5 12 17 34:63 -29 27
Well, the first goal of any promoted club is to stay up. It was pretty clear that Hansa would struggle here, so no surprise that they sucked and finished last. They had a few veterans, who didn’t produce, and none of the youngsters they blooded really performed, so a predictable result, just like their fans rioting. They’ll regroup and we’ll probably see them in the 2.Liga again, perhaps with more purpose.