Winter break: SC Freiburg

18th place

Grade: D- –

Poor Freiburg. I can’t bring myself to mark them an “F”, because, well, they’re Freiburg. Stuck in the far corner of Germany on the Swiss border, I’m actually amazed they’re still around. Last season they were quite decent until their lack of talent started to show. Still, they finished mid-table, quite nice. This season, they started OK, but their limits have been shown and they suck. But in a good way…

Young GK Daniel Baumann has shown good form; very fluid in plucking the ball out of the net. OK, serious. He’s had some growing pains, but has been OK and is not the problem.

The defense are all nobodies, except for (ex) international Andreas Hinkel, and he has sucked. It’s the same problem with the midfield. It’s not that the players aren’t trying, but the talent level is 2.Liga. Probably the only recognizable name is journeyman Cedric Makiadi.

The attack is all about Papiss Demba Cissé. The Senegal international had a break out year last season, and has continued to score (9). He’s a true poacher, strong on the ball, and has been very effective. But I’m not sure he makes his teammates better, and his overall standard this season has been down from last year. In addition, the constant transfer rumours must be a distraction for the squad. My guess is that Freiburg will soon cash in to get a kitty for the upcoming 2.Liga season. Where he ends up is anyone’s guess. The rumours say “Bayern”, which seems silly, why would they need him? and “Wolfsburg”, but the VWs already have a poacher. So perhaps he leaves the Bundesliga, which would be a shame. Veteran Stefan Reisinger has had a couple of decent matches, his two goals against Hertha salvaging a draw. His long 2.Liga experience should come in handy next year. Erik Jendrisek has been a disappointment ever since he left Kaiserslautern, no different here.

As for coaching, Volker Finke is still the legend, his 17 years made SCF into what it is today, a team punching above it’s weight. His successor Robin Dutt continued the work about 5 years, and got himself a bigger paycheck at Leverkusen, but unless things start getting better, he’ll be looking for next job. Current incumbent Marcus Sorg seems reasonable, but he doesn’t have a lot to work with. He’ll demonstrate his worth if he can bounce Freiburg back up from the 2.Liga.

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