Werder Bremen’s final warning

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Werder Bremen had an awful last season and the club barely escaped relegation thanks to strong run in the end of the season which saw them collect 10 of the possible 15 points which included a 6-2 routing of Stuttgart at matchday 32 in which midfielder Fin Bartels scored two goals with the additional help of strikers Anthony Ujah and the return of Claudio Pizzaro to the club after a three-year stint at Bayern.Nevetherless Werder’s season was one of the worst.only Stuttgart,Frankurt and Hannover have conceded more goals than Werder in the whole season and from mid-September to the end of November the club managed to collect only 6 points (two victories against Mainz and Augsburg) out of 30.That included eight losses,the most devastating came against Wolfsburg which was 6-0 disaster and only at the start of December Werder managed to bounce back and that included a 4-1 victory against Bayer Leverkusen in the beginning of March where Claudio Pizzaro became the oldest player in the Bundesliga to score a hat-trick and broke a record which stood for 31 long years.However besides the club finished 13th with 2 points clear above the promotion/relegation play-off place and 5 points clear above the direct relegation places,that should be served as a strong warning for the club and not to ignore since they came close to relegation,the last time Werder finished such low was back in the 2012-2013 season but that was the last under former coach Thomas Shaaf at 14th with only 34 points and the last time the club from Northern Germany achieved a top five finish was in the 2009-2010 season when the finished 3rd.Since that season Werder has fallen on the pitch and ever since Schaaf left the club after 2013 the club made three coaching changes which included the hiring and firing of Robin Dutt (last month Dutt was fired from Stuttgart as well) while Viktor Skripnik who was on the Bundesliga winning squad in the 2003-04 season and played for the club until 2013 and served as the coach of the reserve squad for a single season before Dutt was fired isn’t a good coaching repleacement besides Werder had a strong second round of the season where Bremen scored 33 goals (only Dortmund and Bayern scored more) and only lost a single match at home (against Augsburg in April),however Skripnik has a lot to learn from a tactical point.Also other Werder’s statistics from last season don’t look good,they managed to win only once coming from behind in 23 matches (3-1 victory against Schalke).But the most biggest problems the club faces are player development and the club’s finances.In the 2015-16 season Werder was too dependent on the veteran likes of Clemens Fritz (35 years old and plans to retire at the end of the 2016-17 season) and Claudio Pizzaro who returned from Bayern in his third and final stint with Werder and who is 37 years old and he can no longer play at the level he used to earlier in his career.Also Werder’s roster is very shallow with the departure of Franco Di Santo at the end of the 2014-15 season,Werder in its roster has Zlatko Junuzovic,Aron Johannsson who came from AZ Alkmaar but managed to score only twice in the season and made only six appearences in the 2015-16 season and together with Anthony Ujah who also joined Werder at the beginning of the season should be the part of the club in the next seasons,meawhile the midfield has very young players in Maximillian Eggestein,Marcel Hilsner,Ozkan Yildrim (made appearences for the youth ranks of the German National team),Laszlo Kleisenheiler and Florian Grilitsch,all who are very young and mostly are products of Werder’s youth ranks.Last season should serve Werder as a lesson that they cannot no longer be dependent on the performances of aging players like Fritz and Pizzaro which are near retirement and this time only thanks to a strong showing in the second part of the season and at the end where they collected 10 out of 15 possible points Werder claimed a 13th place,but like in the case of Stuttgart which ignored the warning signs that it cannot stave off relegation forever this should serve as a strong warning to Werder to step up its game and make a clear and decent finish this season or face another season in survival mode or possible relegation from the Bundesliga.

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