Welcome Back! Viktoria Berlin are into the 2.Bundesliga but we’re predicted to end rock rock bottom! 800-1 on the season preview. We have a very tough task ahead but financially, being in this tier, is going to massively help us out, £7.6m for ending bottom! Yeah I’ll take that!
Clearly though we want to stay up, no point spending 4 seasons struggling to get promoted to eventually go up and go straight back down again! Then there’s the challenge to think of, once again my plan is to only sign players to tick off the challenge IF they improve the team. So here goes, let’s see how it went.
Firstly the German Cup and once again we go through the first round after a hard fought win over fellow 2.Bundesliga side Arminia Bielefield before getting absolutely and utterly annihilated by Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt.
7-1! I mean they are good, but no way should we be getting battered by anyone! A good money making exercise though as we gained £469k in prize money and some decent gate receipts.
Now to the league, I was fully expecting a struggle and it started exactly that way. 3 straight defeats opened the season, 4 defeats in the first 5 and we were right in the mire. When the Summer window shut however and the squad seemed more settled results started to come. We were never going to go on an amazing run but if we could keep to a point a game I’d be happy and that’s pretty much what happened.
Over September, October and November we managed to win 4 games, some big wins as well, a 6-0 over Erzgebirge and a 5-2 over Duisburg the biggest wins. December ended with 2 defeats from 2 but as we entered the new year and the mid-way point of the season we had gained 18 points and sat just above the bottom 3.
Into the New Year and form started to pick up, January ended with 2 wins from 4 and February ended with 3 wins and a draw, our first unbeaten month of the season. This had lifted us way clear of the relegation zone and we were now looking at a top half spot!
Form continued to be OK but we were beginning to drop points in games we were winning or should have won. March ended with 3 draws, April 2 wins, a draw and a defeat and by that point we were safe from relegation.
May, the final 3 games I’d rather forget as we only gained 1 point. It didn’t matter though, we had already done what we set out to do and that’s survive and to be honest we survived with ease.
11th place, not bad for a team expected to end bottom and more than a point a game which is great to see. 11th also gives us £8.8m in prize money which is utterly incredible!
Nations Ticked Off
Nation 41 – Poland
The first nation ticked off this season was Poland by late-September. Polish midfielder Kacper Smorgol was brought in on loan for the season, he gained a 7.7 rating in the 4-3 win over Braunschweig and then scored his one and only goal in the 6-0 win over Erzgiberge. The next match was his 10th game, after that his parent club recalled him as they didn’t like the fact he wasn’t playing as an AP! Lucky!
Nation 42 – Sudan
This lad! More on him later! A Summer signing and by far the best signing yet. I needed a goalscorer and Mohamed Eisa was certainly that. He scored on his debut, a 3-2 defeat to Bochum and then gained a 7.7 rating in the 4-2 win over Arminia Bielefeld. He played 33 times over the season.
Nation 43 – Albania
Next to tick off was Albania via Attacking Midfielder/Striker Sherif Ramadani, another loan signing. He scored in the 2-1 loss to 1860 Munchen before a 7.5 rating in the infamous 6-0 rout of Erzgebirge. Again, like Smorgal, he played his 10th game and was recalled due to not playing as a PF!
Nation 44 – Jamaica
Striker Michael Seaton also came in on loan, to be honest he was awful but after being put on penalty duties he scored his first goal in the 7-1 cup defeat to Frankfurt, he then got a 9.4 in the 5-4 defeat to Holsten Kiel where he scored twice. It came to December and I decided to terminate his loan deal as he was just taking up wages I didn’t want to spend.
Nation 45 – India
This one I love! When I saw Indian attacking midfielder Yan Dhanda up for loan in the Winter I had to bring him in, a huge upgrade on what I had and he made an instant impact. He scored and got a 7.8 rating on his debut, a 2-1 win over Bochum, over the season he played 16 times and was key to our decent end of season.
Nation 46 – Nigeria
Another Winter signing, Nigeria Striker Gabriel Mafouraya came in on a free transfer. Not the best but I knew he could do what was needed. He scored in the 2-2 draw against Hannover before a 7.5 in the 4-1 hammering of Schalke. Over the second half of the season he played 11 times, scoring 4.
Nation 47 – Barbados
Another loanee brought in during the Winter window. Left Back Nesta Guiness-Walker came in as a good option instead of the injured Beyreuther. It took him a while to tick off what was required. He actually played his 10th game before scoring or getting his rating. It took him until late-April before a stunning display in the 4-3 win over Holsten Kiel, he scored twice and got an 8.5 rating!
Nation 48 – Mauritania
And finally I ticked off Mauritania with midfielder Hacen, injury prone as hell but eventually in the last game of the season he played his 10th game! It took him until late-April to score a goal (it was a penalty) and get a 7.5 rating. A decent looking player but was constantly out with niggly injuries.
So only 8 nations ticked off this year but overall it was a success. Nearly everyone I brought in ticked off what was required. However I still await Left Back Azzan (Zanzibar) to actually get a goal and get that 7.5+ rating and, after 4 seasons, still await North Mariana Island Striker Borja getting a 7.5+. Man they are awful but I am determined to get what is required from them!!!
This section will be very short, why? Well because Mohamed Eisa dominated the awards and stats section! Probably the best signing so far. The Striker ended as the clubs player of the season, the signing of the season, he was the clubs top scorer with 23 goals, ended with the highest average rating and the most POTMs! What a player, the problem now is will he play again? He is great but to get nations ticked off I need to bring new players in and the best way to get a goalscorer is to buy a Striker! He will stick about, that’s for sure, but may have to settle for a place on the bench.
Young Player of the Year went to midfielder Felix Keidel. A bit-part player due to the challenge but did start 13 games with 11 sub appearances, he scored once and got 7 assists. A really good player which in other circumstances would be a guaranteed starter.
And here is the whole squad for you to look through.
This is the first time I’ve spoken about a youth intake candidate in this save so far but when this lad popped up I was instantly excited and had to share.
An Englishman comes in and he will be the man that ticks off England in the challenge, his technical attributes need some work and he may be better as a midfielder than a central defender but we will see. He actually can’t play a match until he signs a non-Youth contract which can’t be until November so I have to sit and wait!
So a fantastic first season in the 2.Bundesliga, we survived with ease and have made some money at that!
We end the season with £7.5m in the bank! Amazing really but that is all down to the league prize money we got. Just imagine if that £8.8m wasn’t there?!?! We would be up shit creek!
Without that we would’ve made around a £1m loss. The issue now is expenses are increasing, being in the 2.Bundesliga means everything is costing more, from wages, to tax, to matchday cost and bonuses. Everything has massively increased this season and next year it is bound to keep going up.
The big issue for me is attendances, yes it’s grown this season but not as much as I hoped, in 3.Liga we were getting around 2,500 fans, now it’s 3,700, a good 33% increase but we need more gate receipts to help out with the increased costs.
Luckily though, no matter what, there is always that prize money to come in, even we can’t lose that much money a season!!
The board are clearly happy as well as the budgets have shot up!
£1.5m in transfer budget and around £17k per week increase in the wage budget. The wages I will probably have to spend to keep the squad moving forward but no way do I plan to spend all the transfer kitty.
So the aim squad-wise for this Summer is to get rid of all the players who have ticked off their nation and bring a new batch in. I fell behind the planned “10 per season” with only 8 nations ticked off this time around so this Summer expect a huge influx of new nationalities coming in. I hope to bring in at least 10 to add to the few I already have that.
I have high hopes for the next season, yes we aren’t ready for a promotion push but if we can end in the top half whilst ticking off a raft of nations I will be more than happy!
Thanks for reading.