Welcome back. Viktoria Berlin are into the Bundesliga, probably too quickly in my opinion, we have a very very tough season ahead! This post could be quite long as there is one big twist to come!!
So here we go, somehow we have to start well, we are expected to end rock bottom and I won’t lie I felt the Summer window was a disaster. Numerous players came in but the majority of the players I wanted to ship out didn’t leave, no one wanted them.
I ended up with a ridiculously big squad and a load of players I didn’t want.
The season started with a DFB Pokal game against lower league Dreieich, a game we should easily win so I went with a team of players I needed to play to tick their respective nation off. We ended up winning 6-4, a bonkers game!
Then came the start of the league campaign and my word it was even tougher than expected. The squad were awful but on the pitch they were diabolical. 7 games in, 1 point. We then had a decent month in October where we won 2 and drew 2 pushing us off bottom spot. November and December though were just as bad with 1 win in 6 and at this point we sat 3rd bottom. There was absolutely no way we would stay up with this squad.
Yeah OK money wise it was alright, we weren’t losing masses of cash, attendances were up but losing nearly every game, hardly ticking off anything in the challenge was too much.
Then came a job offer.
Wolfsburg, 12th in the Bundesliga wanted me, a warchest of £93m as well. There comes a point in these kind of saves where you know the time is right to move on, you have taken a club far enough, this was that moment, so I decided to leave and move onto bigger and better things.
But before we see how the rest of the season went with Wolfsburg, I want to show you the nations I somehow managed to tick off at Viktoria Berlin in the first few months of the season.
Nation 77 – Grenada
Omar Beckles was here last season, he had played enough games but it took him until the first game of this season, the 6-4 win over Dreieich to eventually score and get an 8.5 rating
Nation 78 – Belarus
A Summer signing, attacking midfielder Vladislaw Klimovich came in for £325k and didn’t do too bad. He made 17 appearances, scoring his first goal in that cup win and then got an 8.2 in the 3-2 win over Frankfurt
Nation 79 – Uruguay
And finally was on loan right back Cristian Velazquez, he made an amazing start, scoring twice and getting an 8.5 in that infamous cup win, he made his 10th appearance in the game prior to the Wolfsburg offer.
So 3 nations ticked off in a really poor first half of the season, not bad really!
But now I move on, an amazing 7 and a half seasons at Viktoria Berlin, 2 brilliant promotions, 79 nations ticked off in the challenge, now it’s time to move onto much bigger things!
So here we are at Wolfsburg, a big jump in quality and it was nice to see quite a few nations in the squad that I needed to tick off. Let’s wind all the way forward to the end of the season and see how it went.
When I arrived the club has already topped their Europa League group meaning they had qualified for the 2nd knockout round.
We went on an amazing run beating Nice in the last 16, Benfica in extra time in the Quarters and then Valencia 4-3 on aggregate in the Semi’s. An incredible run and in the final we would face Dortmund.
The new German Champs and it was a step too far. We didn’t really show up and Dortmund were just too good.
A brilliant run though, it was pleasing to see us get this far and beat some good teams along the way.
Now to the league, I joined with the club in 12th and we immediately started to rise up the table with some good results. By the end of February we had gained 20 points from our 9 games which had pushed us all the way up to 7th and well in with a shot of European football next season.
March started poorly with defeats to Dortmund and Hoffenheim before a good run of 4 wins in 5 games meaning that with 2 games to go we sat 6th, the final games weren’t great but a draw in the final match against Stuttgart was enough to keep us in the 6th and with that a spot in the Europa League next season.
35 points from 18 games. Not bad at all!
A big gap though to the teams above us. Breaking that top 3 is going to be very very difficult.
Nations Ticked Off
And with a good run comes good performances from the boys and that means numerous nations were ticked off in the challenge.
Nation 80 – Portugal
The first player to tick off their nation was Fabio Vieira, the Portuguese midfielder got an 8.3 in my 2nd match, a 3-0 win over Leverkusen before scoring in the next game, a 3-0 win over Union Berlin. A key player in my time here and he ended as the clubs player of the season.
Nation 81 – Ukbekistan
Next was central defender Waldemar Anton, he scored and got an 8.3 in the 3-0 win over Leverkusen, a mainstay in the side through the second half of the season and he will be a key man moving forward.
Nation 82 – Mexico
Striker Jose Juan Macias was another key part of our success, he scored in the Leverkusen win and then got an 8.9 in the 6-0 win over Gladback. He ended as the clubs top scorer with 21 goals in 44 games.
Nation 83 – Canada
Now for a Winter signing, I broke the bank for Winger/Striker Jonathan David, he cost me £48.5m from Lille and he was amazing when called upon, scoring a hat-trick and getting a 9.6 in the 6-0 win over Gladback. He made 19 appearances over the second half of the season, scoring 6.
Nation 84 – France
Central Defender Maxence Lacroix was another big part of the good end of the season, he scored and got a 7.6 in the win over Leverkusen and played more than 15 times over the final half of the season.
Nation 85 – Denmark
One that I ticked off right near the end of the season. Midfielder Robert Skov didn’t play as much but scored in the 3-2 win over Nice before a 7.9 in the 2-0 win over ex-side Viktoria Berlin. He made his 10th appearance in that game as well.
Nation 86 – Spain
And finally! Raul Delgado got a 7.5 in the 4-0 win over Nice before a goal in the 2-2 draw against Valencia. He made his 10th appearance for me in the Europa League final.
So another good season, 10 nations ticked off overall, this takes me to 86 nations completed, 38% down!!!
And here for your perusal is the whole squad.
Now I look forward to next season, we have Europa League to once again look forward to and we have some very sizeable budgets to work with.
£75m to spend with around £300k per week in spare wage budget.
There will be some movement of players as you’d expect. A couple of my players, Macias and Vieira being 2 of them, want to leave for Champions League football. I will also look to sell a few of the backups and some of those players who have already ticked off their nations.
Players will come in, hopefully from nations not completed yet.
So a great season, I am really pleased with the move of clubs. I felt deep down that my time at Viktoria was up, I knew I had taken them as far as I could and this move was massive for me.
Now we need to push that top 4 and see if we can get ourselves Champions League football.
Thanks for reading
Big move, but it definitely felt like the right time. No point just sticking around to go down. Which you can see by the final table