Can Mainz 05 Edge into the Bundesliga Top 10 During the 2015 – 2016 Season?
It’s been a tumultuous few seasons for Mainz 05, we take a look at the clubs recent history and ask can Mainz 05 edge into the Bundesliga top 10 again this season? When Borussia Dortmund hired Thomas Tuchel to take over as their head coach following the resignation of beloved former manager Jurgen Klopp, virtually no one was surprised. Klopp had decided, after a devastatingly poor 2014 – 2015 season, that he was no longer the right man to coach Dortmund. And Tuchel, on a brief sabbatical from coaching football, following a successful stint at FSV Mainz, seemed like precisely the right man for the job.
The Thomas Tuchel X-Factor
What Tuchel did at Mainz was impressive, to say the least. When he came to the soccer club in 2009, the O-Fives had just been promoted up from the 2. Bundesliga. In his first season at Mainz, Tuchel took a recently-promoted soccer squad and turned them into top-10, top-flight German football contenders. With Tuchel at the helm, the O-Fives won 12 games and kept their “goals against” tally low (at 42) to finish in ninth place.
The 2010 – 2011 campaign was even better. Mainz scored more goals (52, up from 36), played better defense (they cut their “goals against” number to 39, the second best in the league), and won more games (18). From the beginning of that season, it was clear that the O-Fives were on their way to something good. They won their first seven games, including 2-1 away match win over reigning league champs Bayern Munich. Their fifth-place finish at the end of the season was the best in football club history and remains their high-water mark today.
Getting Back into the Top 10
When Thomas Tuchel asked to be released from his contract with Mainz at the end of the 2013 – 2014 season, the team took a hit. They’d finished a solid seventh place in 2014 but tumbled to 11th during the 2014 – 2015 campaign.
Kasper Hjulmand, Tuchel’s immediate successor, was sacked in February 2015, after winning just five of his games in charge. Martin Schmidt, the former Mainz II team manager, took over and remains the head coach for the O-Fives today.
With Tuchel back in the Bundesliga—and having tremendous success at Borussia Dortmund—the hope among fans in the Mainz 05 home jersey 2015 – 2016 is that their club will be able to find tremendous success as well. So far, things are looking pretty solid for the O-Fives. They won their first game of the season, beating Borussia Monchengladbach 2-1 in an away match. They also managed fairly substantial wins against both Hannover 96 (3-0) and Hoffenheim (3-1).
If Mainz 05 do manage to slip back into the Bundesliga top 10 this year, it’s going to be because of an impressive offensive lineup. After losing their top scorer over the summer (Japanese forward Shinji Okazaki, who netted 12 goals in league play during the 2014 – 2015 season), it wasn’t clear whether or not the O-Fives would have enough firepower for 2015 – 2016.
Luckily, Mainz seems to have other stars stepping up to take Okazaki’s place. 23-year-old Yunus Malli has been one of the most impressive stars of the 2015 – 2016 Bundesliga so far. The German-born midfielder was the second most prolific scorer at Mainz last season, but he only netted six goals in 31 appearances. This year, Malli has already scored five times in league play—including a hat trick in the O-Fives’ 3-1 win over Hoffenheim.
Attacker Yoshinori Muto is also making an impression. The Japanese forward transferred to Mainz 05 over the summer, from FC Tokyo. He was easily the man of the match in the O-Fives’ match against Hannover in late August, scoring two of the three goals. Malli netted the third.
Between these two impressive young players, Mainz might have the offensive leadership they need to land a top 10 finish without Tuchel at the helm. Do you think they have what it takes? Pick up a Mainz 05 jersey 2015 – 2016 at Soccer Box to root for the O-Fives, and then find us on social media to chat with other football fans about the happenings in the 2015 – 2016 Bundesliga. Soccer Box is active on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google +, as well as other popular networking platforms.