Augsburg Season Review: Survival at All Costs

Augsburg Season Review
AUGSBURG, GERMANY - MAY 11: Michael Gregoritsch of FC Augsburg celebrates after scoring his team's second goal with team mates during the Bundesliga match between FC Augsburg and Hertha BSC at WWK-Arena on May 11, 2019 in Augsburg, Germany. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)

In this Augsburg season review, we will be taking a closer look Die Fuggerstädter. Avoiding relegation once again, Augsburg’s season has been filled with drama. A managerial change, key players moving on and a relegation battle, it’s time to take an in-depth look at how the clubs season panned out.

Augsburg Season Review: Survival at all Costs

Dysfunction

A season which saw the team start well, Augsburg’s campaign went downhill quickly. The club’s struggles on the pitch led to a series of questionable decisions. Team regulars Martin Hinteregger and Brazilian forward Caiuby were both loaned out during the winter window.

Falling out with manager Manuel Baum, Hinteregger left the club on bad terms, with the big Austrian fined by the club on his way out the door. Missing training during the winter break, Caiuby was placed on gardening leave, before being loaned to Swiss club Grasshopper. Both players are expected to leave this summer. This was the beginning of the end for Baum, as the German had lost the dressing room.

The clubs next move would make life even harder for Baum. Former Arsenal and Germany goalkeeper Jens Lehmann was brought in as the clubs new assistant manager. This move only made things worse, with Baum feeling more pressure than ever and the teams form wasn’t improving.

Winning just six games all season, Baum was fired, along with Lehmann and technical director Stephan Schwarz. In the midst of a relegation battle, Augsburg needed points and they needed them fast. Amongst all of the dysfunction and confusion, the club appointed the man known as the mechanic, Martin Schmidt.

Late Season Progress

Appointed before matchday 29, Schmidt had just six games to change Augsburg’s season. The club needed Schmidt to do one thing, win games. Delivering big results in the latter stages of the season, the former Mainz manager picked up two wins and one draw in his first five games in charge.

Enough to keep Augsburg up, Schmidt will be tasked with improving the team next season, as the club looks to avoid another relegation battle. As the season reaches its conclusion, Augsburg has made significant progress under Schmidt.

Picking up seven points in five games, Augsburg has ended the season on a high note. Surviving for yet another year, the club has not only moved up the table under their new manager, but they’ve also improved on the pitch. Scoring 13 goals in five games, Schmidt has simplified the system and the team has benefitted.

Struggling defensively under Baum, Augsburg conceded 54 goals before Schmidt took charge. Since taking over as manager, the team has only conceded more than one goal in a game just twice, as the team continues to show signs of improvement at both ends.

In Need of a Good Summer

The 2017-18 Bundesliga season saw Augsburg finish 12th. This is ideal for a club their size, with mid-table stability the goal pretty much every season. Limited financially, the club must make sure they recruit well this time around.

An underwhelming summer could see the team fall into another relegation battle next season. The likes of Reece Oxford and Gregor Kobel will both return to their clubs. Augsburg would do well to bring both players back this summer.

A good summer is one thing, but Augsburg must begin to build around a new group of players. Captain Daniel Baier is will turn 35 in a few days, attacking midfielder Michael Gregoritsch has struggled all season and Icelandic star Alfreð Finnbogason continues to deal with injuries on a weekly basis. Building for the future will be a slow and gradual process, but the sooner that process begins, the better off Augsburg will be.

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