Football

Werder Bremen are a changed team under Viktor Skrypnyk

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No team in the history of the modern Bundesliga has ever been rock bottom at one point of the season, only to then finish in the top three.

There is suitable evidence to back this statistic up, and it doesn’t take a clairvoyant to point out that teams lingering in the relegation zone are only in this treacherous position because they are simply not winning enough games.

Whether this be because a certain team have been promoted to a league where they are unable to compete to a required level, or more concerning problems relating to the toxic make-up of the club and the dire relationship between members of the first team and the management.

Indeed, you could say that Werder Bremen, a club who have graced the Bundesliga for the past 34 years were, and still are to a certain extent the epitome of all these problems mentioned above.

Although former manager Robin Dutt had ensured that the River Islanders lived for another day when he guided an out of sorts Bremen side out of the relegation zone to a comfortable 12th place finish, the club were still in deep trouble.

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Winds of change 

Up to 18 players left during the summer, including bad-boy Marko Arnautovic who decided that he had terrorised the city of Bremen enough to jump ship to join Stoke City.

However, Bremen who last tasted Champions League football over five years ago, have been unable to generate the same funds as some of the other big German clubs and only spent £3 million on new arrivals, a sum which constitutes to them as breaking the bank.

Although, a lack of incomes to replace those recently departed was not the main reason why Bremen started the 2014/15 campaign in such a horrendous manner with the club firmly rooted to the bottom of the table without a single win going into November.

Troubled times

Even to someone who had never watched a single game of football in their life, it was obvious to see from the expressions on those players wearing the iconic light green jerseys as they trudged off following a 1-0 defeat at home to FC Cologne on match day nine that all they craved was support.

Dutt was simply not putting enough faith in his team, and his lack of motivating skills and questionable tactics went against him when he was given his marching orders just minutes after the final whistle blew.

The four times Bundesliga winners were in meltdown, with bookies taking more money than they could handle with punters betting large sums of money regarding the club's imminent relegation after President Klaus-Dieter Fischer insisted that it would take the world’s best to sort out this mess.

Indeed, all those seasoned gamblers who took the easy decision to bet over 500 euros to the disadvantage of Bremen must have had to but their loved one something grand on Valentine’s day as an apology for wasting money on something which is now a lost cause.

We are all better now 

It is crazy to imagine how far the River Islanders have come in a space of just over three months, with yesterday’s thrilling 3-2 victory over high-flying Augsburg now their fifth in a row, an inconceivable feat considering that they had to wait till November to record their first win.

In their last five league wins these players who only a few months ago were considered to be inadequate to deal with the demands of the German first division have played with excitement, determination, and overwhelming aggression.

The Lime Greens are the current flavour of 2015, and fully deserve all the praise and headlines, not to mention sitting comfortably in eighth place.

Fischer is now reaping the rewards and his club are just three points adrift of a qualification spot for the Europa League and seven off a top three finish.

Unlike several men in his position who are powered by greed and a lack of patience, instead of placing the club into further debt by spending a huge sum of money in acquiring a proven manager, he listened to the fans when they said that they wanted their fate to be decided by one of their own.

King Skrypnyk

The man of choice and the individual responsible for turning these stray whimpering cats into a pack of proud lions, beating their chest and the clubs logo whenever they score a goal? A man who is just as much Bremen as Bremen is flat. Viktor Skrypnyk.

Skrypnyk who featured 164 times as a player for Werder in all competitions between 1996-2004 was a questionable choice despite knowing the club back to front, but he has made up for his lack of experience by getting the best out of what the club have. Raw quality.

The Ukrainian who up until his appointment as manager worked with the second team, has been responsible for removing all the negativity out of the club, including bad-seed Eljero Elia who was shipped off on-loan to Southampton after going against his orders.

Everyone else has followed suit and there is now not a single ounce of negativity in the whole squad, with their eyes firmly set on reaching the long lost land of European football.

Lofty ambitions

The 45-year-old is also building the foundations for the future with young talent and striker Davie Selke being drafted into the first team at the tender age of 20 to spear head Bremen’s attack with dangerous effect.

Although there is a growing danger that this success is only due to the so called “honeymoon period” when a new manager takes over, there is no chance that this team will revert back to their old ways. After all his team is the thing, and Skrypnyk is the king

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Topics:
Germany Football
Football
Bundesliga

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