Welcome back folks, to the “hasn’t been daily recently because I was sick of writing about losing every match” update of #TheJenaJourney – my #FM15 challenge to establish former East German “giants” FC Carl Zeiss Jena as one of the Bundesliga elite. I am in season four, having been promoted three times in a row to Die Bundesliga.
As you may have picked up recently, I was becoming a little frustrated by my inability to get Jena performing in the top flight – in my last post we were bottom and hadn’t won in about twelve games. At that point I decided just to play the rest of the season and review it at the end – I believed firmly we were going down and I didn’t want to bore everyone with a story that was going to have an obvious outcome.
So I write now with the season having ended. And guess what?! Yeah, we got relegated. We ended up a massive eleven point from safety, as you can see below. There were a couple of highlights in the doomed campaign – we had a little spell where we only lost one in four games, beating Monchengladbach and Schalke and drawing with Leverkusen. In fact, Leverkusen failed to beat us in the two league games as we won the return game 1-0.
Player performance, well for a bunch of upper third/lower second tier players they did their best. Dereli ended up with 12 goals in 34 starts, YP got 8 in 17 starts once he got going. Basil Camara, Tino Schmidt and Martin Sustersic were our best regular starting performers, all with average ratings a shade under 7.0.
All in all though, it was obviously a failure of a campaign. I will head into the summer break and pre-season with excitement, however. This is my first ever relegation in FM, so I am looking forward to evolving the side slightly and getting us back into the top tier at the first attempt. A few long-term players may well be let go, some of our better youth talents will definitely be promoted and I have a couple of ideas on how to tweak our tactics to be more efficient.
There is no disgrace in Jena going down, for once the media and bookies were right. We have a stadium that holds under 16,000 people. Our entire squad earns less than £70k a week together – a fraction of the average wage per capita at Bayern Munich for example.
Fear not folks – #TheJenaJourney will return daily now and, presuming that I don’t get fired over the summer, I will be full of energy and picking us back up again.
Stay with me folks, stay with me – I need you more now than ever!