SC Freiburg 2025/26 Season Preview and Review
It was a tough summer, enlightened by Basel deciding to pay me £2.5m for Urs Scholz. Why they thought he was worth that much I've no idea, but hindsight allows me to say that that deal probably saved us from administration later on in the season.
No-one overly exciting came in, as we paid out a total of £430k on four players. Pawel Sikorski (free), Boubacar Keita (£83k), Oliver Klauss (loan) and Angelo Rinaldi (£350k) joined the club, mainly to offer depth.
Our start to the season was pretty good, despite the continual tactical tweaking. Whatever we use seems to work for two or three games and then falls off a cliff into oblivion. Still, we were definitely scoring more goals that usual and I actually could have done without the winter break this year.
We just never got going after Christmas, and a run of five defeats on the spin effectively killed any hope we had of achieving promotion this year. We were in the hunt going into the winter break as well, being just three points off top spot in 6th.
We finally settled on a 4-2-3-1 formation, which seems to get the best out of Fuad Aliyev, but only winning one of our last six home games really wasn't good enough and needs to be fixed as soon as.
Having been predicted ninth, I'm fairly happy with seventh. It's a really tough league at the moment, where anyone can beat anyone.
It's dire. And I mean really fucking dire.
And that's after nearly £10m in prize money for our league finish. I've been trying to power through and just hope for the best, but the newly elected chairman is far less willing to inject money into the account, so I'm going to have to be more proactive about it.
The higher earners are going to have to leave and be replaced by cheaper alternatives, probably from the youth team. I'm also thinking about cutting back on the youth recruitment and youth coaching budget, but that's a last resort at the moment.
The board reduced my wage budget from £230k per week to £190k before finally deciding to offer me a new contract and up it again. If I can reduce it to around £200k per week, I'll be happier. We have one or two sellable assets that are worth circa £3m each and realistically, they will be first out the door. It's not ideal, but the board seem to be putting little pressure on us to go up - and seem happy with a top half finish each season - so I have to think about the bigger picture. There are three years left on the loan and that will save me £6m per year. Maybe then we can think about the Bundesliga? What I don't want is administration, and losing 10 points. We're restricted enough as it is.
Normally I agree with the fans, but I think they are broken this season. Filipiak did well in terms of average rating, but his one goal and six assists were way down on where I expect them to be.
Steve Degner isn't someone that has stood out over the past few years, and readers of this thread may not have heard of him, but he put in some solid performances this season and deserves recognition. Not an out-and-out winger by any means, and not always first choice, but his six assists was a squad high.
For me, Fuad Aliyev was player of the season. I don't remember the last time I had a striker hit double figures, such has been my issues with scoring goals, so for him to get 19 was impressive.
This year's youth intake was decent, with Musa Aliyev (no relation to Fuad) and Jens Wellenreuther being the pick of the bunch. We have three five star players in the squad now and I imagine two of those will get game-time next season given the change in direction the squad needs to take.