On a dramatic final day, Werder Bremen limped around against Borussia Monchengladbach, eventually succumbing to relegation at the hands of Friedhelm Funkel’s FC Köln. After sacking Florian Kohfeldt with one game to go earlier this week, Werder Bremen never stood a chance against Marco Rose’s men. They looked fearful, afraid to make mistakes, and afraid to thrust their muscles and go on the attack. It was a desperate, disastrous final day for Die Werderaner, losing by a score-line of 4-2 and only getting going in the 80th minute after several substitutions. Two late consolation goals from Milot Rashica and Niclas Fullkrug couldn’t save Bremen from the drop, thanks in large part to their woeful defending throughout the match. And not just that, but their woeful defending the past few months.
Werder Bremen lost their last eight matches in all competitions, a run that extends to eleven matches if you take away a narrow 1-0 win over 2. Bundesliga side Jahn Regensburg in the DFB Pokal. After losing to Mainz at the end of April, the Bremen board met to discuss the fate of Florian Kohfeldt and ultimately decided he would stay on board. But his sacking became inevitable as the club continued to lose and slide further and further down the table. Their 2-0 loss to ten-men Augsburg last week proved to be the nail in the coffin for Kohfeldt, with the team taking the gamble of sacking the German with a game to go. The backroom staff replaced Kohfeldt with Thomas Schaaf, who was last in a job in 2016. The gamble did not pay off by any stretch of the imagination, and Werder Bremen suffered relegation for only the second time in their history.
With many quality players still at the club, Werder Bremen will now be hoping to keep hold of as many players as possible. If they want any chance of coming back up to the Bundesliga, they need to do everything in their power to recruit well, and keep the likes of Rashica, Sargent, Eggestein and Augustinsson at the club. Be sure to stay tuned for our full tactical analysis of what went wrong for Florian Kohfeldt’s team, to be released in a few days.