Season’s end

1. FSV Mainz 05: Season’s end – Recap of match #34 and team news

Mainz will play in Europe League next season after victory against Hamburg

Coach Tuchel resigns surprisingly, Danish Kasper Hjulmand his successor

Football is coming home – The playful side of ORGENTEC
Just as we steadily score against autoimmune diseases in the field of research, we also enjoy celebrating the goals of our local team, Mainz 05, on the football field – and sharing the lighter side of life with our friends and customers.

34th Bundesliga game: 3-2 home win against Hamburger SV, final position: 7th in the league (53 points):

1. FSV Mainz 05 – Hamburger SV 3-2 (1-1)

1-0 Soto (7′), 1-1 Lasogga (12′), 2-1 Malli (65′), 3-1 Okazaki (82′), 3-2 Ilicevic (84′)

Starting lineup for Mainz:

Karius – Pospech, Bell, Noveski, Diaz – Moritz, Geis, Malli (90′ Bungert), Soto (82′ Baumgartlinger) – Okazaki, Koo (82′ N. Müller).

Team Manager: Thomas Tuchel

Referee: Thorsten Kinhöfer (Herne)

Attendance: 34,000 (sold out)
Driven by the hopes of both their fans, HSV and Mainz fought an intense battle over both their futures, respectively. Mainz wanted to secure their Europe League spot and HSV wanted to avoid direct relegation.

Luckily for both, these aims were both achieved when Mainz booked a ticket for their Europe League qualifiers next season by finishing in 7th place with 53 points. HSV avoided direct relegation, since their direct rivals also lost their games as well, but will have to play Greuther Fürth in the relegation playoffs.

With an early goal by Elkin Soto, Mainz went in front already in the 6th minute, when he benefitted from an error by former national player Heiko Westermann directly in front of his own goalkeeper, René Adler.
Lasogga from Hamburg, however, reacted quickly with the equalizer in the 12th minute, converting a ball that had bounced back from Mainz’s goal keeper Loris Karius.

Hamburg that really seemed to be motivated to avoid their 6th loss in 7 games, were pushed by Lasogga and Dutch national Rafael van der Vaart and had several good chances in the first half. Mainz was not able to find a catch to avoid falling behind. Luckily, they did not fall back, thanks to their goal keeper Karius.

In the second half it was Mainz getting stronger and scoring goals by Malli and by the sensational Okazaki – scoring his 15th goal for Mainz.

Hamburg had a goal directly afterward but it should have been disallowed because of hand play. Also, Mainz did not get awarded a foul play in Hamburg’s box. In the end, Mainz was the deserved winner of this match.

In the meantime, relegation playoff already started. Hamburg could not have more than a mere draw at home (0-0) and have to fear a loss in the deciding game at Greuther Fürth. It would be the end of the oldest 1st Bundesliga membership.

Quotes about the game:

Thomas Tuchel: “I saw a lot of nerves out there today. The early goal didn’t help us all that much. HSV had a very good first half; they defended aggressively. We misplaced a lot of passes and we just weren’t winning the second ball. We had to be very alert at the back and ended up making too many fouls. I’m delighted that the team were able to remain calm. Then we wanted to play a little better, be more accurate with our passing and decide the game – we managed to do that in the end. Augsburg had the easier scenario because we had something to lose. That makes me even more proud that we pulled through, that we remained tenacious and that we really got into the game. That makes it a sensational win and a brilliant end to the season. Now I’m looking forward to celebrations fit for the Europa League!”

Mirko Slomka (Hamburger SV manager): “We had 20 shots away from home! We performed very well in the first half. We failed to reward ourselves for the effort we put in though yet again. We practically set up a goal for Mainz. But the team didn‘t let their heads drop and kept on playing. We lost our commitment a little after the substitutes passed on the news of the clear results at the other grounds. Our aim was to get to these two finals to achieve Bundesliga survival and that’s we’ve done.”
Thomas Tuchel leaving Mainz 05:

Overshadowed by rumors about the earlier departure of Coach Thomas Tuchel – who is well regarded throughout the league as its most wanted coaching talent, thanks to his successes with low-budget Mainz 05 – Mainz fans could not really be happy about their team’s success.
Tuchel actually still is under contract until 2015 but had asked manager Christian Heidel earlier this year for an early exit – and repeated his wish only weeks before. This information went into public only hours before the game against HSV.

His written statement in next day’s press conference pointed to possible other challenges, meaning that Tuchel might want to coach one of the financially better equipped teams that play for Champions League spots. But also he insisted on Mainz being already “finished” and that he could not help the team any further.
Christian Heidel on the other hand emphasized that he would not let Tuchel cancel his contract and that other clubs would have to pay a transfer fee to Mainz 05, in case they wanted Tuchel before 2015 on the sideline.

Without that case not being officially settled, Mainz reacted already with the signing of Danish coach Kasper Hjulmand who will come to a press conference on Monday. He is said to be similarily talented as Tuchel and has a good record of helping young player developing their skills – perfectly matching to the Mainz 05 system. Former coach Jürgen Klopp from Borussia Dortmund commented on that move: “If this is really true, you can call Christian Heidel (the financial manager) the greatest coaching talent scout in the league.” Klopp had already talked to Hjulmand before and they both seem to have a similar tactical approach.  Hjulmand also already played Champions League with his Danish team.

Christian Heidel:”It’s a difficult situation for Mainz 05 as we weren’t prepared for this. Our plan has always been orientated towards 2015. We were prepared for this time. We are willing and ready to find a solution somewhere. We’re not ready though to dissolve his contract. We stick to contracts here at Mainz 05,” Heidel emphasised at the press conference. “I can’t talk about how it looks from the legal side of things. We want to consider carefully and find a way to always look each other in the eye. No one will has anything bad to say about Thomas Tuchel as far I’m concerned as I hold in him high regard as an exceptional manager and an exceptional person.”

Next season’s roster might see some already known players that were not willing to play under Tuchel anymore: Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting, their second top attacker, already announced that he is willing to talk to Heidel again for a contract extension,  now that Tuchel had left Mainz.

Christian Wetklo, their former goal keeper, might also stay in Mainz as a backup goal keeper – while Croatian national Dario Kresic might leave the club again.

Biggest loss to the Zerofivers: the departure of Zedenek Pospech, their best defender of the season. Pospech wants to return to his family in Czech Republic.

Wishing you well until our next football newsletter,
The ORGENTEC Diagnostika Team