Mainz 05: The Preview
The Bundesliga season is just a matter of days away, so it’s time to preview every side ahead of another exciting campaign.
Today… Mainz 05
The Story of Last Season:
It’s hard to describe Mainz 05’s season last year.
At times they were thrilling, such as in the opening day victory over Leipzig and the subsequent home form, and at other moments it was disastrous, like the 5:0 loss in Wolfsburg and the general away performances.
That the ultimate finish of 8th place, and 46 points doesn’t set off a carnival atmosphere at the MEWA-Arena should nevertheless not take away from the fantastic work manager Bo Svensson has done in less than a year and a half in the job.
After taking over the club second bottom of the table with just 6 points in 14 matches, Svensson not only steered them to improbable safety, but returned Mainz to mid-table stability and a temporary flirt with Europe.
After notable offseason departures, and a significant late-season drop Die 05er may not return to the upper reaches of the table next season, but Svensson clearly is the right man for the job and the latest in a esteemed line of managers who have graced the Mainz 05 dugout.
The Star Player:
Silvan Widmer would have been the signing of the summer last season, and within 12 months the 31-time Swiss international has moved into ‘ the star player’ category. Widmer, who joined from FC Basel for €2.5m, is the embodiment of Svensson’s high-calibre football. The 29-year old made the most intensive runs, second most sprints, and covered the eighth most distance in the entire Bundesliga last season.
In a roster where not a single player is over 30 years old, Widmer will likely play a massive role next season as a vocal leader and experienced veteran.
The U23 One to Watch:
Anton Stach is our U23 one to watch, but the former Greuther Fürth midfielder could have just as easily fallen into the “most improved” category had we made one.
After joining Svensson’s side as a talented, albeit unremarkable, second-tier midfielder, in a matter of months Stach developed into a stand-out in the Mainz 05 side. With his tall frame, aerial dominance, and impressive final third output (1 goal & 6 assists), Stach even earned a senior call up to Hansi Flick’s German national team where he made his debut in late March.
A spot in the World Cup roster may still be beyond reach, but it’s a testament to the stellar work being done under Svensson that Die 05er have another German international within their ranks just a year after Ridle Baku departed.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to The German Football Weekly to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.