Bundesliga

Young Stuttgart shock German elite - Bundesliga in 2006/07

 
12:00pm on Saturday 4th April 2020
By
Martin Macdonald

Stuttgart started the season as the youngest squad in the league, but ended as champions under the guidance of Armin Veh, who had replaced Giovanni Trapattoni during the previous campaign.

Having won back-to-back doubles at Bayern Munich, Felix Magath found his third season more challenging, and was sacked at the end of January to be succeeded by the man he replaced three years earlier: Ottmar Hitzfeld. Bayern ended up finishing fourth, their worst position since 1994.

Borussia Monchengladbach had a terrible season, finishing 11 points from safety, while Alemannia Aachen and Jurgen Klopp’s Mainz also went down.

CHANGES

Jupp Heynckes was appointed head coach of Borussia Monchengladbach before the start of the 2006-07 season, but was sacked by January as the Fohlenelf struggled. Dutchman Jos Luhukay came in to replace him, but could not save the side from relegation.

Bayern Munich coach Felix Magath spent big to acquire Cologne forward Lukas Podolski, but the youngster did not live up to his €10 million billing, scoring just four goals in his maiden season in Munich. A combined €14m was spent on Daniel van Buyten and Marc van Bommel, with both players in their late 20s, and Magath hoping to add experience. However, inconsistent performances in the league and a third round exit from the cup meant Magath did not last the season, and was replaced by Hitzfeld.

Werder Bremen invested well, signing Portuguese midfielder Diego for €6m and Hannover defender Per Mertesacker for €4.7m as Nelson Valdes left for Borussia Dortmund for a fee of €4.7m.

Hamburg’s big signing was Belgian defender Vincent Kompany, who arrived for €10.5m from Anderlecht and replaced Khalid Boulharouz who was sold to Chelsea for €13.2m. Striker Ivica Olic also arrived in the Bundesliga, moving from CSKA Moscow.

Sebastian Diessling moved from Nurnberg to Bayer Leverkusen due to the exit of Dimitar Berbatov, with the Bulgarian joining Tottenham for €15.7m after six seasons in the Bundesliga.

Spurs’ London rivals Arsenal looked to the German top flight as well, adding Tomas Rosicky from Borussia Dortmund, with BVB spending some of the €10m on forwards Alex Frei and Nelson Valdez.

SUMMARY

Bayern Munich’s poor season saw them lose three of their first eight league games, and thus allowed someone else to rise up and take the crown of German champions. Stuttgart seemed unlikely to fill this void, having the youngest side in the division and opened their campaign with two defeats. However, an excellent end to the season produced eight successive wins, moving ahead of Schalke with two games to go to clinch the league title by two points.

Werder Bremen finished two points further behind, but had wowed fans with their attractive attacking football, thanks in part to the signing of Diego, who finished the season with nine goals.

Bundesliga Player of the Year, Mario Gomez

Munich finished fourth, missing out on the Champions League, and were joined in the UEFA Cup spots by Bayer Leverkusen and Nurnberg.

Newcomers Bochum performed above all expectations, finishing eighth, but Borussia Monchengladbach went in the opposite direction. Having finished 10th in 2005-06, they massively regressed and spent the last 13 weeks of the season at the bottom of the table.

Alemannia Aachen looked set to stay up, having gained 33 points by matchday 26, but could only pick up one point in their remaining eight games and finished second last. Jurgen Klopp’s Mainz joined Aachen and Gladbach in the bottom three, finishing three points behind Wolfsburg with the second-lowest goals scored tally of any team in the Bundesliga.

PLAYER OF THE SEASON

MARIO GOMEZ

The 21-year-old had shown his talents in previous seasons, but properly burst onto the scene as Stuttgart won the title. He scored 14 goals and assisted seven more and earned his first international call-up.

MANAGER OF THE SEASON

ARMIN VEH

The ex-midfielder had been on the management merry-go-round since 1990, coaching five clubs before moving to Stuttgart. He took over at the end of the 2005-06 season and celebrated a title win just over a year later.

TOP GOALSCORER

THEOFANIS GEKAS - 20 GOALS

To assist their first season back in the top flight, Bochum loaned Greek striker Gekas from Panathanaikos, who scored almost half of the team’s goals (20 of 49) to help them finish in the top half.

TEAM OF THE SEASON

HILDEBRAND; FRITZ, NALDO, DELPIERE, MAGNIN; SCHNEIDER, FRINGS, DIEGO, HITZLSPERGER; GEKAS, KURANYI

MOST EXPENSIVE TRANSFER

Vincent Kompany

Anderlecht to HAMBURG

€10m

KEY MOMENT OF THE SEASON

Despite having their captain suspended after picking up too many yellow cards during the season, Armin Veh’s Stuttgart were able to emerge victorious from a five-goal thriller at Bochum on the second last day of the season. The 3-2 victory moved them ahead of Schalke in the table, meaning that a win over Energie Cottbus in the final game was enough to seal the title.

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