Way back in the mists of time, there existed a book that described how you could have travelled throughout the European continent for the princely sum of $5 a day. Budget friendly thrills.
Having conquered England with Norwich, I took my £1m buying philosophy to the home of bratwurst, the 1516 Purity Law and Hachez chocolate. With colossal juggernault FC Bayern Munich dominating and, in these times, a once-proud team were struggling at the foot of the league…
There seemed to be only one team to pick. SV Werder Bremen
August saw us kick the season off with a bang as we monstered Borussia Monchengladbach 5-0. However, for the second season in a row, FC 1.Mainz 05 knocked us off early on in the campaign, beating us 1-0 in the very next game. We bounced back the very next game, recording a famous late 3-2 win over FC Bayern Munchen.
September saw us lose 1-2 against Hertha Berlin to start the month, but recovered with a 3-0 win over newly-promoted FC Ingolstadt 04, then triumph 2-1 away to perennial European qualifiers Schalke 04.
October was an unbeaten month, a good 3-0 win over 1.FC Koln looked like we’d got back on track, however it was followed by an 1-1 draw against struggling FC Augsburg. Another 3-0 win saw us put away SC Freiburg before ending the month on a draw, matching TSG Hoffenheim 1899 0-0.
That Hoffenheim result was the start of an awful downward spiral as between November 2026 and the end of February 2027, we took just 14 points out of 45. Wins against VfB Stuttgart (2-1), 1.FC Mainz 05 (3-0) and Hertha Berlin (1-0) couldn’t stop the absolute rot in the league.
March was a brighter month with a good start as we beat FC Augsburg 3-0 which set the scene nicely. A stumble against SC Freiburg saw us lose 0-1. However, we then rebounded to thrash TSG Hoffenheim 1899 4-0 to end the month on an upbeat note.
April was, glory of glories, a perfect month! Fortuna Dusseldorf (2-1) and Rassenballsport Leipzig (3-1) were quickly swept by the wayside. We then recorded our only league double, 1-0 at home to VfB Stuttgart after beating them 2-1 away. Finally, in the midst of six first XI players being unavailable, we thrashed VfL Wolfsburg 6-0, to give us a real shot at European qualification after rocketing up the table.
May saw our unbeaten streak end with a 2-4 loss to Borussia Dortmund to begin the month. We then beat Bayer 04 Leverkusen 4-0 to put a Europa League spot in the bag. Finally, a makeshift side, consisting of as many youth players as possible lost 0-2 to Hamburger SV in the Nord Derby. This meant that our rivals had done the double over us this season. This meant that we finished my third 1.Bundesliga season in 5th place, a place better than before, snatching a UEFA Europa League spot.
Our DFB-Pokal exploits this season would carry a special significance this season as we were the holders. We kicked off the campaign with an extremely poor 1-0 win over Regionalliga Bayern side VfR Garching. We then struggled to knock off last season’s First Round opponents Eintracht Braunschweig 2-1 in the Second Round, putting them away in the 87th minute, thanks to a goal from young striker Darko Ivkovic. Our Third Round opponents were fellow 1.Bundesliga side SC Freiburg and we ran riot, scoring seven in a 7-2 win, including the fan-voted Goal of the Season. Sadly, we ran into a brick wall in the Quarter Final, losing 0-4 to a VfB Stuttgart side we had dominated in the league.
Back again in the Group Stage of the UEFA Europa League. In our group, Group H, we faced Sporting Clube de Portugal, Standard Liege and FK Partizan Belgrade and only came unstuck against Sporting, losing 0-3 in Portugal. We also drew 1-1 in Belgium against Standard after having young midfielder Kevin Finkler sent off after 5 mins. This qualified us in second place and gave us a First Knockout Round tie against AFC Ajax Amsterdam. We were heading for defeat away in the Netherlands, before Oktay Yalcin popped up to fire home in added time to give us a 1-1 draw and an away goal. Three goals in four minutes at home saw us comfortably through 4-1 on the night and 5-2 on aggregate. We then faced OGC Nice in the Second Knockout Round where a brilliant 6-3 home win was followed by a 90th minute 2-3 loss in France, which gave us a 8-6 aggregate win and a Quarter Final berth. This pitched us against PSV Eindhoven and another draw away in the Netherlands, this time 2-2, but, at home we were heading through on away goals, before Benjamin Frobe popped up in the 93rd minute to give us a 2-1 win and put us through 4-3 on aggregate. This placed us in the Semi Finals, against a familar foe.. Rassenballsport Leipzig were to be our opponents and and absolute bedlam ensued in the home leg was we ran riot 6-1, with Hendrik Bohm scoring a hat-trick. The second leg was more sedate, but we still triumped 3-1, putting out our domestic rivals 9-2 on aggregate and putting us into the Final.
The Final, however, was to be against my first club, Norwich City. Too well I know what those players can do and it was going to be the toughest test so far this season! And we ended up battling away to win the UEFA Europa League, 3-1!
An infographic of our preferred XI is below
There was another lot of buys this season as I looked towards the future in snapping up a lot of youth talent. (TPG: Tackles per game; DPG: Dribbles per game; CON/90: Conceded goals per 90 mins)
Cameron Hope: Games: 37, Goals 13, Assists 9, TPG: 2.62, Pass%: 76%, DPG: 2.05, Avg Rating: 7.51: Midfielder Cameron was a marquee signing, both for me and the club. He dominated the middle of the pitch, becoming team captain and taking up Kroos’ mantle after he retired midway through the season. He’ll be central to any chances of our team winning a Bundesliga title.
Jens Richter: Games: 0, Goals —, Assists —, TPG: —, Pass%: –%, DPG: —, Avg Rating: —: Left winger Jens was signed again as a talented wide prospect. However, the left wing position is an extreme log jam and he’ll need loans and game time elsewhere before I can make a decision.
Benjamin Ziemann: Games: 4, Goals 0, Assists 0, TPG: 2.13, Pass%: 83%, DPG: 0.30, Avg Rating: 6.85: Centre back Benjamin was pressed into service during our injury crisis and did well enough to suggest that he could be a big cog in the defence going forward
Tobias Bottcher Games: 37, Conceded 39, Assists 0, CON/90: 1.05, Pass%: 86%, CS: 12, Avg Rating: 6.94: Goalkeeper Tobias not only came into the squad, he also usurped the first XI position from Luca Plogmann and was extremely solid all season. He’ll continue to be #1 at the club until a better prospect comes through
Josef Puschmann Games: 0, Goals —, Assists —, TPG: —, Pass%: –%, DPG: —, Avg Rating: —: Midfielder Josef was signed as part of my craze for signing young midfielders. He’ll either be money on the pitch or money in the bank for us.
Arda Gursel: Games: 24, Goals 10, Assists 2, TPG: 0.72, Pass%: 79%, DPG: 2.41, Avg Rating: 7.34: Wide striker Arda was known to both me, as an ex-Norwich signing and Werder as a loanee. However, I made my move as soon as he entered the last six months of his contract. Norwich wanted under a million to make the move early, so I took advantage.
Harald Kapp Games: 16, Goals 1, Assists 0, TPG: 3.77, Pass%: 88%, DPG: 0.64, Avg Rating: 7.10: Defensive midfielder Harald was another one signed early on a Bosman. With Abendorth whining about his treatment, I needed a solid player in and Kapp was coming to the end of his deal with Bayern, so I did the deal.
Signed Players Out
Luaninha > Holstein Kiel/RKC Waalwijk (loan)
Adil Aouchiche > US Boulogne Côte-d’Opale (loan)
Steven Negre > Fortuna Dusseldorf (loan)
Joe Byrne > Brentford (loan)
James Trafford > Wolverhampton Wanderers (loan)
Matthias Abendorth > Karlsruhe SC (sold for £2.5m) Matthias was signed in the Jan 2025 transfer window for £1m from Bayer 04 Leverkusen to anchor the midfield and played very well in his time at the club, making 54 appearances. Sadly, it all came apart as first he was sent off in an early season game and reacted badly to the fine. Then he was constantly training badly. When I spotted a replacement, I tried to offload him as soon as possible, 2.Bundesliga side Karlsruhe SC taking him off my hands for a £1.5m profit. In conclusion, he was a good signing for a while, but I luckily interrupted his slide by selling on : Signing Rating: 7
Daniel Vallente > Hertha Berlin (sold for £9m) Uruguayan Daniel was recommended to me by my scouts as a free transfer in October 2025 and he was a talented forward that seemed to develop excellently in the time he was at the club, however on deadline day in August 2026, he was subject to a huge bid from Hertha Berlin and my thoughts were that he wouldn’t realistically get as many starts as he needed to push on. So I sold him on with a 50% sell on. He played once for the first team, but made us a healthy profit, so he wasn’t terrible. Signing Rating: 5
We were better off this season, with Nicolas Allard out for a number of matches, worse being 5 weeks out with the sprained knee ligaments. Club captain Cameron Hope also spent a lot of time in the treatment room, being there for 6 weeks with a lower-back stress fracture. He was one of FOUR players with such an injury. I really need to sort my physios and fitness coaches out this off-season.