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VfL Wolfsburg were fifth in the league in the 2013-14 season and 11th in the Bundesliga the season before that. This year they got second although they finished well behind Bayern and couldn’t really be said to have ever looked like winning the title. Wolfsburg’s history in the top flight is mostly one of mid-table mediocrity. They were a lower division side that had grown out of a workers’ team from the local Volkswagen factory before gaining promotion to the top flight in 1997, their first few years in the Bundesliga had been characterised by mid-table finishes. From their first season in the top league 1997-98, their finishing positions were 14th, 6th, 7th, 9th, 10th, 8th, 10th, 9th, 15th, 15th, 15th, 5th. Then Felix Magath achieved the impossible, in the 2008-09 season he led the Wolves to the pinnacle of German football, beating Bayern Munich to the title by two points, a feat helped by having done the double over the Bavarians by an aggregate score of 9-3. Manchester City forward Edin Dzeko scored 26 goals during this season and he wasn’t even the clubs top scorer for the season, that honour going to the Brazilian Grafite.

The history of Wolfsburg since this incredible feat until this season has been similar to their history before it, they have finished, 8th, 15th, 8th , 11th and 5th, it has to be said, this is nothing special, especially since the Bundesliga only has 18 teams in the top flight. This season has been a great one for the team from Lower Saxony, especially at their home ground the Volkswagen Stadium, where they have gone the whole season unbeaten, drawing just four. The most famous of the 13 home wins was a 4-1 victory over champions Bayern, although victory in the German equivalent of the FA Cup next Saturday would probably trump that. Perhaps a good way of understanding this achievement would be to compare them with the team in the same position in the Premier League two years ago. This is like Norwich City (who finished 11th in 2012��"13), going on to get second in the Premier League this season and being in the final of the FA Cup. There have been a few memorable games for Wolfsburg but one stands out for me because it is something that I don’t think I have ever seen happen in professional football before. Wolfsburg won the game by a score of 5-4 with centre forward Bas Dost scoring a hat-trick. The remarkable thing about the game though apart from the scoreline was that Bayer Leverkusen forward Son Heung-min also scored a hat-trick in the game.

If you are in any doubt about which club has the biggest financial might in German football, perhaps the story of Borrussia Dortmund’s crisis in 2003 will convince you. The Dortmund side were in financial difficulties and couldn’t pay their wages. Bayern Münich loaned them €2M for a couple of months to help them out. It is against this backdrop that Dortmund rebuilt to become until this season at least, the main rival to Bayern. Since 2008 when he got the job, Jürgen Klopp has transformed the fortunes of Dortmund. They had finished 13th in the 2007-08 season and in his first season Klopp got “Die Schwarzgelben” (as they are known because of the black and yellow shirts) up to sixth in the league, he then went one better in 2009-10 finishing fifth. He was not finished yet though and he then went on to win the title two years in a row. Bayern fought back in the following two seasons, partly by buying some of the best players directly from Dortmund and partly by simply outspending them, but Dortmund stayed in the top two for those two seasons, reaching the Champion’s League final in 2013 where they were beaten 2-1 by Bayern at Wembley Stadium. Their seventh place finish this year then, must come as a bit of a surprise and I suspect that more information will become public over the reasons why Klopp has decided to leave the club over the coming weeks. One thing I think it is safe to say is that the job of succeeding Klopp will not be an easy one. Dor' width='80' height='52' alt='Bundesliga Review - The Top And The Bottom' title='Bundesliga Review - The Top And The Bottom'>

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What next for Newcastle United

by Micko70 on 25 May at 22:12

Now that the final games of the Premier League season have finished and we know that Newcastle United will be playing their football next season in The Premiership after beating West Ham 2-0 in their final game of the season What do they need to do next to get themselves back to where they belong, the top 10 of the Premiership and pushing for European Places. They have the fan base and have the revenue to be challenging for at least a decent Cup run every single season Their record in the 2014/2015 was nothing short of embarrassing after Alan Pardew left, although it was never great at any one point during the season, they played 38 games and won 10, drew 9 & lost 19, they scored 40 goals and conceded 63 goals. This season was the first time in the Premiership that..

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