2. Bundesliga 2019/20 finish
DSC Arminia Bielefeld are back in the Bundesliga for the first time since 2009. It has been a turbulent period since their last taste of top-flight football, with financial trouble and even spells in 3. Liga in the last decade. This makes it all the more impressive that coach Uwe Neuhaus has managed to lead the side back to the Bundesliga in his first full season in charge.
Arminia had been tipped as potential dark horses for promotion but were not considered among the favourites for the 2. Bundesliga title, so to finish up as runaway leaders ahead of the likes of Stuttgart and Hamburg will have been greatly satisfying for the supporters.
It’s just a shame that they were unable to attend the stadium and witness their beloved side secure the title. As the ghost games seem set to continue for at least the early part of this coming season, home and away fans will have to wait before they can once again witness Bundesliga football in the historic Bielefelder Alm.
Likely starting XI
Fabian Klos – Forward
Bielefeld’s promotion was as much a victory for captain Fabian Klos as it was for the club, as the 32-year-old finally has the opportunity to test himself in the Bundesliga. The captain of the side has been at Arminia since 2011, and after sticking with the club during darker times in 3. Liga, this feels well-earned.
Klos is not only a talismanic figure for the club, but also makes a great contribution on pitch as he expertly leads the line. With 21 goals and 10 assists, he finished as top scorer of the 2. Bundesliga last season. It will be challenging to continue this form in the top division, but Arminia Bielefeld will be relying on him to do so as they heavily rely on Klos as a source of goals.
Signing to watch
Sergio Cόrdova – Forward
Sergio Cόrdova has been signed on loan from Augsburg and should ease some of the goalscoring burden on Fabian Klos. He also provides much-lacking Bundesliga experience to the Arminia Bielefeld squad. With limited game time at his parent club and only seven goals in 62 matches from his Bundesliga career so far, the Venezuelan has much to prove.
Despite fighting for his place alongside fellow attackers Klos, Soukou and Voglsammer, Cόrdova should be given the nod with that important Bundesliga knowhow. The increased playing time that he will have as part of a promoted team should serve Sergio Cόrdova well as he attempts to establish himself as a Bundesliga-level striker.
A strong spine & team spirit
With the most goals scored and fewest conceded in the 2. Bundesliga in 2019/20, die Arminen have strengths in abundance. Boasting a strong spine with the centre-back pairing of Nilsson and Pieper, Prietl in midfield and Klos leading the attack, Bielefeld have strong players in key areas of the pitch and play an attractive passing style. Neuhaus will just have to hope that this translates as well in the top-flight as it did in the second division.
Lack of Bundesliga experience
With the strong defensive record coupled with the multiple goals scored during DSC’s promotion season, there are no obvious flaws in the side. The most significant problem appears to be a great lack of previous Bundesliga experience. Only loan signing Sergio Cόrdova, backup striker Sven Schipplock and midfielder Marcel Hartel have played in Germany’s top division before.
Budgetary constraints prevent the club from making significant purchases, so Uwe Neuhaus will have to make do with largely the same squad that achieved promotion.
Arminia Bielefeld will be favourites for relegation next season but as last season showed, the side possess a great team spirit which aims to prove the doubters wrong. Their championship winning performance last season was as dominant as any seen in the 2. Bundesliga in recent seasons and they were certainly more convincing than fellow promoted side VfB Stuttgart.
Arminia will be looking to emulate Union Berlin’s impressive showing last season and they may thrive in the absence of high expectations. Survival is a realistic aim, and the club will be no pushovers. Unfortunately, however, Bielefeld’s small transfer budget and subsequent inability to add top-flight experience may cost them.
By Colin Moore.