There's no reason to beat around the bush when discussing the 2013-14 Freiburg side. They simply aren't as good as they were last year. Of course, with all of the player turnover in the summer, they're really not the same team that they were last year.
What Went Right
Baumann is one of the best goalkeepers in the Bundesliga and is a key reason why Freiburg aren't sitting at the bottom of the table as we speak. It'll be important for him to keep up his current form, or Freiburg will surely be relegated. Unfortunately for the club, Baumann's been so good that the chances of him being sold in the summer are very good. He's caught the eye of some of the bigger clubs and is a target of several.
Getting knocked out of the Europa League
It's a strange concept to think that it was a positive for any team to be knocked out a cup competition, but Freiburg are now out of the DFB Pokal and Europa League and can solely focus on survival in the Bundesliga. The squad was stretched too thin in those competitions, so hopefully they'll be able to gather themselves and find some of that strength from last season.
What Went Wrong
Couldn't replace all of the players that left
Here's a quick look at all of the important players that left Freiburg in the summer:
- Cedric Makiadi
- Jan Rosenthal
- Johannes Flum
- Max Kruse
- Daniel Caligiuri
Sorry to all the players that joined in the summer, but they're not as good as the ones that left. Max Kruse's goals have been the hardest to replace, and I'm not sure that they're going to figure out a way to do that in 2013-14. They'll be hoping that they can survive this season to find "him" next summer.
Qualifying for the Europa League
Freiburg just missed out on the Champions League last season, but they received an automatic bid into the Europa League. There's no questioning that Freiburg struggled with the balancing act of league play and cup play. They had to wait until Matchday 11 for their first win of the season and struggled to pick up points the entire Hinründe. Last season, Christian Streich's side finished with 51 points. This year, they're on pace for 28 points.
Second Half Outlook
It's going to be very tough for Freiburg to get out of the mess that they've gotten themselves into at this point. Perhaps being knocked out of the Europa League will be a positive for the club, and they can focus on surviving for another year in the Bundesliga.