German Football 22/23 | Bayern vs Frankfurt, Fri 20:30 | Big Citico, Sat 15:30 | Dortmund vs Leverkusen, Sat 18:30

uamini

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People sleeping on Stuttgart going down I see
I think I heard too many people telling me how talented they were last season even though every time I watched them they were deeply flawed.
I do believe they're a bit stronger than the worst teams the league has to offer though.
 

do.ob

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Predictions for the season anyone? Assuming no major ins/out
Europe spots
Bayern
RBL
BVB
Neverkusen
BMG
Freiburg

relegation in no particular order, although wouldn’t surprise me if Bochum drops into here.
S04
Hertha
Werder
Bayern, Dortmund and Leipzig are always a very safe bet for top three. Leverkusen should quite comfortably finish top four on paper, too. But it's Leverkusen and I think they overperformed a bit last season, so there's probably some potential for disappointment.

I like Frankfurt's transfers, they should finish top 6 on paper and maybe challenge for top 4. On the other hand Kostic and N'Dicka may yet be sold, the CL will be a major distraction for them and they were a bit bad in the league last season.

Gladbach look pretty solid just looking at names, but it's the same players who didn't seem to care much for about 18 months now. Sommer, Bensebaini, Stindl, Kramer, Hofmann, Thuram, Plea on 2023 contracts - they will likely still have to sell some of them this summer. I think top 6 wouldn't be sensational, but it would be a surprise for them.


Wolfsburg have a pretty decent and very deep squad, Kovac should be a pretty good coaching appointment for them and they have no European obligations. Losing Schlager is big, but Vranckx looks very promising and this Svanberg guy they signed is apparently also quite good.

I'd bet on
Bayern
Leipzig
Dortmund
Elverkusen

Frankfurt
Wolfsburg

but with little confidence in 5th and 6th place.

relegation:
Hertha
Werder
Schalke

I think on paper Schalke are the number one relegation candidate: their football is trash, Terodde got them promoted and he's old and never could do it in the first division. Their answer to that was signing Sebastian Polter. Their coach is also painfully uninspiring. I think they will have to hope to find a lot of 1-0 wins and create some momentum for a purple patch with the help of their fans.

Bremen are newly promoted and their squad doesn't look like much. No reason I can see for them to be particular hopeful.

Hertha is Hertha.

But in general things are always hugely unpredictable, Augsburg haven't been great for a while and they went with a risky coaching appointment, Stuttgart were already in trouble last season and could still lose Sosa and Kalajdzic, Bochum did well for themselves last season but should find it harder this time around.
 

hellhunter

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There's always a chance he won't respond well to the step down from Karlsruhe to Bochum.
True, every chance it was the quality of his teammates that made him shine.

Kidding aside, pretty happy for him that he's finally getting a chance in the Bundesliga, bit don't see him doing too well. He's a bit too one dimensional for the big guns
 

do.ob

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True, every chance it was the quality of his teammates that made him shine.

Kidding aside, pretty happy for him that he's finally getting a chance in the Bundesliga, bit don't see him doing too well. He's a bit too one dimensional for the big guns

I mean Bochum extracted 10 goals from Sebastian Polter last season, so I wouldn't write him off too early. :lol:
He's not trying to get into a top team, if he's confident and takes his chances he'll score a few on the counter at least.
 

do.ob

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A loan would severely narrow down the candidate pool, wouldn't it? I was expecting someone old and experienced, but that's not someone who gets loaned out.
 

arthurka

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Well... as kicker writes he isn't any longer CEO of the Hannover 96 Management GmbH. He still is the sports director of the actual team (Hannover 96 GmbH & Co KGaA).

This sounds more like the next episode of our power struggles and in no way like a reason to celebrate.
He took over when I lived in Hannover that was what back in ´97?
I can´t remember him being popular by the fans or am I wrong here? He did oversee the restoration of the old Niedersachsenstadion to AWD-Arena (HDI-Arena) but didn´t manage to change the club to a stable Bundesliga club which is a bit of a shame regarding the size of the club and the city it now represents.
Hannover as a city did change a lot during the time I lived there with the EXPO 2000 being the injection the city needed to start the renovation it was a shithole when I moved there from Freiburg, but now it is pretty cool and decent but ´96 is still the same.


A nice bit of recognition for his work.
It is and in typical fashion he names all his co trainers and staff as the people behind the success.
 
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2ndTouch

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A loan would severely narrow down the candidate pool, wouldn't it? I was expecting someone old and experienced, but that's not someone who gets loaned out.
Maybe it's Ronnie with Utd covering part of his salary?
 

do.ob

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Maybe it's Ronnie with Utd covering part of his salary?
But why would Dortmund pay €10m to make their team worse? They would have to include someone else.. maybe Sancho..


Since we've been talking about season predictions: I just saw this on Twitter. Three people, who are quite knowledgeable about Bundesliga and the ranking their listeners voted for in the right most column.


Though I guess no huge surprises in there, aside from everyone agreeing to put Bochum last and perhaps Mr. Escher putting Gladbach ahead of Leverkusen for fourth place.
 
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2ndTouch

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But why would Dortmund pay €10m to make their team worse? They would have to include someone else.. maybe Sancho..
Oh come on, just think of the opportunities the GOAT would open up for a so far rather regional operation. He'd put you on the global map. You'd make double of that just by shirt sales, your amount of Social Media followers would explode, and you'd have millions of new fans and Cristiano devotees, who also happen to be great footballing experts on the whole.
He'd walk into your squad, be easily your best goalscorer and singlehandedly save your spot for next years EL campaign. Why are we even discussing this?
 

stefan92

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I can´t remember him being popular by the fans or am I wrong here? He did oversee the restoration of the old Niedersachsenstadion to AWD-Arena (HDI-Arena) but didn´t manage to change the club to a stable Bundesliga club which is a bit of a shame regarding the size of the club and the city it now represents.
He might not have been everybody's darling, but he surely was far more liked than he is now. He saved the club from near bankruptcy and lead it from the third league into the Europa League, and for several years it was a stable BL club. But in later years it all went sour, as he tried to actually take over the club instead of just being president. At the same time (and imho partially due to this struggle) the team got worse and worse and now we are a nobody in the second league...
 

do.ob

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He might not have been everybody's darling, but he surely was far more liked than he is now. He saved the club from near bankruptcy and lead it from the third league into the Europa League, and for several years it was a stable BL club. But in later years it all went sour, as he tried to actually take over the club instead of just being president. At the same time (and imho partially due to this struggle) the team got worse and worse and now we are a nobody in the second league...
Him trying to take 50+1 to court gave the whole affair a nation wide dimension and if I remember correctly at the time they also antagonized their own ultras, e.g. by prohibiting the portrait of a beloved mass murderer of theirs.
 

Hansi Fick

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A loan would severely narrow down the candidate pool, wouldn't it? I was expecting someone old and experienced, but that's not someone who gets loaned out.
It's going to be Paco Alcacer isn't it
 

arthurka

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He might not have been everybody's darling, but he surely was far more liked than he is now. He saved the club from near bankruptcy and lead it from the third league into the Europa League, and for several years it was a stable BL club. But in later years it all went sour, as he tried to actually take over the club instead of just being president. At the same time (and imho partially due to this struggle) the team got worse and worse and now we are a nobody in the second league...
I remember quite clearly him being pretty well liked when ´96 got back into the Bundesliga in 02 after some shitty years in the 3. and 2.Bundesliga. I got a chance to see ´96 in the Bundesliga it brought tears to many supporters eyes. I went there regularly between 97-02 and saw them play in Regionalliga Nord in 97 I think it was and all the way up to the Bundesliga in 02. They had some really great players Ernst, Kehl and Asamoah during that time.
Do you live in Hannover now?
 

King Kendrick

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More or less in order...

CL: Bayern, Leipzig, Leverkusen, Dortmund (will change if Dortmund gets a decent new striker)
Middle of the pack: Wolfsburg, Frankfurt, Freiburg, Union, Hoffenheim, Gladbach, Stuttgart, Mainz
Fighting for survival: Köln, Hertha, Werder, Augsburg, Schalke, Bochum
Bayern, Dortmund and Leipzig are always a very safe bet for top three. Leverkusen should quite comfortably finish top four on paper, too. But it's Leverkusen and I think they overperformed a bit last season, so there's probably some potential for disappointment.
My view on things: I wouldn’t trust Bayer to run a bath properly without flooding the entire house, but they have stability for once with no major outs, unless you want to count the Benders retirement (last years thread would tell me no one really cares), and on paper their squad is comfortably top 4.


I know I started my post with the caveat of no more major transfers but Frankfurt I see losing Kostic still so took them down a peg, and they didn’t exactly blow away the league last season.
VW loss of Xavier, and I don’t watch Serie A so I just assume the worst in players from there (maybe a bit harsh but still helps temper expectations.)
That basically leaves BMG and Freiburg by default, even though they also have massive flaws as you already noted.

Is it me though or I could you also see about 8 different teams at the bottom and not be surprised? I think the lower half of the league is incredibly poor this year, and if Kaladzjic leaves, oh boy is it going to be the battle of the flaccid attacks.
 

PedroMendez

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Bayern is nailed on for #1. On paper Dortmund, Leipzig and Leverkusen should finish top4, but I think all three of them have issues. Leipzig has imo the most streamlined squad, but they also have Tedesco. In the end they should finish top4, if they are willing to kick him out at. Leverkusen is the worst of the top4, but fairly stable. Dortmund is a wildcard in the sense that I could see major trouble for them.
Frankfurt and Köln might do well. I am not fully convinced by the rest other team. Some of the smaller persistent/stable clubs like Freiburg, Mainz, Hoffenheim, Augsburg and potentially Union might capitalize on that (relative to their possibilities). Gladbach is a lot better than they have showed recently, but they have still the same problems. Wolfsburg's squad is uninspiring to say the least. Stuttgart is not great, but they'll survive. Werder could have a surprisingly good "first season".
Bochum, Herha, Schalke are going down.
 

do.ob

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My view on things: I wouldn’t trust Bayer to run a bath properly without flooding the entire house, but they have stability for once with no major outs, unless you want to count the Benders retirement (last years thread would tell me no one really cares), and on paper their squad is comfortably top 4.


I know I started my post with the caveat of no more major transfers but Frankfurt I see losing Kostic still so took them down a peg, and they didn’t exactly blow away the league last season.
VW loss of Xavier, and I don’t watch Serie A so I just assume the worst in players from there (maybe a bit harsh but still helps temper expectations.)
That basically leaves BMG and Freiburg by default, even though they also have massive flaws as you already noted.

Is it me though or I could you also see about 8 different teams at the bottom and not be surprised? I think the lower half of the league is incredibly poor this year, and if Kaladzjic leaves, oh boy is it going to be the battle of the flaccid attacks.
I'd actually argue the opposite:

Last year the bottom was pretty weak:
Weinzierl coaching Augsburg
Bielefeld were too poor to compete.
Fürth even worse still, probably had the budget of a midtable 2nd division team.
Stuttgart with massive injury problems.
Hertha being Hertha

This year:
Augsburg at least have a very promising coach
Bielefeld and Fürth have been replaced by two traditionally big clubs, who at least should be able to compensate for their short comings a bit with their crowds.
Stuttgart are basically rolling the dice with quite a few departures and arrivals. Their basis was relatively solid though.
Hertha - a new dawn.

I think relatively speaking we're looking a quite a competitive set of teams and there's no clear outlier like Fürth that will hog last place from start to finish - except for Schalke maybe, but we can only hope for so much.


Bayern is nailed on for #1. On paper Dortmund, Leipzig and Leverkusen should finish top4, but I think all three of them have issues. Leipzig has imo the most streamlined squad, but they also have Tedesco. In the end they should finish top4, if they are willing to kick him out at. Leverkusen is the worst of the top4, but fairly stable. Dortmund is a wildcard in the sense that I could see major trouble for them.
Frankfurt and Köln might do well. I am not fully convinced by the rest other team. Some of the smaller persistent/stable clubs like Freiburg, Mainz, Hoffenheim, Augsburg and potentially Union might capitalize on that (relative to their possibilities). Gladbach is a lot better than they have showed recently, but they have still the same problems. Wolfsburg's squad is uninspiring to say the least. Stuttgart is not great, but they'll survive. Werder could have a surprisingly good "first season".
Bochum, Herha, Schalke are going down.
I don't rate Tedesco either, but I don't see how Leipzig are likely to finish outside of top four with him. Even if he has them playing his trade mark hoofball, which the squad is well set up for, they still have Olmo, Szoboszlai, Nkunku and Silva to see them through plenty of games with individual moments.

I hesitate to call Leverkusen stable, too. Especially as long as Wirtz isn't back yet.
 
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Zehner

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Bayern is nailed on for #1. On paper Dortmund, Leipzig and Leverkusen should finish top4, but I think all three of them have issues. Leipzig has imo the most streamlined squad, but they also have Tedesco. In the end they should finish top4, if they are willing to kick him out at. Leverkusen is the worst of the top4, but fairly stable. Dortmund is a wildcard in the sense that I could see major trouble for them.
Frankfurt and Köln might do well. I am not fully convinced by the rest other team. Some of the smaller persistent/stable clubs like Freiburg, Mainz, Hoffenheim, Augsburg and potentially Union might capitalize on that (relative to their possibilities). Gladbach is a lot better than they have showed recently, but they have still the same problems. Wolfsburg's squad is uninspiring to say the least. Stuttgart is not great, but they'll survive. Werder could have a surprisingly good "first season".
Bochum, Herha, Schalke are going down.
I'm a bit surprised most seem to see Leipzig cleary in front of us in terms of individual quality. I may be biased but I wouldn't swap Leipzig's team against ours. But I agree with @do.ob that we aren't stable. I fear especially in before the winter break, we'll be losing some points against bottom half teams because we're terrible when teams park the bus.
 

King Kendrick

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I'm a bit surprised most seem to see Leipzig cleary in front of us in terms of individual quality. I may be biased but I wouldn't swap Leipzig's team against ours. But I agree with @do.ob that we aren't stable. I fear especially in before the winter break, we'll be losing some points against bottom half teams because we're terrible when teams park the bus.
I think its more of a case of fool me 30 times, shame on me.:wenger: I actually really do like the squad, its just customary at this point to assume youll feck up somewhere somehow. If any team in the world would lose a 10 point lead with 4 games to play, rightly or wrongly one would just assume you'd be talking about Bayer, and as @do.ob said, the longer Wirtz is out, the harder it will be.

I'd actually argue the opposite:

Last year the bottom was pretty weak:
Weinzierl coaching Augsburg
Bielefeld were too poor to compete.
Fürth even worse still, probably had the budget of a midtable 2nd division team.
Stuttgart with massive injury problems.
Hertha being Hertha

This year:
Augsburg at least have a very promising coach
Bielefeld and Fürth have been replaced by two traditionally big clubs, who at least should be able to compensate for their short comings a bit with their crowds.
Stuttgart are basically rolling the dice with quite a few departures and arrivals. Their basis was relatively solid though.
Hertha - a new dawn.

I think relatively speaking we're looking a quite a competitive set of teams and there's no clear outlier like Fürth that will hog last place from start to finish - except for Schalke maybe, but we can only hope for so much.
Maybe I should rephrase as looking back poor is a strong term, moreso they're all relatively the same squadwise, on paper, besides for Schalke. While I did make my predictions, it wouldn't shock me to see any of the other lower-level teams to replace them, especially if Stuttgart end up losing Sasha.
 

do.ob

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I'm a bit surprised most seem to see Leipzig cleary in front of us in terms of individual quality. I may be biased but I wouldn't swap Leipzig's team against ours. But I agree with @do.ob that we aren't stable. I fear especially in before the winter break, we'll be losing some points against bottom half teams because we're terrible when teams park the bus.
Leipzig's defense just seems miles stronger. I think their CM is more consistent, too. If Wirtz were fit you could argue that Leverkusen have the better attacking trio, but I think Leipzig also have more depth.

Maybe I should rephrase as looking back poor is a strong term, moreso they're all relatively the same squadwise, on paper, besides for Schalke. While I did make my predictions, it wouldn't shock me to see any of the other lower-level teams to replace them, especially if Stuttgart end up losing Sasha.
Isn't that the case every season in every league?
 
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Zehner

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I think its more of a case of fool me 30 times, shame on me.:wenger: I actually really do like the squad, its just customary at this point to assume youll feck up somewhere somehow. If any team in the world would lose a 10 point lead with 4 games to play, rightly or wrongly one would just assume you'd be talking about Bayer, and as @do.ob said, the longer Wirtz is out, the harder it will be.
Can't say I can't relate to that :nervous:

Leipzig's defense just seems miles stronger. I think their CM is more consistent, too. If Wirtz were fit you could argue that Leverkusen have the better attacking trio, but I think Leipzig also have more depth.
I don't know, I'd say Hincapie, Tapsoba, Tah, Frimpong is better than what Leipzig can currently line up. As a collective they are better at defending but player for player, I don't think so.
 

do.ob

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Can't say I can't relate to that :nervous:



I don't know, I'd say Hincapie, Tapsoba, Tah, Frimpong is better than what Leipzig can currently line up. As a collective they are better at defending but player for player, I don't think so.
Gulacsi didn't have his best season, but I think he's a lot better than Hradecky, I think Frimpong is defensively weak (though Henrichs is a weakness, too) , I rate Gvardiol above any Leverkusen defender and even Orban could be mentioned, in the sense that he's a leader which Leverkusen lack.
Hincapie highlights another issue, as Seoane seems to be forced to either play a CB at LB or roll the dice with Bakker, who I think is quite rash. I'd rather have the Raum/Halstenberg's duo.
 

Tacitus56AD

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Does anyone see Dortmund go for Depay? They could get him for free and he would fit in imo.
 

Zehner

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Gulacsi didn't have his best season, but I think he's a lot better than Hradecky, I think Frimpong is defensively weak (though Henrichs is a weakness, too) , I rate Gvardiol above any Leverkusen defender and even Orban could be mentioned, in the sense that he's a leader which Leverkusen lack.
Hincapie highlights another issue, as Seoane seems to be forced to either play a CB at LB or roll the dice with Bakker, who I think is quite rash. I'd rather have the Raum/Halstenberg's duo.
Gulacsi is probably better than Hradecky, yes. But I believe we differ quite a lot in how we assess Tapsoba. I believe his first season at Leverkusen was on the same level as the last one by Schlotterbeck and Gvardiol didn't come close to this. The guy has everything and if he isn't playing an AFCON or injured then he's also pretty constant. With Orban for Tah you're trading much quality for a bit of stability. Hincapie generally is a pretty good left back and one of the few players who you can play in two different defensive positions without quality losses, IMO. Raum is of course a very strong LB, too, but I'd still take Frimpong over him because he has this Hakimi/Davies type of vibe. So Frimpong is farther ahead of Henrichs than Raum is of Hincapie/Bakker.

By the way, I'm saying that as somebody who always argued Leipzig had a stronger squad for years. But right now, I believe ours is better.
 

ForEverEleven

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Tapsoba is one of the best, if not the best ball-playing CB in the league. Our biggest weakness defensively is the LB position. Bakker is certainly better than Wendell who was there for years but just has bad positioning a lot of times.
 

do.ob

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So if Leverkusen has this great squad your expectations for this season must be pretty high? Cup final and 2nd place is theirs to lose? Because that's what Leipzig are probably aiming for.
 
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Zehner

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So if Leverkusen has this great squad your expectations for this season must be pretty high? Cup final and 2nd place is theirs to lose? Because that's what Leipzig are probably aiming for.
I don't think Leipzig is aiming for cup final and second place.
 

do.ob

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I don't think Leipzig is aiming for cup final and second place.
Last season they won the cup and were the best team of the "Rückrunde", they kept their first team together and added Raum and Potentially Werner to it. What else would they be aiming for, especially with Dortmund's current situation?
 

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Last season they won the cup and were the best team of the "Rückrunde", they kept their first team together and added Raum and Potentially Werner to it. What else would they be aiming for, especially with Dortmund's current situation?
Defending the cup and winning the league.
 

Zehner

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Last season they won the cup and were the best team of the "Rückrunde", they kept their first team together and added Raum and Potentially Werner to it. What else would they be aiming for, especially with Dortmund's current situation?
It depends on what you define as "aiming for". I'm pretty sure they wouldn't call the upcoming season a failure if they finish fourth in the league. Their minimum goal is pretty much the same as Leverkusen's: CL qualification.
 

do.ob

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It depends on what you define as "aiming for". I'm pretty sure they wouldn't call the upcoming season a failure if they finish fourth in the league. Their minimum goal is pretty much the same as Leverkusen's: CL qualification.
Come on, that's a cop out. Top four is the minimum goal, because that's where the CL cut-off lies, not because of sporting considerations. Leipzig are the third richest club in the country, so anything below third place is disappointing. Considering they are going to be further building on their successful (end to) last season and Dortmund have to sort themselves out at the moment they will be looking at second place. They probably won't say that in public, but it's what logic dictates.
And they made the cup final three of the last four years, they won't exactly be happy with some third round defeat against some team that isn't Bayern or maybe Dortmund.

If I'm reading that Seoane is a great coach, Leverkusen have a great squad, Tapsoba is the best CB, Diaby is a €70m rated winger, best defense in the league besides Bayern. But expectation is to finish fourth and going out early in the cup is no drama, then something doesn't add up.
 
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2ndTouch

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If I'm reading that Seoane is a great coach, Leverkusen have a great squad, Tapsoba is the best CB, Diaby is a €70m rated winger, best defense in the league besides Bayern. But expectation is to finish fourth and going out early in the cup is no drama, then something doesn't add up.
And he didn't even mention the fearsome Titan that is Schick. Think Terzic can handle him? Saturday is going to be a day of reckoning.
As for the season:

2. Dortmund
3. Dosen
4. Pillen

Anything lower than 2nd should be quite the disappointment for Dortmund, given their transfer window. It's not like their Manager would be a new face in town, as most of the current players were already there in 20/21.
 

Blackwidow

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And he didn't even mention the fearsome Titan that is Schick. Think Terzic can handle him? Saturday is going to be a day of reckoning.
As for the season:

2. Dortmund
3. Dosen
4. Pillen

Anything lower than 2nd should be quite the disappointment for Dortmund, given their transfer window. It's not like their Manager would be a new face in town, as most of the current players were already there in 20/21.
It is fine as long the first is "Lederhosen"... :D

I am really desperate now that this season begins with all new stories...
 

ForEverEleven

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Come on, that's a cop out. Top four is the minimum goal, because that's where the CL cut-off lies, not because of sporting considerations. Leipzig are the third richest club in the country, so anything below third place is disappointing. Considering they are going to be further building on their successful (end to) last season and Dortmund have to sort themselves out at the moment they will be looking at second place. They probably won't say that in public, but it's what logic dictates.
And they made the cup final three of the last four years, they won't exactly be happy with some third round defeat against some team that isn't Bayern or maybe Dortmund.

If I'm reading that Seoane is a great coach, Leverkusen have a great squad, Tapsoba is the best CB, Diaby is a €70m rated winger, best defense in the league besides Bayern. But expectation is to finish fourth and going out early in the cup is no drama, then something doesn't add up.
There can be other good teams in the league you know....

In recent years we struggled to consistently qualify for the CL, so I am happy enough with that.
 

Zehner

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Come on, that's a cop out. Top four is the minimum goal, because that's where the CL cut-off lies, not because of sporting considerations. Leipzig are the third richest club in the country, so anything below third place is disappointing. Considering they are going to be further building on their successful (end to) last season and Dortmund have to sort themselves out at the moment they will be looking at second place. They probably won't say that in public, but it's what logic dictates.
And they made the cup final three of the last four years, they won't exactly be happy with some third round defeat against some team that isn't Bayern or maybe Dortmund.

If I'm reading that Seoane is a great coach, Leverkusen have a great squad, Tapsoba is the best CB, Diaby is a €70m rated winger, best defense in the league besides Bayern. But expectation is to finish fourth and going out early in the cup is no drama, then something doesn't add up.
The original point was that I believe our squad this season is better than Leipzig's if you compare individuals. Your point is basically: If Leverkusen is individually stronger than Leipzig and has a great coach, why don't they communicate the objective to finish in front of Dortmund and Leipzig? Well, Leipzig isn't communicating this objective either because you might end up looking incredibly stupid doing so. What they say behind closed doors is not important. Carro for instance has also talked about winning titles publicly, as have a few players.

Personally, I believe neither Leipzig nor Leverkusen will have a chance at top 2, as much as I want it to happen. The reason being that Bayern will still be ahead of everybody and because I start to rate Terzic. We had a few discussions about the tactical route Dortmund should be taking and I already thought that Terzic in his first spell implemented a much better possession and counter pressing heavy style than Favre. What I've seen so far, this seems to be the case again and his interviews seem to confirm it. So he could quickly prove to be a better coach than Seoane.

Also, I have mixed feelings about Seoane and Diaby, as you know. As a top club I'd stay clear of Diaby I believe and Seoane still has a lot to learn, especially in terms of controlling weaker teams.
 

2ndTouch

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In recent years we struggled to consistently qualify for the CL, so I am happy enough with that.
The competition for Top4 just doesn't look as stiff as it did in the past years. Gladbach and Wolfsburg completely imploded, and I find it difficult to see them mount a proper challenge. Eintracht? Kostic is as good as gone, and I can't see them shake off their CL euphoria on a cold and rainy night in Augsburg. The likelihood of them playing a consistent season seems rather slim.
 

do.ob

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And he didn't even mention the fearsome Titan that is Schick. Think Terzic can handle him? Saturday is going to be a day of reckoning.
As for the season:

2. Dortmund
3. Dosen
4. Pillen

Anything lower than 2nd should be quite the disappointment for Dortmund, given their transfer window. It's not like their Manager would be a new face in town, as most of the current players were already there in 20/21.
There's always the risk that last season was just a purple patch, but I think unlike some other players Schick was genuinely very good throughout all of last season. So I wouldn't lump him in with some of the other names.

And what about Dortmund's window?
Adeyemi - I don't see the short term effect yet - he looks very raw to me and I wouldn't be surprised if he needs a season to settle in.
Özcan - there's only so much you can expect signing a player from Köln for €5m.
Süle/Schlotterbeck - that's where the net improvement seems really obvious, Schlotterbeck in particular looks quite exciting. But even then it comes at the cost of Akanji and (benching) Hummels.
Haller - at the moment you need to hope he gets well, before you can think about the football side.

I think in general the window looks promising, because it seems like Kehl is focusing on balance, effort and cohesion, but bottom line is: a bit better in defense a lot worse in attack (until Haller hopefully recovers).

And Terzic is still an unknown quantity. His interim stint was all about improvisation, which didn't go well at all at the beginning and was later (also) carried by the individual quality of Haaland, Reus and Sancho hitting form on the final stretch.

So to summarize I would neither say that the squad or the coaching situation is necessarily improved and I think performances will shape expectations: if the team starts well people will say "oh well, rebuild successful" and expect second place, but if they struggle people will say "oh well, it's a rebuild and what can you do with Haller getting ill" - at least to a degree (finishing top four).

The original point was that I believe our squad this season is better than Leipzig's if you compare individuals. Your point is basically: If Leverkusen is individually stronger than Leipzig and has a great coach, why don't they communicate the objective to finish in front of Dortmund and Leipzig? Well, Leipzig isn't communicating this objective either because you might end up looking incredibly stupid doing so. What they say behind closed doors is not important. Carro for instance has also talked about winning titles publicly, as have a few players.

Personally, I believe neither Leipzig nor Leverkusen will have a chance at top 2, as much as I want it to happen. The reason being that Bayern will still be ahead of everybody and because I start to rate Terzic. We had a few discussions about the tactical route Dortmund should be taking and I already thought that Terzic in his first spell implemented a much better possession and counter pressing heavy style than Favre. What I've seen so far, this seems to be the case again and his interviews seem to confirm it. So he could quickly prove to be a better coach than Seoane.

Also, I have mixed feelings about Seoane and Diaby, as you know. As a top club I'd stay clear of Diaby I believe and Seoane still has a lot to learn, especially in terms of controlling weaker teams.
I don't expect Leverkusen to publicly communicate big targets aside from the usual "WE CAN WIN TITLES TOO, YOU KNOW?!?!?" memes, because that would create pressure that Leverkusen wants to avoid. I just think there is a disconnect in this thread between the purported level of the squad and the expectations that should go along with such evaluations.

E.g. you told me that Diaby is worth €60m and very much like Ousmane Dembele and tried to sell me Seoane as a possession coach, who creates high probability chances instead of using a head through the wall approach. Now when it comes to formulating concrete expectations for the season to measure those people against you're telling me you have reservations about Diaby and the same Seoane actually still has a lot to learn when controlling weaker teams. The second best defense in Germany doesn't concede 4 goals in Elversberg and if they do their coach must be one hell of an idiot.

And what has changed about Terzic? He lost both serious(ish) pre season friendlies without particularly amazing play and while we can't take wins against third division for granted I guess, it's nothing game changing if you do it. Saturday will be his first data point.
 
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