Last season may have been a resounding success for Die Nullfünfer, but forecasting such an achievement before a ball was kicked would have you seen sectioned.
Entering the Bundesliga from its feeder division with the lowest wage bill and a meagre 20,000-seater stadium, the board hurled even more obstacles in the team’s path by firing coach Jørn Andersen.
Either foreknowledged beyond the realms of other mere mortals, or, taking the cheap option, U19 coach Thomas Tuchel was handed the reigns on the season’s eve.
This gave Mainz another awkward looking record – the league’s youngest coach. Yet to be fair to the directors, they backed the 36-year-old to the hilt, and boy did it pay off. Continue reading