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Ian

Kaiserslautern Team Guide


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Full Name: 1. Fußball-Club Kaiserslautern e. V.

Founded: 2nd June 1900

Nickname: Die roten Teufel (The Red Devils)

League: 3. Fußball-Liga

Stadium: Fritz-Walter-Stadion

Capacity: 49,780

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Brief History 

Kaiserslautern currently find themselves languishing in the third tier of German football but that wasn’t always the case for Die roten Teufel (The Red Devils) as they were once one of the big boys of German football. They boast a decent trophy cabinet consisting of four German League Championships, two DFB-Pokals and one DFB-Supercup and are currently tenth in the list of the most successful clubs in Bundesliga history. The first West German national team to ever win the World Cup in 1954 contained no less than five Kaiserslautern players in the squad including the national team captain Fritz Walter who the club renamed their stadium after in 1985. The club won their regional division numerous times and the German Championship twice in a dominant period during the 1950’s and early 1960’s up until the formation of the new German Bundesliga in 1963 in which they were a founding member. 

Unfortunately all the club had to shout about for a good few years after the formation of the Bundesliga were a few decent cup runs both domestically and in Europe until 1990 when they finally won their first DFB-Pokal cup beating Werder Bremen 3-2 in a pulsating final. They followed that up by winning their first Bundesliga title the following year in which they fought off great rivals Bayern Munich in winning the title by just three points. The club’s next trophy wouldn't come until 1996 when they won their second DFB-Pokal cup but unfortunately the celebrations were fairly muted as the club were relegated from the Bundesliga for the first time in their history just a week before the final.

They didn’t let that keep them down (literally) as they bounced straight back up winning the Bundesliga 2 title the following season with a massive ten point lead over second placed Wolfsburg. How often does a team gain promotion from a second tier league one year and go straight on to win the top league division title the following season? Not often but that is exactly what Die roten Teufel achieved under the management of veteran coach Otto Rehhagel as they held off bitter rivals Bayern Munich to win the 1997-98 Bundesliga Championship. 

They struggled to keep up the pace with Bayern Munich over the next few years but did have a good run in the 2001 UEFA cup making it all the way to the semi final before falling to beaten finalists Alavés. The city and their stadium were selected to host a few games during the 2006 World Cup held in Germany and a decision was made to increase the capacity of their stadium from 38,500 to 49,780 which had the knock on effect of raising the annual rent the club would pay the city who own the stadium to £3.2m. It was an amount that was just manageable provided the club remained a Bundesliga team but unfortunately they suffered the dreaded relegation in 2006 which meant the club had a large stadium they didn’t need and an enormous annual rent to pay that they just couldn’t afford. They’ve struggled ever since and now find themselves in the third tier of German football for the first time in their history. 

On FMM19 

We now move over to the game where I’ll take you through the club from board expectations all the way to potential new signings and hopefully convince you to maybe have a go at managing Die roten Teufel. The club currently find themselves stuck in the third tier of German football and require your help to bring them back to the top. 

Board Expectations, Facilities and Transfer Budget

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The board expect you to mount a serious challenge for the league title this season so that tells us that the club will hopefully have a fairly decent squad. The training and youth facilities are among the best in the division so I personally wouldn’t bother asking the board to upgrade those as it’s unlikely they will at this stage plus if the subsequent requests turned out to be accepted then the transfer budget would be lowered to pay for it which doesn’t seem like a great idea at this stage. In fact I’d probably say the facilities are good enough to carry the club all the way through to the Bundesliga and once there I’d be looking at requesting improvements.

The stadium certainly doesn’t require expanding as the capacity is 49,850 in game but the average attendance is only 23,000 so you can safely put all of your focus on being as successful as possible on the pitch which should help in getting bums on seats.

The transfer budget seems decent at £1.85m but that is rather deceiving as the club are currently operating well above their wage budget so once you toggle the transfer side back the actual budget is nearer £700k - £1m which means you’ll probably have to do a bit of wheeling and dealing in the transfer market if you are to successfully improve the squad. 

Please bear in mind that I have used the February database for this save with my gold coaching badge and normal reputation so your budget may well differ depending on your set up.

Staff

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  • Alexander Burgera: Assistant Manager - Defensive Coach with a Silver Badge and Normal Aptitude.
  • Gerald Ehrmann: Coach - Goalkeeping Coach with a Gold Badge and Natural Aptitude.
  • Bastian Becker: Coach - Fitness Coach with Silver Badge and Normal Aptitude.
  • Manfred Paula: Scout - Youth Scout with a Gold Badge and Normal Aptitude.
  • Olaf Marshal: Scout - First Team Scout with a Bronze Badge and Normal Aptitude.
  • Frank Sänger: Physio - Prevention Physio with a Silver Badge and Normal Aptitude.
  • Eric Schön: Physio - Rehabilitation Physio with Silver Badge and Normal Aptitude.

The club have decent staff for the league they are currently playing in and whilst it might be possible to upgrade on a few of them I would hold off for now as sacking any would cause you to have to pay them compensation which would in turn lower your transfer budget. I would however fill in the blanks as the club have room for one more physio, scout and coach.

The club currently have both a rehabilitation physio and a prevention one so you are faced with a decision to make. Which one do you go with for the third slot? Well it’s a good question and many people on the forum have differing views on what is best. Basically the two types of physios do what you’d expect; the prevention ones work with the players to hopefully prevent them suffering injuries and the rehabilitation ones work with the players when they do indeed suffer injuries to hopefully quicken their recovery. So in theory going with two prevention physios should prevent injuries which will lessen the need for rehabilitation but on the other hand no matter how hard you try you will always suffer some injuries so it’s six and two threes for me so just pick one and be done with it.

In terms of coaches the club have got a defensive one, a goalkeeping one and a fitness one plus whatever specialisation you've given yourself. I went with attacking for myself which seems to be a good choice looking at what the club currently have. I’d be tempted to go with another fitness coach here to hopefully help the boys further develop their physical attributes in pace, stamina and strength as in the lower leagues sometimes the quality can be poor and fitness can often be the difference maker.

I don’t use scouts as I just use the player search function to scout my own talent but as the club currently have a first team scout and a youth scout I’d be tempted to go with a bargain hunter here as with money being a bit tight in the early years he could well assist you in finding some cheap gems.

When it comes to recruiting staff we are ideally looking for gold for the coaching badge as best and either natural or normal aptitude with poor being best avoided as in that case they will be unlikely to be able to quickly pass their coaching exams if required.

Squad

Key Players

Lukas Spalvis - Target Man

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Lukas is a good player and is easily the clubs highest valued player at £2.4m and I’d expect him to do a decent job at this level. He’s got good aerial, movement, strength and shooting so I expect he’ll be able to score plenty of goals in the right set up. I’d personally be in heaven if his pace and stamina were a touch better as they are 11 and 12 respectively which is a bit of a downer as in these lower leagues I find pace in particular can really cause damage as a lot of the defenders at this level tend to be fairly slow.

Mads Albæk - Advanced Playmaker

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Mads is a good player who is currently playing at the peak of his powers at 28 years old. He’s an advanced playmaker who likes to operate in the centre of midfield and has a decent set of attributes to play that role in this league. His passing, decisions and creativity are all at a good level which should mean he can see and execute the right pass in the right situation. I like all of the players playing in centre midfield to be decent all round players and this lad has 12 for positioning and 10 for tackling so he shouldn’t be a liability and his high leadership will be a great asset to the team.

Kevin Kraus - Central Defender

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I quite like the look of this player and I’m sure he’ll be a good player for the team over the next couple of years at least. He has good numbers for the main attributes needed for any defender in aerial, tackling, decisions, positioning and strength. His passing being at 11 is good also and his dribbling at 9 isn’t bad for a centre back at this level. I would’ve liked a higher number for pace but again at 10 it’s acceptable and I don’t think he’ll let you down. 

Other Players

Goalkeepers

Jan-Ole Sievers

He’s probably the best goalkeeper currently at the club but he’s not fantastic. He’s got poor distribution and lacks a commanding presence but does have decent reflexes. He’s 23 years old so pretty young but I’d say he will definitely need to be replaced at some point in the future.

Wolfgang Hesl

This guy is 32 years old and has better distribution than Sievers but isn’t great in other areas. I’m not convinced selling him would be a good idea as I just can’t see you getting much of a fee so I’d personally keep him as a back up for the first season anyway.

Lennart Grill

This lad is a nice prospect for the future at just 19 years old and certainly one I’d hold onto and maybe try and give him some game time. He’s still a bit rough in places with his poor aerial being a concern but he’s got plenty of potential and I’m absolutely sure he’ll develop into a much better keeper than the other two at the club currently are.

Central Defenders

Lukas Gottwalt

A decent young defender at 20 years old who looks promising for the future. He’s got great aerial and strength with decent numbers in positioning, tackling and decisions so I think he’ll be able to do a good job in this league.

Özgür Özdemir

He’s not a bad Turkish defender with fairly good defensive attributes but his strength is sitting at only 9 and it kind of puts me off. I’d keep him as he might do ok and should make a good back up option. 

André Hainault

A veteran Canadian defender at 32 years old who’s fairly average but should make a decent back up player.

Central Midfielders

Gino Fechner

A young 20 year old ball winning midfielder who has great potential for the future and is good enough to be a first team player already. He has great aerial, decent physical attributes and good passing, decisions, tackling and positioning so he’s a good all round midfielder. As an added bonus he can also play as a centre back which might come in useful at some point.

Jan Löhmannsröben

He’s a decent player currently playing at his peak at 27 years old. His preferred role is as a ball winning midfielder and has great stamina, strength, aggression and positioning. His passing, decisions and teamwork are also good so a great player who should definitely be kept at this stage.

Carlo Sickinger

A young midfielder at just 20 years old with good promise. He’s got decent physical and mental attributes with great passing and I can see him developing into a good player so worth keeping a hold of and giving him some game time in the first couple of seasons. 

Theodor Bergmann

Another fine looking youngster who can play in centre midfield or on the right wing. Looks like he has the potential to reach the level of Mads Albæk in the future so a great player to have in the squad.

Nils Schätzle

He’s really young at only 18 years old but his attributes are not particularly good even for his age and I just can’t see him developing into anything other than an average player. He might surprise us though so a loan to another team in our league might be a good option if possible. 

Wide Players

Dominik Schad

A young right wing back who looks like he’ll be good enough to feature heavily straight from the off. He’s got good physical attributes and although his crossing and dribbling aren’t fantastic you can see them developing well. The only real worry is his fairly poor positioning so it might be a good idea to set his training focus to that to hopefully improve it.

Florian Dick

A veteran right full back who at 33 years old is closing in on the end of his career. His pace is poor but apart from that he’s decent and should be a good option as back up this year before his deal runs out at the end of the season.

Janek Sternberg

This lad is a good looking left wing back with incredible stamina and definitely the best wing back at the club. Again like Schad he has poor positioning so hopefully that won’t hinder the team.

Flavius Botiseriu

A young raw left wing back who looks like he might turn into a good player. His technical attributes aren’t the best but at just 19 years old there’s plenty of time for those to develop and his good positioning and pace should mean he’s capable of doing a job as rotation option straight away.

Tuure Mäntynen

Another young left wing back and this one is decent looking with good pace, positioning and tackling but the coaches don’t feel he’s got much potential. He’s not valued very highly so I’d keep him for now as a back up option. 

Hendrick Zuck

The best winger at the club with decent pace, crossing, movement and really high aggression so he won’t be pulling out of any challenges. 

Christoph Hemlein

Another decent winger who’s attributes aren’t too dissimilar to Zucks but his pace is slightly lower and a shame really as I really like pace in these wide areas so maybe this is an area to try and improve in the transfer market. 

Florian Pick

He’s an average winger that at only 22 years old may improve so one to keep hold of for now. If you don’t think he’s going to get much game time then I’d consider loaning him out if possible. 

Dylan Esmel

This lad is only 20 years old and is tipped to break into the first team so definitely one to keep. He can play on either flank and whilst his attributes aren’t the best at this stage he’d definitely make a great option off the bench to give him some game time to further aid his development.

Centre Forwards

Julius Biada

He’s a player who is playing at his peak at 25 years old and is valued fairly highly at over £600k. His physical attributes and aerial are fairly poor so for me he’d be one I’d look to cash in on as the money would come in useful. 

Timmy Thiele

A good forward who’s fairly strong, quick with good movement, shooting and decent aerial so that’s the bread and butter striker attributes sorted. Definitely one to keep as a squad player. 

Elias Huth

A young striker who looks promising and can also play on either flank so a good player to keep around. 

Valdrin Mustafa

Another youngster and the coaches believe he is the best young striker at the club so it might be an idea to try and find him some game time. He could be loaned out even if it’s to a club in our division which might be a good idea for the first season.

Christian Kürlwetter

He’s a young target man who doesn’t look too great but could improve so I’d be tempted to loan him out and keep an eye on his development.

Squad Summary

The club have some good players and I’d say their best starting eleven will be more than a match for any side in the division. There’s also plenty of decent looking youngsters but it’s difficult to rely on them so I’d be looking to strengthen the squad with some more experienced players and I’ll recommend a few good transfer options later. 

Tactics

I’ll put forward a couple of tactics now that should get the best out of the players currently at the club.

2-2-3-2-1

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A decent tactic that I’ve used a few times on this years game so should do a decent job here. I’d usually opt for a deep lying playmaker instead of the ball winning midfielder at centre midfield but Fechner is best as a ball winner so I went with that. You could try him as a playmaker as he could well do the job okay but I think the tactic will be fine as is. Löhmannsröben’s preferred role is as a ball winner also but I don’t think the tactic will work with two of those and he has decent all round attributes with terrific stamina so I think he’ll be able to play well as a box to box midfielder just fine. The wide attackers at the club are all wingers rather than inside forwards and with Spalvis being a good target man we will try to utilise the wide areas and get some crosses in for him to feed off. I’d also prefer one of the central defenders to be a ball playing defender to further help the team get the ball out of defence but none of our boys are suitable although Kraus has decent passing and dribbling so you could try him in that role but I’m not sure it’s necessary to be honest.

2-2-3-1-2

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An alternative tactic that utilises a second striker as the club have a fair few. Not far away from the original set up and one that I’ve used before. We will be weak down our right side but as long as the central midfielders are good all round players  we should be able to mitigate against the dangers.

Instructions

Here are some instructions to try with both of the set ups.

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I went with attacking as the team mentality but against tough opposition I’d be tempted to knock that back to balenced or maybe even counter. I went with a narrow width to hopefully help us keep better possession and the tempo is set to normal but I’ve used fast a few times against poor opposition to good effect so an option to try if things aren’t going well. The defence is left neutral in a bid to help the team maintain their fitness as we are using some high energy roles such as our box to box midfielder, ball winning midfielder and the two wing backs. The system might work better with all over closing down and hard tackling but be warned that your players will struggle for fitness if used all of the time particularly during heavy fixture periods. I went with work ball into box in the final third instructions to limit the wasteful shots from midfield and if we had a striker with great pace and movement I’d probably go through ball also but Spalvis isn’t blessed with great pace so left it neutral so the players can decide themselves what is best depending on the situation. I like short for passing and goalkeeper distribution but if you notice the team having trouble getting the ball forward then switching to mixed might help. Another thing to look out for is if you see your wing backs losing the ball out wide during games then moving the passing focus to centre should help and is something I often do if facing tough opposition. 

Duties

  • Captain: Mads Albæk - An experienced pro with great leadership. 
  • Penalties: Lukas Spalvis and Mads Albæk both have “He is an effective penalty taker” in their coaching reports so they are the best choices here.
  • Free Kicks: Florian Dick has “He is an effective free-kick taker” in his coaching report so he’d be first choice but he probably won’t play every game so I’d go with Spalvis as second choice for his great shooting attribute.
  • Corner Kicks: There’s nobody who the coaches reccomend for this so I’d go for a player with a high attribute for crossing with Zuck, Albæk, Hemlein, Sternberg and Pick being good choices. If you try one and think they aren’t producing a good corner then just pick another.

Transfers

In terms of outgoings I’d personally look to offload Julius Biada as I can’t see him getting much game time and any money received from his potential transfer would come in handy. As I mentioned in the players section there are a few good youngsters and it’ll be difficult to give them all game time so I’d look to loan a few of them out if possible and then reevaluate them at the end of the season. Players such as Pick, Mustafa and Kürlwetter definitely fall into that category. 

I’ll go through a few potential signings that should improve the squad. I’ve put their potential cost in brackets next to their name. Most of these are free transfers but don’t let that put you off as I’m sure they would all turn out to be decent signings. A couple of them are older players but when it comes to the lower leagues I tend to put my focus on the current season and try to get a squad together that will get the job done and if we gain promotion I would then look at the squad for the next season and build again. I’ve also only loaded the German leagues on this save so you may well have a lot more transfer options if you load a few other leagues.

  • Marko Petkovic (Free) - A good right wing back who may well become the best at the club if signed. 
  • Mathis Bolly (Free) - A left winger with great pace which is something the wingers currently at the club lack so should make a good addition to the squad. 
  • Jerome Kiesewetter (Free) - This guy is a great pacey right winger and better than anything currently at the club. 
  • Arouca (Free) - Fabulous midfielder who whilst fairly old at 33 should offer the team a lot for the first season or so.
  • Phillip Wollscheid (Free) - Brilliant centre back for this level of football. 
  • Maxym Malyshev: (Loan from Shakhtar) - Decent deep lying playmaker available on loan and should add strength to the midfield.
  • Osayamen Osawe (£800-900k) - A really good striker and whilst the club have a lot of young strikers at the club I feel this guy is worth going for as his pace will give you another option up top. He also has good movement and shooting so well worth the fee. You could switch the role on the single striker formation to a poacher or advanced forward when he plays and add through ball to the final third instructions to utilise his qualities as we have Mads Albæk in midfield who can hopefully supply some killer passes.
  • Kofi Schulz (Free) - A tidy left wing back who would be a good signing on a free. The club have three left wing backs alrealdy at the club but two are young so if you sign this guy I’d probably recommend loaning out one of the youngsters in either Botiseriu or Mäntynen.
  • Razak Brimah (Free) - He’s a good keeper available on a free and should be first choice if signed.
  • Douglas (Free) - A veteran midfielder who would be a good addition to the squad for the opening season. 

Well that’s the end of this Kaiserslautern team guide and hopefully you’ve enjoyed it. They are a great club that currently find themselves in a bit of a pickle so should make an enjoyable save as you aim to bring them back to the top.

Thank you for reading and all comments are appreciated.

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The former german Giants! Love that club . I took two seasons to get Them to the Bundesliga. Thiele was great for me - really scoring many goals . I sold spalvis fast . Gottwalt gets okay too :)

 

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7 hours ago, darlingtonvii said:

I'll really love to try this, might take 4-5 seasons to get to the bundesliga.

Yes they’d make a good save. I look out for their results from time to time as I remember them winning the Bundesliga in 1998 when I was fairly young.

7 hours ago, mustafa58 said:

Nice :) Thank you bro

Thank you😀

6 hours ago, AndersJ said:

The former german Giants! Love that club . I took two seasons to get Them to the Bundesliga. Thiele was great for me - really scoring many goals . I sold spalvis fast . Gottwalt gets okay too :)

 

I’ve only played one season on my current save. I kept Spalvis for now and bought the English guy I mentioned and Thiele was a back up but might feature more in the second season. 

40 minutes ago, samhardy said:

Cracking guide Ian great read, I enjoyed it.

They have a Florian Pick and a Florian Dick 😂

Thank you Sam, yes they do but on my current save I’m not going to have either of them for my second season as a good offer came in for Pick that I couldn’t refuse and Dick’s deal is due to run out so he’s retiring. 

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6 hours ago, Ashez said:

Really enjoyable read @Ian, I've missed content like this exploring the lesser used clubs :)

Thank you very much Ash :)

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22 hours ago, Gunners Rishi said:

Brilliant guide mate

Thank you very much :)

1 hour ago, Foxy said:

This is a great piece of work as it is so throughly researched and well presented.

Thank you, I enjoyed creating it and hopefully a few will find it useful.

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23 hours ago, olayinkajnr said:

Great piece of work. I'll love to give it a try. 

Thank you, they make a great club to manage.

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On 07/08/2019 at 17:25, leedsunited87 said:

Great read up! I would manage in germany but just that the national team is blacked out :)

Thank you, yeah that is a bit of a shame actually.

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This is an exemplary post - I think you’ve convinced me to give them a try.

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On 11/08/2019 at 10:41, Jack said:

This is an exemplary post - I think you’ve convinced me to give them a try.

Thank you, they make for a good save. 

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