Often the logical choice for coach of the season is the man who led their team to the Meisterschale, but in the case of Thomas Tuchel, he was only steering the Bayern ship for nine games and even then very nearly ended up empty handed. Edin Terzic fell at the final hurdle, but nobody (hopefully) will begrudge our choice of winner- Union Berlin’s Urs Fischer.
Anyone waiting for the Union Berlin fairy tale to peter out this season was waiting a long time as the minnows from Köpenick kept pace with the leaders for the entire season and justifiably clinched a first-ever qualification for the Champions League. Fischer has led die Eisernen to promotion, to the Conference League and into the Europa League- now it’s the big one.
His side play to their strengths and even though they had the extra burden of midweek European fixtures to contend with, they didn’t ever really lose focus in the league. Knowing their game plan is one thing, being able to stop it is quite the other. Fischer has made players better and gets everybody fully on board with his tactics and set-up. Players like Rani Khedira, Sheraldo Becker, and Robin Knoche have all been given a new lease of life under him, while new arrivals have been sourced intelligently and taken to his plan instantly.
Like Christian Streich, he is a throwback to the old school kind of trainer (you won’t find him arriving to training on a skateboard like Julian Nagelsman) or rocking the newest and coolest trainers in the technical area, but his way works and Union’s meteoric rise is of his making.
This rise shows not sign of stalling anytime soon so expect Fischer to keep doing his thing next season and who knows what’s next for Union.
“I have to let what we have achieved first sink in” Fischer said after the final game of the season that clinched fourth place. “It will be important that we stay true to ourselves, continue to show humility and modesty and not change too much. That will be the challenge .