Bundesliga Hinrunde report card: FC Augsburg

2023 has come to an end and the Bundesliga enters its traditional Winterpause, which gives us here at Bundesliga Fanatic the ideal opportunity to take a closer look at each of the eighteen clubs and rate their performance in the first half of the season. Next we run the rule over FC Augsburg. 

The story so far

Year on year Augsburg are one of the teams predicted to struggle and face a season of battling against being sucked into the bottom three and so it has proved once again this season. A poor start led to a coaching change and the upswing experienced as a result has taken them to 11th in the table. They will be fully aware however that the halfway table means nothing and they need to be on their mettle in the second half of the campaign.

Being dumped out of the DFB Pokal in the first round by 3.Liga SpVgg Unterhaching was not the most auspicious of starts for the Fuggerstädter. Their league opener was a tumultuous 4-4 draw at home to Borussia Mönchengladbach, which saw them come back from 3-1 down to lead before being denied by an injury-time penalty. A 3-1 loss at Bayern followed before they shared a point against Bochum. A tricky start to the season was compounded when they lost to Leipzig on matchday 4.

A first win was achieved at home to Mainz before successive defeats to Freiburg and Darmstadt saw the club finally lose confidence in trainer Enrico Maaßen with the side hovering just above the bottom three.

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The man they installed to try and turn things around was former Gent, Genk and FG Copenhagen trainer Jess Thorup and that is just what he did. His first game in charge saw a 5-2 away win against Heidenheim and he followed that with a second victory on his home debut at the WWK Arena with a 3-2 win over Wolfsburg. The tide had turned and the Dane then steered Augsburg to consecutive draws against Köln, Hoffenheim and Augsburg before extending his unbeaten start to six matches with a 2-1 home win over Eintracht Frankfurt.

He suffered his first defeat away at Werder Bremen before holding Borussia Dortmund to a 1-1 draw. The year concluded with a 3-0 loss at high-flying VfB Stuttgart. The change of coach had had the desired effect with 13 of Augsburg’s 18 points achieved after the appointment of Thorup into the technical area. The job now is to maintain the positive upswing when the season restarts and to try and put a cushion between themselves and the relegation zone. 

Tale of the tape

Record: 4-6-6, 18 points (1.13 per game), 11th in Bundesliga

Home Record: 13 points (3-4-1) Away Record: 5 points (1-2-5)

Goals: 24 (1.5 per game), Goals Against: 31 (1.94 per game), Diff: -7

xG: 22.3, xGA: 26.2

Highlight

The first win of the season following the change of coach was a huge relief. The matchday 8 victory over Heidenheim came away from home and Augsburg had to come back from being 2-0 down inside the first twenty minutes. The first home win over Wolfsburg was also secured after coming back from a losing position. The whole upswing in fortunes under Jess Thorup has been a highlight. 

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Lowlight

The Pokal exit was a low, as was the whole sorry start to the season that led to Enrico Maaßen being replaced. The home defeat to bottom side Darmstadt in what proved to be Maaßen’s final game in charge was the worst performance overall.

Stand-out performer

With Mergim Berisha sold to Hoffenheim, more of the goalscoring burden has fallen on the shoulders of Ermedin Demirovic and the Bosnian has shown that he is ready to take it on, scoring eight goals in the Hinrunde. His tally for the whole of last season was eight, so he is well on the way to beating that. 

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Grade: C-

Eleventh in the table sounds like Augsburg are relatively safe, but they are only five points ahead of Union Berlin in 15th and cannot be too complacent. Last season’s Rückrunde saw them sucked into the relegation dogfight and they only finished one point ahead of Stuttgart, who faced the play-off. There has been a positive shift since the coaching change, but Jess Thorup needs to maintain this when the season restarts in January.

About Mathew Burt 1053 Articles
Former writer at Goal.com and JustFootball, I've been doing my thing for Bundesliga Fanatic since 2015. A long-suffering Werder Bremen fan and disciple of the Germanic holy trinity...Bier. Wurst und Fußball

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