Every year, we see clubs suffer the spectre of relegation from the top flight of the big European leagues. Some clubs are yo-yo clubs destined to move between the top two tiers of their countries’ football pyramids for the foreseeable future, while some are supposed giants.
Some major clubs suffer relegation and don’t come back up for years. It is never easy for owners to be able to predict the future in football, the future of any club is a gamble but one where you can often not have a robust betting strategy.
Today, we will be looking at one of those, Hamburg SV.
A historic relegation in 2018
‘Der Dinosaur’, as they are known in Germany, have played a big part in the top-flight in the past.
However, in 2018, the six-time German champions suffered the catastrophe of relegation to Bundesliga.2. They had been in the Bundesliga for 55 years, and their demotion was met with fan unrest.
They came desperately close to a return to the German top flight in season 2022/23, but promotion slipped away in stoppage-time of the final day. They then also suffered a crushing 6-1 aggregate play-off defeat against Stuttgart.
Expectations are high at the start of the game
When you start FM24 as HSV boss, expectations are relatively high, as your expected finish is second place. That is not surprising, considering the club should really be a Bundesliga team.
Although Hamburg has made hard work of promotion in real life recently, promotion to the German top-flight should not be that much of a challenge on FM24 with the proper management and tactics.
You are given a transfer budget of just £650,000 for the first season. However, as we will talk about in our next section the squad topped up with some free signings should be enough to be able to guide HSV back to the German top-flight.
Does HSV have a decent squad?
The Hamburg squad is pretty good by German second-tier standards, which is useful considering the lack of transfer kitty.
Looking at the HSV squad, a few players look like they would thrive in not only Bundesliga.2 but also in the German top flight when the team is promoted.
Here are my favourite Hamburg players
One of the first players that jumped out at me was the defensive midfielder/central midfielder Ludovit Reis. The 23-year-old looks like the sort of player who could play a key role in promotion, then either be sold on in the future for a big profit or also be a mainstay in the top flight.
On his coach report, he has seven pros and no cons. He works hard, is naturally fit and has high determination, which are all good attributes to have for a defensive midfielder.
The Slovakian has even stronger stats than his midfield partner, Reis. However, Benes is slightly older at 25. The fact that he can play as a defensive midfielder, a central midfielder and an attacking midfielder is a bonus.
Benes is an excellent technical player, with a rating of 15 or above for passing, flair, technique, free-kick taking and vision. In short, Benes is likely to be one of your most creative players.
The young Croatian centre-back/defensive midfielder is the sort of player who has the potential to improve immensely in the future. His stats are decent at the beginning of the game, but he will only get better with games and good coaching.
If he is managed correctly in the first season, then he wouldn’t look out of place in the Bundesliga if you win promotion. Alternatively, when in the German top-flight, if you wish to rebuild the squad, then you could sell him for a decent fee.
The 29-year-old forward could play a vital role in your promotion push. Glatzel has been prolific in the German second tier in real life, scoring 22 and 19 goals for HSV in the last two seasons, respectively.
The former Cardiff forward is arguably one of the better players in his position in the Bundesliga.2. If your team creates chances, he can score the goals to power you to promotion.
A Hamburg test next week
This article has inspired me to do a Hamburg test next week. I will report on how the first season goes and may even continue it as a series if the team wins promotion.
Looking at the available players, they would thrive in a formation such as the Ultimate 433. Keep an eye out next week for my report on how the team did and if I could steer HSV back to where they belong.
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