In Hipster's Choice we choose a team of our liking and analyze it in many different ways regarding history, tradition and recent or current success. This month, Axel looks at a club that values the stability of being "OK", SpVgg Fürth.
FEBRUARY: SpVgg Greuther Fürth
"A club from Nüremberg", I answered when a friend of mine a few years back asked me what ”Greuther” Fürth was. Little did I know that the fans of the very same club would have lynched me had they known my answer. It’s not a club from Nüremberg, it’s a club from Fürth, a city in the direct vicinity of Nüremberg, and that’s very important to know, because not only is it factually wrong to say that they’re from Nüremberg, it’s also to deny them of an identity. They are not 1. FC Nürembergs little brother, but they are SpVgg Fürth, a proud little club from Franconia that has had its fair share of success in the 21th century.
Identity and pride seem to be two of the main pillars of this club from Fürth, die Kleeblättern, who have had a turbulent, but fun decade. They’ve lost many great players, but they have always managed to gain momentum in the new season by developing new youngsters and players from their youth setup and through their very decent scouting network. Grünweiss from Fürth seem to be one of the minnows in 2. Bundesliga, but they really are not- 2. Bundesliga is exactly where they belong.
Founded as early as 1903, they won the German title in 1914, 1926 and 1929 as SpVgg Fürth, the callsign ”Greuther” was added much later. They played in the first division of German football until Bundesliga was formed, but have since then only had one season in the top flight, 2012/2013, but were relegated instantly. The club’s name derives from their merger with TSV Vestenbergsgreuth in 1996 and they got promoted instantly and have played Zweiteliga since then, apart from 2012/2013 when they played Bundesliga football for the first time in their history.
This season has been one of many for the guys in Grün und weiss from Fürth, they're placed in the middle, in no danger of relegation but they aren't close to promotion or even challenging for promotion either. They look stable and good right where they are right now, in the middle. Some might say they have settled for mediocrity, but they seem to have understood that a challenge for promotion craves a summoning of quality and money that just doesn't exist anymore for Fürth, therefore their place in the middle of the table seems to be perfect for them. Stability is a virtue at Fürth, as well as tradition and pride is for their fans. They have though been underwhelming at timed during this campaaign and have looked lacklustre in both defence and attack. Former Schalke-player Mike Büskens was the one to bring them to Bundesliga in 2012, but left the club after they got relegated. However, he returned for a short spell in 2015 and stabilized the then rather turbulent club. Stefan Ruthenbeck became the new manager, but after a spell of bad discipline and horrible showings on the pitch, he was relieved of his duties in November last year and Janos Radoki replaced him. Radoki has done wel, so far and they even beat the promotion candidates Hannover 96 with 4-0 last week, a result even the slumbering Zweite Liga-fan was woken up by. Now their placed eleventh in ". Bundesliga, but are far from being in danger of relegation.
Why Hipster's Choice?
Fürth is a very uncoveted club with a bit of interesting history. It's a respectable club with respectable fans in a very unconventional stadium in one of the most beautiful areas in Europe. Add to that their short spell in Bundesliga and their recent win against Hannover 96 and you have more or less the perfect outfit for Hipster's Choice.
Turkish winger-slash-striker Serdar Dursun seems to be one of the better at the club and has impressed massively this season by scoring frequently (7 goals), goalkeeper Sascha Bürchert has also been one of the key performers this campaign as well as winger-slash-wingback Khaled Narey whoose crosses always create opportunities for the tall strikers of Fürth. What they miss is perhaps a proper goalscorer, one who can bang goals in on a weekly basis instead of having to wait for Dursun or other winger Sararer to hit form. As long as their key performers keep on performing as they have done so far, Fürth's stability will not falter. In general the team does seem to have problems going forward. With only 22 goals scored in 20 games, things could easily turn ugly for them if their key players drop in form.
editor, hipster and not a resident of Saarland