AC Wolfsberger

Bundesliga
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Season Guide
2019/2020

AC Wolfsberger

In


Gerhard Struber (manager), Stefan Peric (def) (Wacker Innsbruck), Anderson Niangbo (att) (Salzburg - loan), Alexander Schmidt (att) (Salzburg - loan), Shon Weissman (att) (Maccabi Haifa), Manuel Kuttin (gk) (Admira)

Out


Christian Ilzer (manager) (Austria), Gerald Nutz (sp) (att) (GAK), Bernd Gschweidl (sp) (att) (Altach), Sekou Koita (att) (Salzburg - back from loan), Kevin Friesenbichler (sp) (att) (Austria Vienna - back from loan)

After several seasons in which they left plenty to be desired both in terms of playing style and results, Wolfsberger enjoyed an excellent 2018/19 season, qualifying for Europe and playing some eye-catching stuff in the process. Unfortunately for the Wolves, their success made it impossible for them to keep hold of their highly rated manager Christian Ilzer, who was tempted away by Austria Vienna. The club's reaction was to go for another promising manager in Gerhard Struber, who did a good job in charge of Salzburg's reserve side Liefering, but has no previous experience of managing in the top flight. Struber has brought in two of his former Liefering players in Anderson Niangbo and Alex Schmidt, while two proven Bundesliga players have joined in Manuel Kuttin and Stefan Peric. No important players have left during the summer, with all of the players who left the club having played only bit-part roles this time around. While Wolfsberger's playing squad looks a touch stronger than last season, it needs to be noted that they are widely seen as a side that has overachieved last time around. Moreover, Ilzer was arguably the main reason for their success and their new boss Struber has some rather large shoes to fill.

Target


Wolfsberger will be aiming for a midtable finish. Struber will also be expecting to maintain the attacking-minded brand of football that his predecessor was known for.

Season Review
2018/2019

№3: AC Wolfsberger

The decision of Wolfsberger's board to not give their managerial job on a full time basis to caretaker Robert Ibertsberger was widely seen as harsh at the time, with the Wolves improving a great deal under him. However, their decision to name Christian Ilzer their new boss proved to have been a master stroke over time, as the Wolves went on to enjoy a superb league campaign, had no major ups and downs over the course of the season and ended up finishing third, which means a place in the group stage of the Europa League next season. What will please the Carinthians' fans even more than their league finish is the manner in which their side got their results. Wolfsberger became synonymous with a dull physical brand of football over the recent years, but it has been a completely different situation under Ilzer, who got the side to play an eye-catching attacking-minded brand of football and got good results doing so. Unfortunately for the Wolves, the success of their boss has not gone unnoticed. Several big Bundesliga clubs are reportedly interested in signing Ilzer and there is a big question mark over whether he will still be in charge next season. While bigger than several other sides in the league, the Wolves should not be expected to battle against the drop even without Ilzer, but it is definitely hard to see them repeating the campaign that they have had.


Player of the Season: Michel Liendl

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