The Austrian Bundesliga is one of our favourite leagues, always full of goals and entertainment. The 2013/14 season was no different, with 63% of games having 3 or more goals. Winners Red Bull Salzburg scored 110, with a goal difference of +75. Since the influx of RB money they have been near unstoppable, drawing 6 and losing 5 in a 36 game season. They won with ease, by 18 points from 2nd place Rapid Vienna. Here are the important positions and information:
Champion – Salzburg (Champions League Qualifying Rounds)
2nd – Rapid Vienna / 3rd – Grodig (Europa League Qualifying Rounds)
4th/5th – Austria Vienna / Sturm Graz
Relegated – Wacker Innsbruck
Promoted – SCR Altach
As mentioned it was a very good season, with new boys Grodig performing brilliantly, grabbing a Europa League Quals spot from one of the biggest clubs in Austria…Austria Vienna. Ried deserve an honourable mention, they did very well, only dropping off the two mentioned above late on in the season. They started the new season well yesterday with a 3-1 win. Sturm Graz are getting better, with the club finishing 5th. Rapid Vienna on the other hand are improving, with a 2nd place finish their best in recent memory.
Poor performers this season were the likes of Austria Vienna, who have gone from the 2nd best team in Austria, regulars in Europe, to not even in the top 3. They need to buck up, and get a grip! Wolfsberger were also pretty drab last season, finishing in the bottom 3.
The problem in a 10 team league in the competition. Playing each other 4 times a season must be quite dull, but with so few teams it’s hard to suggest anything else. A 12 team format would be a lot better – the likes of Kapfenburg in the league below are very good, often competing well in the cup. A reshuffle is in order.
Yesterday marked the start of the new season, with new-boys Altach defeating stalwarts Sturm Graz. Ried won 3-1 as mentioned, with Admira Wacker losing 4-1 to Wolfsberger. What shows the real lack of competitiveness is the meeting between the top 2 – Salzburg and Rapid Vienna. The game ended 6-1 to the Red Bull boys, with a 90th minute penalty consolation goal for Rapid. In their defence, RB’s budget dwarfs the rest. They have so many excellent players, lead Striker Jonathon Soriano is an ex-Barcelona youth player. Then they have the likes of Martin Hinterreger at the back, with plenty in-between.
- Jonathan Soriano – 31 Goals (Salzburg)
- Alan – 26 Goals (Salzburg)
- Philipp Zulechner – 15 Goals (Grodig)