Follow It's Round and It's White on Facebook

What has happened to VfL Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga?

Friday 12th May 2017
Three points and two places above the Bundesliga relegation playoffs with two games remaining, Vfl Wolfsburg's fall from grace has been surprising and dramatic.

The Wolves are in a precarious position as the season comes to a close, completely contrasting what many expected from the once-ambitious side just a season or two ago.

The plan was to challenge for the league title not fight for survival, but Wolfsburg's demise is entirely self-inflicted.

Wolfsburg's recent Bundesliga finishes

Season | Pos | P | W | D | L | F | A | Pts

(2016/17) | 14th | 32 | 10 | 6 | 16 | 32 | 49 | 36

(2015/16) | 8th | 34 | 12 | 9 | 13 | 47 | 49 | 45

(2014/15) | 2nd | 34 | 20 | 9 | 5 | 72 | 38 | 69

(2013/14) | 5th | 34 | 18 | 6 | 10 | 63 | 50 | 60

It wasn't long ago since Wolfsburg embarked on a lucrative project to try and end Bayern Munich's monopoly on the Bundesliga, but the big-spending policy was ultimately scrapped and the club have suffered as a result. In 2013/14, they procured coveted talented from European heavyweights - Kevin De Bruyne (Chelsea) for £19M and Luiz Gustavo (Bayern Munich) for £14M. In 2014/15, Wolfsburg signed André Schürrle (Chelsea) for £27M.

But 2015/16 saw a sell-to-buy policy adopted with a -£30M net spend last season. De Bruyne and Ivan Perisic were sold for a combined £80M and just over half the money went towards coveted players Julian Draxler (Schalke 04) for £36M, Max Kruse (Borussia Mönchengladbach) for £10M and Dante (Bayern Munich) for £4M. And if the end of the project wasn't already apparent due to the lack of net investment, this season's activity confirms it.

Wolfsburg's top buy was Yannick Gerhardt from (FC Köln) for a paltry £11M. The club sold Draxler and Schürrle to Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund for a combined £60M. With the transfer money not being invested fully, the club are going backwards and their current predicament is worrying for the supporters. For a club that won the Bundesliga title in 2008/09 and finished runner-up in 2014/15, Wolfsburg could drop into the second division as a result of the club's poor direction.

A lack of serious investment in the squad leads to a poor quality of players and therefore a disappointing run of results. Wolfsburg started the season with just one Bundesliga win in their first nine games. After 14 games, the Wolves had just 10 points and had suffered their eighth defeat of the season after going down 5-0 to Bayern Munich. And on the squad, goals have been a big problem. Veteran striker Mario Gomez has scored 15 goals in the league but the second-highest scorer has just four to his name.

There are no stars left in the team as they've been sold off without the club coming close to replacing them, and relegation is potentially one more defeat away depending on other results. Wolfsburg may well survive this season but their long-term future in the Bundesliga is in doubt. Many of the players were tearful after last month's defeat to Bayern Munich, hurt deeply by the troubles the club are enduring, and the number of heavy defeats suffered this season hints of toils for years to come.

Vfl Wolfsburg's heaviest defeats in the Bundesliga

(20/9/16) Vfl Wolfsburg 1-5 Borussia Dortmund

(10/12/16) Bayern Munich 5-0 Vfl Wolfsburg

(8/4/17) Schalke 4-1 Vfl Wolfsburg

(29/4/17) Vfl Wolfsburg 0-6 Bayern Munich

Wolfsburg has two games remaining in this season's Bundesliga, home to mid-table Mönchengladbach on Saturday and an away visit to fellow strugglers Hamburger SV on the 20th May.
Crippy Cooke

Crippy is a long-suffering Aston Villa supporter and weekly football accumulator enthusiast.

Stealing a living, the balding 27-year-old boasts a wealth of writing experience - Telegraph, Independent, Huffington Post, Zoo Magazine, Daily Mail, ITV Football, MSN Sport, Yahoo Sport, London 24 and Bleacher Report.

Total articles: 330

Latest Opinion Articles