Summary

  • Tuchel spent five seasons at Mainz.
  • Earned recognition by winning first seven games of 09/10 season.
  • Ended on high of seventh-placed Bundesliga finish.

Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel's reunion with former former club 1. FSV Mainz 05 at the OPEL ARENA this weekend is likely to conjure plenty of happy memories.

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bundesliga.com looks back on the 43-year-old’s unforgettable five-season tenure as Mainz head coach…

2009/10 – 9th

Aristide Bance scored 24 goals for Mainz during his two-year spell at the club.

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Back in the big time after a two-season absence, there was intrigue countrywide at how Tuchel, in his first major coaching role, and Mainz would fare. It proved to be quite the ride. Playing an aggressive brand of football, which was to become Tuchel’s trademark, Mainz not only finished ninth but succeeded in shaking up the big time with memorable panache. After drawing their first two games, Mainz beat eventual champions FC Bayern München 2-1 on Matchday 3 at a rocking Stadion am Bruchweg and did not look back, suffering only two defeats on home turf all season. Aristide Bance found the net on ten occasions, with Andreas Ivanschitz, Tim Hoogland and an 18-year-old Andre Schürrle all chipping in regularly from midfield.

Watch: Thomas Tuchel & Jürgen Klopp, Mainz & Dortmund destinies

2010/11 – 5th

If the 2009/10 campaign brought Tuchel and Mainz to domestic attention, then 2010/11 was the year the Krumbach native rose to continental prominence. The 05ers won their first seven games of the season – including a famous 2-1 success in Munich – and ended the season in fifth, a club record to this day. Where efficiency defined Mainz in front of goal the previous season, only four sides scored more goals than Mainz’s 52 in 2010/11. Schürrle took the first step on his rise to superstardom by scoring 15 goals, while his fellow Bruchweg Boys – so named for celebrating as if in a band - Lewis Holtby and Adam Szalai both chipped in with four. Sami Allagui was another key cog in Tuchel’s pressing machine, netting ten goals.

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The Bruchweg Boys (from left): Lewis Holtby, Andre Schürrle and Adam Szalai.

2011/12 – 13th

After a bright start – Mainz beat Bayer 04 Leverkusen at home on the opening day – 2011/12 swiftly morphed into a season of struggle. While never in serious danger of relegation, 39 points was the lowest return under Tuchel's tenure. The Coface Arena was far less imposing, with visiting sides coming away victorious on seven occasions, although - by contrast - Tuchel's side became tough to beat on their travels, drawing nine games. A further disappointment was the early exit from the UEFA Europa League, although Mainz added to their good record against Bayern by beating the Bavarians 3-2 on home turf on Matchday 8. The departure of Schürrle to Leverkusen and Allagui's lack of form undermined Mainz’s attacking cohesion, although summer signing Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting scored ten goals and Julian Baumgartlinger's organisation and discipline in midfield marked him out as a future club captain.

Watch: Dortmund down Mainz on 2016/17's opening day

2012/13 – 13th

Although ending 2012/13 in the same 13th place as they finished the previous year, there were far fewer struggles in Tuchel's penultimate season at the helm. So tight was the mid-table after 34 games that Mainz would have finished seventh with two more wins. It was a poor start and end to the campaign which put paid to Tuchel’s side's hopes of finishing higher, although Szalai solved the goalscoring problems by netting 13 times. Nicolai Müller and Andreas Ivanschitz scored eight and seven goals respectively and Mainz reached the quarter-finals of the DFB Cup.

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2013/14 – 7th

Tuchel was understandably delighted after guiding Mainz into European competition.

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Tuchel's final season at the Mainz helm ended in a memorable seventh-place finish and Europa League qualification. With an impressive 16 wins, including ten at the Coface Arena, Mainz rediscovered the high-octane pressing game which brought them so much success and recognition in their coach's maiden campaign. Youngsters Loris Karius and Johannes Geis enjoyed breakthrough seasons, while Choupo-Moting again scored ten goals. It was the signing of Shinji Okazaki, however, which revitalised the club: the Japanese marksman netted 15 times in his first season, as well as leading the relentless pressing game - quite literally - from the front.

Watch: Tuchel on his Mainz return in 2015/16

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Daniel Thacker