No-one at the Hanseatic port outfit was expecting the transition to be easy and the process remains far from complete but, as sporting director Thomas Eichin noted, “It was important for us to get a sense of things progressing this season, and we have.” bundesliga.com has the Green-Whites' campaign for you in a nutshell...
After getting off to a reasonable start with wins over Eintracht Braunschweig and FC Augsburg, Bremen lost three in a row before bouncing back in the traditional northern face-off with Hamburger SV. Defensive frailties were exposed in the run-up to the winter break, with a thrilling 4-4 draw at 1899 Hoffenheim swiftly followed by an unparalleled seven-goal home thrashing at the hands of FC Bayern München. The team looked increasingly solid after the restart even if they remained far from watertight at the back, with Borussia Dortmund and Bayern - again - hitting them for five apiece, but away victories at 1. FC Nürnberg and Hannover 96 towards the end of the campaign proved that Dutt's men had the necessary grit to endure in the top flight.
After a decade of first-team service is heading for pastures new. He took his leave of Bremen in style with a brace against Hertha Berlin in his final appearance at the Weserstadion to make it seven goals for the season. With nine assists to his name as well, Hunt was directly involved in more goals than any other Werder player and his departure also leaves the team short of one of their undisputed onfield leaders.
Not one for Bremen fans to relish in the least, the visit of Bayern to the Weserstadion on 7 December 2013 ended in the heaviest defeat the Green-Whites have ever endured on home turf in the Bundesliga. Assani Lukimya's 21st-minute own-goal opened the floodgates in an eventual 7-0 demolition, Franck Ribery chipping in with a brace and Mario Götze rounding out the misery in the final minute.
The above dismantling did not lead to any excessive soul-searching from those overseeing the Bremen work-in-progress. Sporting director Thomas Eichin, for one, reckoned that, “The only way we could maybe have avoided this defeat today would have been by sticking three keepers between the posts.”
His scoring exploits notwithstanding, Aaron Hunt's most memorable contribution to his farewell season was an exceptional act of fair play at fellow strugglers 1. FC Nürnberg on Matchday 24. In convincing the referee to overturn a penalty award after admitting he only stumbled in the box, Hunt earned added kudos from his opponents and many a follower of the game, casual or otherwise, around the world.