Although TSG 1899 Hoffenheim's final finish may be regarded as a disappointment, their Houdini-style escape from relegation under a young and ambitious coach has left a sweet taste in the mouth.
Season in a nutshell
Hoffenheim entered the season with aspirations of finally ending their wait for a first-ever European finish. Markus Gisdol was the man expected to guide them into the top six, but with just seven points from the first ten games of the season, that dream soon vanished. Huub Stevens was drafted in to replace Gisdol, but his identical record of seven points from ten games was also insufficient.
Top three games
MD22: TSG 1899 Hoffenheim 3-2 1. FSV Mainz 05
It was Hoffenheim's first home game under Nagelsmann, and their first win under their third coach of the season. The three points and the excellent performance laid the foundations for a sensational recovery, and gave the fans some much-needed optimism.
MD26: VfB Stuttgart 5-1 TSG 1899 Hoffenheim
A heavy defeat but one which also marked a turning point in Hoffenheim's season. Nagelsmann learned the lessons from this game and, with nothing more to lose, moulded his side's attacking style of play better to suit their opponents.
MD32: TSG 1899 Hoffenheim 2-1 FC Ingolstadt 04
A fifth home win in six games under Nagelsmann meant Hoffenheim were practically safe with two games of the season remaining, a late goal from Nadiem Amiri proving decisive.
The winter signing of Andrej Kramaric was a masterstroke. Drafted in from eventual Premier League champions Leicester City FC, he scored five goals and set up a further four, while he was always heavily involved in Hoffenheim's attack-minded brand of exciting football. His presence also aided the development of Amiri (four goals/four assists), who has himself developed into one of the league's most exciting prospects.