With a third of the 2015/16 season done and dusted, bundesliga.com is checking in with all 18 clubs to see where they are at after 12 matches.
Viktor Skripnik's squad underwent major changes in the summer, but the Ukrainian tactician appears to be bringing stability back to one of Germany's most traditional clubs.
The story so far
After a reasonably solid start, SV Werder Bremen endured a rough patch in September and October, losing five straight games and sliding towards the bottom of the table. However, away victories in recent weeks, along with promising performances against FC Bayern München and Borussia Dortmund, have bred hope that a squad with a healthy blend of youth and experience can still aim for a top-half finish this term.
- Bremen are the most efficient team in the league when it comes to scoring from crosses, having found the net from every 21st cross on average.
- Anthony Ujah has had the most shots of any Werder player (31) and also created the most shooting opportunities (25).
- Three of Ujah’s five goals this season have been with his head; only FC Bayern München’s Robert Lewandowski has scored more headed goals (four).
- In both goals (177) and German top-flight appearances (392), Claudio Pizarro is ahead of every current Bundesliga player and every foreign player in the league’s 52-year existence.
Losing strike duo Davie Selke and Franco Di Santo in the summer may have caused some supporters sleepless nights about who would score Werder's goals this season, but in Anthony Ujah, sporting director Thomas Eichin has found an excellent replacement to spearhead the attack. The 25-year-old scored on his debut in the DFB Cup and registered two goals and two assists in his first four league appearances. He has since bagged a brace in a 3-1 win at former club 1. FSV Mainz 05 and put Bremen into the last 16 of the cup with a goal against another former employer in 1. FC Köln. His work rate and willingness to graft have made him an instant fans' favourite and a partnership with Claudio Pizarro is already blossoming.
Most memorable quote
“When I heard he was signing for us, I started wondering straight away what it would be like playing with him, but not even I expected things to work out as well as it has. I was calling [for a pass], “Claudio, Claudio!” But he’s such a great player that he knew exactly what to do. He’s scored and set up so many goals in his career. All I do is just listen to what he says.”
Ujah speaking after the Matchday 4 win at Hoffenheim, in which Pizarro made his third Werder debut and assisted the Nigerian to make it 2-1 to the Green-Whites in second-half injury time.
From the moment he arrived back in Bremen in early September - greeted by scores of fans at Bremen airport - Claudio Pizarro's return to Werder after two highly successful spells felt like a story that could inspire the club to greater heights. Revered by his new team-mates and adored by the fans after scoring 89 goals between 1999-2001 and 2008-2012, he made an immediate impact by assisting a last-minute strike on his debut at Hoffenheim, before rolling back the years with a spectacular volley at Augsburg on Matchday 12. His quality on the pitch remains undoubted, while his impact on a young team's morale has been immeasurable.
In 14th place in the , the four-time Bundesliga winners are still a little too close to the drop zone for comfort, but the picture looks a lot brighter since arresting a five-match losing streak by winning at Mainz on Matchday 10.