At the halfway point of the 2016/17 Bundesliga season, it is time for bundesliga.com to dissect the campaigns of each club so far.
Story so far
First under the microscope is SV Darmstadt 98...
It has been a season of struggle for the league’s bottom club thus far. A 2-0 home defeat to fellow basement battlers Hamburger SV on Matchday 13 spelled the end for Norbert Meier, who replaced Dirk Schuster as coach in the summer, and the Lilies enter the winter break having lost eight games on the bounce. There is much work to be done if they to extend their top-flight stay for a third season.
Watch: Highlights of Darmstadt's lone win this season, against Wolfsburg on Matchday 8:
Star player:Jerome Gondorf
Having , not much is happening for Darmstadt at either end of the pitch. However, one constant in the side is the industry and application of Jerome Gondorf in central midfield. The 28-year-old is a battler and a fan favourite, and has a goal and two assists to his name this season. Gondorf can certainly be relied upon to give his heart to the cause, despite his team’s limitations.
Honourable mention:Jonathan-Heimes-Stadion am Böllenfalltor
Whether they survive or not this season, Darmstadt will remain in people's hearts and minds after an incredible gesture in September, when the club renamed its stadium in commemoration of Jonathan 'Johnny' Heimes', a former tennis prodigy and much-loved fan, who lost his battle with cancer in March. Praise and tributes poured in from across the football world, ensuring the young man - and SV Darmstadt itself - will leave behind an enduring legacy.
- Darmstadt have just one victory [versus VfL Wolfsburg on Matchday 8] and eight points to their name. After 16 games last season, they had three wins and 18 points on the board.The Lilies are five points behind Hamburg, who occupy the relegation play-off place.Goalkeeper Michael Esser has played every minute of every league game this season. the only player in the squad to do so.