Mainz 05 scouting report: Ambitious and carefree
After two years of battling relegation, 1. FSV Mainz 05 can finally enjoy a relaxing end to the season. Nevertheless, they’re keen to finish the campaign on a high.
From a quick look at their results, it’s clear that this season has never been dull for Mainz. Fluctuations in form have characterised the 05ers’ campaign – not least in the last five matches, which have produced two wins, two defeats and one draw. Sandro Schwarz’s men have collected 16 points during the second half of the season and go into this weekend’s meeting with Eintracht in 12th place, four points off their targeted finish of tenth.
With a few exceptions, Schwarz has generally favoured a classic 4-4-2 diamond system this season. Pierre Kunde, Jean-Philippe Gbamin and Danny Latza normally provide the muscle in midfield, with Jean-Paul Boëtius as the creative outlet. Up front, Jean-Philippe Mateta is the main man to watch as his physical presence makes him a handful for opposition defenders. Mainz’s attacking play is characterised by quick transitions, while they also try to put the opposition under constant pressure and win the ball through measured pressing.
One to watch: Aarón Martín
Aarón Martín joined Mainz from Espanyol last summer. The 22-year-old Spaniard has occupied the left-back berth for the 05ers in 31 of their 32 Bundesliga games this season, and has proven particularly effective in attack. His crosses have created 81 attempts on goal, with six of them ending up in the back of the net. He’s also a tireless runner, covering an average distance of 11.2 kilometres per game. It’s no wonder, therefore, that some of Europe’s top clubs are allegedly keeping tabs on the former Spain Under-21 international.