First Division – Bundesliga. Still among the best leagues in Europe, although it is was not the most desirable league for major international stars. Reputation is reputation, but the reality was… Bayern. Other clubs came and went, Bayern remained dominant. Rather boring…
Hannover 96 – the outsider this season. Last with 19 points and once again relegated.
Stuttgarter Kickers – 17th with 26 points. Quite unlucky – they were entangled in a battle for survival with three other teams. All finished with 26 points, but St. Kickers had the worst goal-difference and was relegated.
Eintracht Frankfurt – escaped direct relegation on better goal-difference, but remained in risk of going down: 16th with 26 points and going to promotion/relegation play-off against the 3rd in the Second Division.
Eintracht managed to survive with difficulty – they prevailed over 1.FC Saarbrucken 2-0 and 1-2 and kept their top league place. Very weak season, though, and looking at the their team, such poor performance was surprising. But all ended well.
VfL Bochum clinched safety on better goal-difference: 15th with 26 points.
1.FC Nurnberg – 14th with 26 points and best goal-difference among the weak.
Bayer 05 Uerdingen – 13th with 31 points.
SV Waldhof Mannheim – 12th with 31 points.
Karlsruher SC – 11th with 32 points.
FC St. Pauli – 10th with 32 points. Arguably, the best ever season of the smaller Hamburg’s club.
1.FC Kaiserslautern – 9th with 33 points.
Bayer 04 Leverkusen – 8th with 34 points. Coached by Rinus Michels now and having large group of foreigners (Tita, Cha, Buncol, Lesniak), but no stronger than the previous season…
Borussia Dortmund – 7th with 37 points in the league, but that was memorable season for them.
Borussia Moenchengladbach – 6th with 38 points.
VfB Stuttgart – 5th with 39 points. Stuttgart had the squad for more, but…
Hamburger SV – 4th with 43 points. Looked like HSV made successful transition and was getting ready for new attack of the title – as soon as the next season. No trouble of selling Polish star Okonski – young Oliver Bierhoff was in the squad.
Werder Bremen – 3rd with 44 points. One has to credit Otto Rehhagel: he had good, but not exceptional team, so it was his coaching keeping them at the top of West German football.
1.FC Koln – 2nd with 45 points. Coming up, yet not ready to challenge Bayern – may be the next year. Christoph Daum was certainly making a name for himself, but the squad needed a few solid additions and fine tuning – Morten Olsen, Littbarski, Thomas Allofs and Kargus were getting dangerously old, so there was need to add younger players to a skeleton of Illgner, Kohler, Thomas Haasler, and Flemming Poulsen. And that if able to keep the talented skeleton, which was also difficult.
Bayern was dominant champion: 19 wins, 12 ties, only 3 lost games, 67-26 goal-difference and 50 points. There was no secret: money and solid organization, aimed always at winning. Jupp Heynckes was arguably the best young German coach and Bayern had no sentimental problems with hiring one of their foes in the past. The squad was superior to any other German team – may be not as great team as the one led by Beckenbauer in the 1970s, but it was not Bayern’s fault that German football was not producing players like Beckenbauer, Muller, Maier, Breitner, Hoeness anymore: they had the best available at the moment. The only problem this team had was a repetition of the one in the late 1970s: goalkeeping. Back then there was a shaky period after Sep Mayer retired, finally solved with the recruitment of Jean-Marie Pfaff. Now a replacement of Pfaff was needed urgently. And may be a classy playmaker. Both problems were more international than domestic – at home they could easily prevail over any rival, but for European success at least a better goalkeeper was a must. But that was for the transfer period in the post-season – presently Bayern was enjoying their 11th title.