July 14, 2012 by joshilan14
The Bundesliga, in my view, is arguably the best for unpredictability. The last decade has seen Wolfsburg win the title, despite being 9th halfway through the season; Borussia Dortmund have gone from a side on the brink of bankruptcy, to consecutive Bundesliga winners and Hoffenheim’s rise from the fifth division to an unlikely title challenge in the space of eight years. You can also add Borussia Monchengladbach’s fourth place finish last season.
Formerly a German and European force, Die Fohlen had been yo-yoing between the Bundesliga and the 2.Bundesliga for most of the last decade. When Lucien Favre took over as manager in March last year, Monchengladbach looked destined for yet another relegation. The Swiss maestro’s arrival saw a big upturn in form, which saw Monchengladbach avoid relegation via a play-off victory over Bochum.
Despite their brilliant revival, few believed that Die Fohlen would carry this form through to the next season. Under the stewardship of Lucien Favre and with many young and very-talented players being brought into the squad, the club continued where they left off. By the end of March, they even harboured ambitions of winning the Bundesliga. They did not achieve this, but with the Bundesliga gaining an extra Champions League spot from Italy, this saw Monchengladbach qualify for Europe’s premier competition as a result of a 4th place finish.
Any club which achieves over-the-odds is destined to face an uphill struggle to keep their starlets. Star man and Germany international Marco Reus signed for Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund for £13.4million. Centre back and afro man Dante was signed by German heavyweights Bayern Munich. Deep-lying midfielder Roman Neustadtr rejected a new contract at Monchengladbach, in favour for a switch to Huub Steven’s Schalke. There was even talk of Lucien Favre being wanted by Bayern Munich when Jupp Heynckes contract expires. You might think that with three of the club’s best players having departed, and talk of the manager leaving, that the club would hit a downwards spiral. This is not the case however.
Lucien Favre, the man largely responsible for the rise of the Die Fohlen, signed a contract extension until 2015, with him being quoted as saying “I am looking forward to the challenges ahead.” Like the majority of German clubs, Monchengladbach are a financially secure, and a very well-run club: this allows them to reinvest a lot of the money gained from sales into the team.
In to replace Dante at centre-back is Alvaro Dominguez, who was signed for a fee of £6.2million from Atletico Madrid; whose impressive La Liga form last season saw him gain two caps for Spain. Up-and-coming Switzerland central midfielder Granit Xhaka was signed from Basel for £6.6million to replace Roman Neustadtr. Striker Peniel Mlapa was signed from Hoffenheim for a fee of just under £2million. These players are arguably an improvement on the players that departed, and they fit into Lucien Favre’s ethos of being young and hungry. With regular playing time, these players could become an integral part of the club’s future; alongside the likes of Marc-Andre Ter-Stegen, Toby Jantschke and Patrick Hermann.
To improve further, they are desperately in need of a regular goal scorer. The answer to this problem is FC Twente’s Luuk De Jong. The striker, who was included in Holland’s Euro 2012 squad, said that “I have spoken to Favre several times. His philosophy fits perfectly with the fast game that suits me. I’ve told Twente that I only want to go to Gladbach. Borussia are playing in the qualifying round of the Champions League, and it’s best for me to take the next step in my career.” The only problem with this deal is the fee FC Twente want, with the Dutch club wanting £14million for De Jong.
The other player, who at the time of writing, is on the verge of signing for the Lower-Rhine club, is winger Junior Hoilett. The Canadian was a bright light during Blackburn’s fowl season-if you’ll pardon the pun. He is likely to replace Marco Reus, and is a more than adequate replacement. He is a good crosser of the ball, has a great shot and also has bags of pace.
Borussia Monchengladbach have shown through their summer dealings so far that their success last season was no fluke. It is hard to predict whether they will replicate their success next season; but Die Fohlen are certainly a club on the up. With Lucien Favre having agreed a new contract, and with a team full of very talented youngsters, this is a team that will not only succeed in the short-term, but that one that will grow in the long-term. Monchengladbach are only likely to get better in the years to come; and the signs so far suggest that the Lower-Rhine club will continue their success and will re-establish themselves as a force in German football in the years to come. All Lucien Favre hopes is to avoid a report of what happened when he was Hertha Berlin boss; when he took them to 4th place in his first season, and they finished bottom the next season.
For further reading on Borussia Monchengladbach’s surprise success last season, go to
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