The glorious history of Borussia Mönchengladbach is on special offer this week. Two types of retro jerseys (from 50 euros), the important club chronicle (15 euros) and the legend quartet (3 euros) are available in the fan shop at a bargain price. The illustrious history is the most valuable thing this club has.
In any case, the present is pretty lackluster at Borussia Park, now in the fourth season in a row under the fourth coach. You can’t change the coach every year, the opinionated player Christoph Kramer warned in May. His club was of the opinion: You can do it! So far, however, there has been no effect. After a poor second half of the season under coach Marco Rose (2020/21), a poor season under Adi Hütter (21/22), an even more difficult season under Daniel Farke (22/23) and a particularly poor start to the season under Gerardo Seoane (23/ 24), Gladbach is now in fifth-to-last place with two points from four games. When Borussia last started similarly poorly eight years ago, coach Lucien Favre ran away. The same cannot be expected from his Swiss compatriot Seoane.
It is precisely in this condition that Gladbach welcomes its former managers Max Eberl and Marco Rose to the delegation of rival RB Leipzig on Saturday. Under sports director Eberl and coach Rose, Borussia was in the round of 16 of the Champions League in March 2021. While Gladbach still looks very hungover after the intoxication back then, Eberl and Rose are celebrating successes together again in Leipzig: winning the DFB Cup and getting into the Champions League. Both are probably happy to have made the jump from Borussia in time.
With Seoane as a kind of restorer, the squad, which has changed in several positions, should start something new
The new season, in which everything is supposed to get better, got off to a sobering start. The defeats against FC Bayern (1:2) and Bayer Leverkusen (0:3) wouldn’t have been too bad if the Gladbachers hadn’t managed two lucky draws in Augsburg and last Sunday in Darmstadt. In Augsburg, new striker Tomas Cvancara scored the 4-4 equalizer in the seventh minute of stoppage time, and in Darmstadt they made up a 3-0 deficit only because the opponent was outnumbered after a controversial red card in the second half played.
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Made the jump? Coach Marco Rose and sports director Max Eberl return to RB Leipzig.
(Photo: Frank Hoermann/Sven Simon/Imago)
“The first half in Darmstadt wasn’t at all what we imagined,” said coach Seoane on Thursday, “and I’m not happy with the two points so far either.” However, the 44-year-old reminds us that the club is in the process of a “restart”, a “change” and that something like this “takes time”. He and the club are clear about this. “The team shows great will,” emphasizes Seoane, “and the spectators support us.” That alleviates the suffering.
With Seoane as a kind of restorer, the squad, which has changed in several positions, should put an end to the recent past and start something new, which, if possible, will lead to the European Cup again at some point. But the transformation is difficult. Whether the Czech Cvancara can replace the departed center forward Marcus Thuram is still as open as the question of whether the Frenchman Franck Honorat can replace the right winger Jonas Hofmann, the young Luca Netz can replace the left back Ramy Bensebaini and the young Rocco Reitz can replace Lars Stindl in midfield.
Nico Elvedi has extended his contract – following gentle pressure from the club
“It won’t be an easy season,” said sports director Roland Virkus on Thursday after he had calmed down from a tantrum shortly after the Darmstadt game. “I knew there would be setbacks, but the character of this team is good.” The team was “simply not focused enough” in the first half in Darmstadt, said Virkus, “after they had shown in the previous game against Bayern how well they can defend.”
Seoane also doesn’t have it easy because four players – the goalkeeper and new captain Jonas Omlin, the veteran Christoph Kramer, the midfield jewel Kouadio Koné and the right-wing long-runner Stefan Lainer – are out and are out – each in their own way play an important role in this squad. At least two of them, Koné and Kramer, are about to return.
It also recently caused unrest that central defender Nico Elvedi, who contrary to expectations did not leave the club before the final year of his contract, was encouraged to extend his contract by largely being banished to the substitutes’ bench so that he would not one day leave for a free transfer. On Thursday, Elvedi actually extended it until 2027. “This commitment supports his chances of being deployed in the coming weeks,” says Seoane matter-of-factly. Elvedi will probably be sorely needed against Leipzig.
Virkus firmly expects the team to “come”. The squad is competitive, he says with conviction and continues to firmly believe in Seoane’s qualities. “He is very meticulous, extremely hardworking, very communicative with the players and overall does a very good job.” In any case, in Gladbach they are working hard to ensure that the fan shop doesn’t just sell retro items from the glorious past.