Borussia Mönchengladbach Season Review: Second Half Fatigue

Borussia Mönchengladbach Season Review: Second Half Fatigue  - FootyNews.co.uk
STUTTGART, GERMANY – APRIL 27: Thorgan Hazard and Alassane Plea of Borussia Monchengladbach look dejected after the Bundesliga match between VfB Stuttgart and Borussia Moenchengladbach at Mercedes-Benz Arena on April 27, 2019 in Stuttgart, Germany. (Photo by Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Bongarts/Getty Images)

In this Borussia Mönchengladbach season review, we will be taking a closer look at Die Fohlen. Starting the season well, Gladbach’s season has been full of ups and downs. Once in the title race, the team’s campaign took an unfortunate turn. It’s time to take an in-depth look at how the clubs season panned out.

Borussia Mönchengladbach Season Review: Second Half Fatigue

Good Start

Starting the season well, Gladbach found themselves in an unlikely title race. Second in the table by matchday eight, the team was above Bayern Munich and only just behind rivals Borussia Dortmund. Key contributions from Alassane Pléa and Thorgan Hazard put the team in a good position.

Pléa led the way early on, scoring eight goals in his first 11 games, the clubs big summer signing was on fire. Arguably the teams most valuable outfield player, Hazard was crucial to the teams success. Contributing nine goals and six assists before the winter break, the Belgian forward was invaluable.

The 2017/18 Bundesliga season saw Gladbach finish 9th. Sticking with Dieter Hecking, the club had faith in the manager, hoping European football was on the way. Hecking had Gladbach not only in the Champions League places but in a title race with Dortmund.

Now, no title race is decided in November or December but Gladbach were in a position nobody thought they would be in. Hecking was given a contract extension and Champions League football looked certain. However, just like many teams, the Rückrunde would tell a different story and Gladbach’s season was about to spiral out of control.

Rückrunde Struggles

In their final game before the winter break, Gladbach lost a close game to rivals Borussia Dortmund. Losing 2-1, the team celebrated the new year in third place, with high hopes of securing Champions League football. As Bayern moved above them, a title race which always seemed unrealistic was no longer Gladbach’s main focus.

Consolidating a top-four finish was now the goal. Matchday 20 was the last time we saw Gladbach in second and unfortunately for Hecking and his team, it was only downhill from there.

After beating Schalke 2-0, the team began to slip down the table. Losing seven games before the end of the season, Gladbach’s season fell apart. The likes of Hazard and Pléa failed to replicate their early season form. Both players contributed just four Rückrunde goals, this played a key role in Gladbach’s struggles.

Matchday 27 saw the team drop out of the top four, this was the end of the road for Hecking. On April 2nd, sporting director Max Eberl announced Hecking’s departure. The team went on to finish 5th, missing out on Champions League football, as Hecking’s time with the club came to an end.

The Future

Moving on from Hecking, Gladbach will make changes this summer. German manager Marco Rose will take charge and the team’s set-up is sure to change as well. Successful during his time in Austria with RB Salzburg, Rose is a young, inventive manager who will put his own stamp on a lacklustre Gladbach squad.

One big change this summer is the transfer of key man Thorgan Hazard. Joining Borussia Dortmund, Hazard leaves after a season of two halves.

Something else to expect in the future is the involvement of young players. As a league, the Bundesliga is known for helping young players thrive. Rose embraces this mentality, using several young players during his time with Salzburg.

This opens the door for players like Andreas Poulsen, Jordan Beyer, Mickaël Cuisance and László Bénes. Potentially injecting some life into an at times lifeless Gladbach side, Rose won’t be afraid to throw young players into his team. Expect more changes this summer, as Borussia Mönchengladbach looks to bounce back after a disappointing season.