The league looks stunned at Borussia Mönchengladbach. Last season round of 16 in the Champions League – next season then second Bundesliga?
That is no longer out of the question. On Saturday against Union Berlin (3:30 p.m. / Sky) there is finally a risk of falling into the relegation zone. The situation also makes coach Adi Hütter almost despair.
“This is definitely the most difficult situation in my 13-year career as a coach,” admitted the 51-year-old Austrian, who had come from Eintracht Frankfurt in the summer as a great hope for 7.5 million euros, openly admitted on Friday. “Of course I didn’t expect something like that. I expected something completely different. But sometimes things just work out differently.”
Cup debacle in Hanover
After the embarrassing 0:3 in the DFB Cup Round of 16 at the staid second division club Hannover 96, which could have been much higher, the term “nervous” for the atmosphere around Borussia is still completely inadequate. Observers have long been reminded of the time before 2011, when the five-time champion only saved himself in the relegation and then became a top player in the Bundesliga again. Hardly any of that can be seen at the moment.
The man, who embodies the face of the club like no other and stands for the upswing on the Lower Rhine in the past decade, is currently unable to speak publicly. According to the club, sports director Max Eberl is ill. Before the important game against Union there could be no support from him for the coach. There is currently lively speculation that, in the event of another bankruptcy, the Austrian will no longer be able to be held despite the million-dollar transfer fee. Hütter described the rumors as a “normal process”.
Hütter under pressure
But he is not (yet) afraid of losing his job. “I feel a lot of trust within the club from the people involved,” reported Hütter. “That’s good for me too, but we also know that we have to change the situation very quickly.”
At the beginning of December, when Borussia suffered dramatic defeats in the derby at 1. FC Köln (1: 4) and against SC Freiburg (0: 6) and conceded 17 goals within three games, Eberl still considered questions about Hütter “absurd”. dismissed and clarified: “You make a conscious decision to go down a path together. We now go through thick and thin together.” In any case, Eberl is not known as someone who quickly leaves a coach in a crisis.
But what is still normal in Gladbach at the moment? The same players who celebrated Champions League galas against Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Shakhtar Donetsk in the previous season or who defeated Bayern Munich twice this season and even humiliated them 5-0 in the cup recently presented themselves as amateurish in some cases. “Of course that’s incomprehensible,” said Hütter himself, who, according to his own information, is not yet at a loss.
Eberl criticized by fans
The fans now also blame Eberl for the sometimes phlegmatic appearances of the players because, according to Hütter, a number of professionals are currently more concerned with their own future. “It didn’t exist like that before,” said the “Rheinische Post” among other things, aptly criticizing Eberl.
Eberl can hardly be responsible for the fact that hoped-for transfers like Marcus Thuram to Inter Milan failed in the summer due to sudden injuries. The fact that the Frenchman only trotts listlessly across the pitch after his recovery and hasn’t scored a single goal of the season, just as little. The fact that the sometimes lethargic squad has only been changed selectively for a year and a half is more of a bother to the large following, despite the corona crisis, which was not their fault. Because it affects all clubs – some of which did much better.
Before the important cup game in Hanover, Eberl’s appearance had also led to confused comments from the supporters. Grim and conspicuously short, he only gave snotty and apparently reluctant information, calling Hütter several times by the first name of ex-coach Dieter Hecking. “He made a worrying impression,” commented the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”.