Borussia Mönchengladbach play a great season. At one point the club was even on the top of the table. Currently, it is all about qualifying for the Champions League. The last years were quite successful at the Rhein, so that the club has established itself in the top third of the table and is seen as top team. Even though Dieter Hecking did a good job, Mönchengladbach decided to set new impulses in the past summer, bringing in Marco Rose. Can Rose win a championship with Mönchengladbach?
Bundesliga – A Top League
At the moment, it is rather difficult to become champion in the Bundesliga as one has to beat Bayern Munich. The record champion has won every championship since 2013, which means they have won the league seven times in a row. For Marco Rose, this means that he has to improve the team up to the point where Bayern Munich can be beaten. This alone proves how difficult this mission is.
FC Red Bull Salzburg
But Marco Rose has proven that he is a successful coach. In 2017, he won the UEFA Youth League with the U19 of RB Salzburg, which is the equivalent to the UEFA Champions League for youth teams. In his very first season at senior level, Rose won the Austrian championship with RB Salzburg and reached the semi-finals of the Europa League. In the following year, he was able to defend that title. These achievements alone prove that Rose knows how to form a championship contender.
Tactically, Rose showed early on in this season in Mönchengladbach that he has a clear plan of how his team should shape. Gladbach aim to play a high and compact pressing in this season. Very often they try to win the ball deep down in the opponent’s half and then transition quickly into the attack. This pattern is seen rather often. With 53 goals after 27 game Gladbach has scored the fourth most goals in this year’s Bundesliga. Potential for improvement lurks in the defence. Here, the team does not always act fully concentrated, so that sometimes unnecessary goals are conceded. Also the possession game is not on top level. Still, the experience from his time in Salzburg shows that Rose clearly knows how to tackle these problems. Especially towards the end of his time in Salzburg the team knew how to behave tactically and had almost no weaknesses. Also, the tactical preparation was always brilliant. It is quite normal that these processes need time and that it is difficult to make everything work from the start on. In a strong league like the Bundesliga, every tiny mistake is punished, so therefore it is not a surprise that Gladbach are not a title contender yet.
1. Bundesliga 2019-2020 Season
Despite all of this, it should be noted that the season until now is a great one having these problems in mind. Gladbach are currently fourth and have theoretically good chances for a better result. Thus, it can be said already that Rose’s first season at the Rhein is surely successful. Bearing in mind that there is still potential, one can imagine that Gladbach might fight for the championship in a few years. Little improvement tactically might have a huge impact. These improvements will definitely come, and then Gladbach will be a title contender.
Beside tactical genius, Rose is also a great psychologist and can prepare his team mentally for a title fight. Marco Rose is known as a likeable person who can lead a team. Both one on one conversations and team meetings are a great strength of Rose where he can get into his player’s heads. Thanks to his experience in Salzburg, he knows the pressure that happens in a title fight. Therefore, he is the best man to lead Gladbach into a title fight. The pressure in Germany is certainly higher than in Austria, but still this will be an opportunity for Rose to show if he has these skills.
Another important point is the strength of the team. If Marco Rose wants to lead Gladbach to a championship, he needs a strong squad. When Borussia Dortmund won the championship in 2012 against Bayern Munich, they had world class players like Robert Lewandowski, Mats Hummels, Ilkay Gündogan or Mario Götze. In a long and hard title fight, it is incredibly important to have players on the roster, who can win a game even on a bad day and guarantee a certain amount of points just because of their individual quality. Bayern Munich have a lot of these players and will even play for the title just because of Robert Lewandowski’s goals.
For Borussia Mönchengladbach, the aim must be to find young, hungry talents and bring them to world class level. Then they have to keep these players as long as possible in the team. Buying world class players externally will not be possible for Gladbach due to the limited financial means.
In the current roster, the two strikers Marcus Thuram and Allasanne Pléa are two important players. While Pléa is already 27 year old und will not be improving drastically, Thuram has the potential to get to world class level one day. Here, it will be important to develop this player and then keep him in the team.
In the midfield positions, Florian Neuhaus sticks out. He is not seen as supertalent, but has shown great improvement and can become a great player on the long term. Still there is the risk of other Bundesliga clubs trying to buy this players. Similar problems occurred when Mahmoud Dahoud was acquired by Borussia Dortmund. Also Denis Zakaria is one of those players who should be kept in the team. He is a great talent and will surely become a fantastic player.
Nonetheless Borussia Mönchengladbach will be forced to bring in young players from there academy or from external transfers. These players must be developed to world class level. Borussia Dortmund can be seen as an example as they have already two of these players in their roster with Jadon Sancho and Erling Braut Haland. If Rose is able to build the roster like he wishes to do, Gladbach may be very successful in the upcoming years.