Mönchengladbach tries to be sober – sports

Vice President Rainer Bonhof does not exactly feel the need to let the football world look too deeply into Borussia Mönchengladbach’s wounded soul at the moment. The 69-year-old used his first appearance as a temporary replacement for the resigned sporting director Max Eberl in the press conference before the Bundesliga match in Arminia Bielefeld for a style exercise in the form of brevity.

How fast should one introduce a new sports director? “Not fast, but as we are: at rest.” What qualifications does the Eberl successor need? “He should know something about football.” Will Eberl’s contract be terminated? “We’re checking it out right now.” Is there an ultimatum to coach Adi Hütter? “We are on Adi’s side, we do not need to discuss that.” How comforting is it that 10,000 spectators are allowed to enter the stadium in Bielefeld on Saturday? “More would fit in there.”

One can assume that Bonhof is a bit more willing to inform internally in conversation with Hütter. The coach, to whom Eberl had already revealed his plans to retire last autumn, does not feel abandoned by the burnt-out sports director and considers Borussia “still well positioned” even without Eberl. Hütter emphasized that he also had a good relationship with Deputy Chairman Bonhof, Executive Committee member Hans Meyer, Scout Manager Steffen Korell and CFO Stephan Schippers. Of course, Eberl’s message was “an absolute blow” to him at the time, “because Max was also a factor in why I chose Gladbach”.

The Austrian Hütter, 51, has not been very lucky with the loyalty of his fellow fighters in recent months. He also left Eintracht Frankfurt last summer because sporting director Fredi Bobic and sporting director Bruno Hübner left there. Now, after a little over half a year at Mönchengladbach, he loses not only Eberl but also the player he wants to have developed the feelings of as a father during their time together in Bern, Switzerland, and who filled the central position in midfield. in Gladbach has: Denis Zakaria.

Swiss Zakaria, who switched to Turin, leaves a question mark in midfield

The 25-year-old Swiss switched to Juventus Turin on Monday, leaving Hütter with the mystery of which player he will now place in the double position in front of the defensive chain along with Frenchman Kouadio ‘Manu’ Koné. Hütter thinks: no problem. Either the “communicator” Christoph Kramer or the “meanwhile runner and giant” Florian Neuhaus or even Jonas Hofmann, “who could also play a six in an emergency”.

Hütter therefore has ample opportunity to surprise the Bielefeld hosts. Should Arminen, who have been unbeaten five times in a row, admit it with a victory in a dry East Westphalian mentality, then Gladbach would be under even more pressure the following Saturday at home against FC Augsburg. “We now have two very, very important matches in Bielefeld and against Augsburg,” coach Hütter said on Thursday, but after Vice President Bonhof remarked in his subsequent speech, “we have much more than two important matches ahead of us”. Hütter formulated directly on the next occasion: “We still have 14 incredibly important matches ahead of us.”

From Hütter himself, Eberl’s resignation probably took some of the pressure off for the time being. Borussia could not use a change of coach right now. Even the hunt for a new sports director could drag on. An increasingly dangerous situation in the table basement over the next few weeks would at most jeopardize Hütter’s job.

On Friday night last week, a few hours after Eberl held its very emotional press conference in Borussia Park, Gladbach’s footballers met for the team night. “There, I had the feeling that a now-more than ever mentality had emerged,” Hütter said Thursday. On Wednesday, however, striker Jonas Hofmann described Eberl’s resignation as “appalling for the club”. “Those were emotional days.” The effects of the relegation battle and Eberl’s withdrawal in combination on Borussia’s footballers will be seen on Saturday in Bielefeld.

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