Lucien Favre decides to leave Gladbach

This Sunday provided a real surprising turn of events at BorussiaPark. After Gladbach had lost their 5th match in a row coach Lucien Favre decided to take his hat, leaving the club after 4 and a half years in charge. During the Swiss’s time at the club The Foals turned into Europa League and Champions League spot contenders after several years of mediocrity. Favre took over the team on February 14th back in 2011, back then Borussia were rock bottom with 16 points from 22 matches. His turnaround ended in a playoff victory for Gladbach against VfL Bochum.

Ever since Favre and sporting director Max Eberl have been considered to be a dream team working in tandem. Eberl has managed to lure several prolific players for low transfer fees to Borussia, and Favre allowed the team to play attacking and attractive football. In the following four years after the former Hertha coach had saved Gladbach from relegation the team managed to qualify for the Europa League twice and last season they even returned to the Champions League for the first time in 37 years.

However, this season has gotten off to a poor start. Gladbach are the first team since Nürnberg back in the 1981/82 season to be on a goal difference of -10 and zero points after five match days. The last time the club experienced six Bundesliga defeats in a row was back in 1998 when Friedel Rausch was in charge of the team.

Injury troubles and the loss of prolific players like Christoph Kramer and Max Kruse has seen Borussia displaying some of the worst football they have played in years. During the Rhine derby against Köln the team only managed to produce 2 shots during the last half and hour of the match, despite having to chase a goal to at least draw the match.

This morning the 57-year-old asked the board to be relieved of his duties, but the club told him to stay onboard according to kicker. Later on this evening the Swiss decided to issue a press release announcing his departure from the club. Favre himself issued a statement today, explaining why he leaves the club:

I’ve been long enough part of the football business, both as a player and a coach, and I’ve been through many tough situations and I always learned from them. At the current time I honestly have to say: It’s time to make the best decision for the club and the team, in order to create a change. I don’t have the feeling to be the perfect coach for Borussia Mönchengladbach. I have to be honest and I have to tell my partners from a professional point of view: It’s all about the club, the mythos Borussia. I have to make this decision for the future of Borussia.

About his time at the club Favre had only good things to say about the professionalism of his staff and the leadership. He added:

Even if it sounds pathetic: I’ll never forget the eventful years with Borussia as the most beautiful and most emotional time as a coach.

Favre leaving the club has come as a surprise to both fans and the press. Sporting director Max Eberl had told the press that his coach wouldn’t be fired under any circumstances. How Borussia are going to proceed during this difficult is unclear. During next week’s Englische Woche the club is going up against Augsburg at home and Stuttgart away. Two relegation six pointers as things currently stand in the table.

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Niklas Wildhagen

Niklas is a 33-year-old football writer and podcaster who has been following the Bundesliga and German football since the early 90s. You can follow him on Twitter, @normusings, and listen to his opinions on @TalkingFussball.