Arise, Squire Patrick Herrmann

Patrick Herrmann is facing a season in which he urgently needs to take a step forward. After two, more or less lost years, it is high time for the 26-year-old.

It still feels like Patrick Herrmann is that “Home-grown player,” en route to his  great Bundesliga breakthrough. Once, he was hailed as a legitimate successor of Marco Reus and the door for a national team career was wide open.

In the meantime, the 26-year-old has become a 26-year-old professional who has nearly 200 Bundesliga games on the hump, but still awaits his “complete breakthrough.” In addition to Tony Jantschke, he is the last field player, who was already there before the Favre era and who was involved in the relegation. It is high time for his next step.

The fact that the development of the offensive player has stalled in the last few years is largely due to the huge injuries. The cruciate ligament rupture two years ago was a real shock and although he did not have to be operated on, he fell out for months. And he did not really find back to his former strength since then, also because of further setbacks.

In the past season, he had some mixed results. After he had various leg injuries in the preseason, he shuttled back and forth between the Startelf (starting line up), being a substitute, or being a spectator in the stadium. At the beginning of the season, he was diagnosed with a muscle-fiber crack, missing four competitive games. It was not until mid-October that he started in the league for the first time, but his opening match against HSV was “a complete flop,” as it was then called by the critics. Herrmann was completely out of sync and was replaced at half time.

The same fate threatened him ten days later in the DFB-Pokal (German Cup) match against the VfB Stuttgart, when he stood also beside himself. But this time he pulled through and saved himself with a stable second half. At that time, the critics called it a “step forward” in the right direction. But Patrick Herrmann did not move forward – on the contrary. Nine days later in Berlin, he was in the starting line, but was injured in an unfortunate duel with Vedad Ibišević. Tear of the external ligaments, of the anterior ligament, and syndesmosis in the right ankle, was the bitter diagnosis. Herrmann fell out on a monthly basis and missed ten games, including a coach change.

The new season should then be at least better with regard to the injury woes. It was even very promising when Herrmann was substituted for Freiburg in the beginning of February and added a (happy) goal. However, it should be his only hit in this season. His performances resembled a wave trough.

Borussia Mönchengladbach’s coach Dieter Hecking let him start several times  but the long downtime was noticeable. Herrmann did not really play badly, but he did not manage to perform constantly on a high level. His performances resembled a trough between very good approaches and beginnings. That lasted until the end of the season, no matter whether he was in the first eleven or was replaced in the course of a game.

In all, Patrick Herrmann 2016/2017 took part in 31 of 51 competition matches and it was a more or less lost year as measured by the ambitions and performances. Hermann must send a signal. In the new season there can be only two goals for Patrick Herrmann: Finally, remain free of injury and then make the long-awaited next career step. Traditionally Herrmann is someone who comes rather slowly from the summer break and needs a certain start-up time. He can not afford it this time. He has to be there from the beginning and send a signal to the trainer and the competitors. The next generation of Foals are already at the starting gates. It’s time.

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Erkán Karakoyunlu

Erkan is a Mönchengladbach-born, Cologne-based football enthusiast with a great obsession for his hometown club 'Gladbach. After studying communication design, concept design, East Asian studies, and philosophy he gained experience in the entertainment industry and is trying to put his thoughts about Fussball into words. He is also avid for design, art, culture, tech and video games. Follow him on Twitter at @fruechtegott.

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