Posts Tagged ‘Lucien Favre’

Player of the Season

Robert Lewandowski: Only Mario Gomez and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar bettered the Pole’s return of 22 Bundesliga goals this term, not bad for a man who started the season as second-choice striker for Borussia Dortmund. His goals, assists and link-up play as the lone striker have been an integral part of The Borussians title success. So much so, in fact, that Lucas Barrios, the man whose injury gave Lewandowski his chance, has been sold to Chinese Super League outfit Guangzhou Evergrande.

Eurosport’s Ian Holyman said: “22 goals is a great return for a man who started the season as second-choice to Lucas Barrios. The Pole seized his opportunity wonderfully when Barrios returned injured from the Copa America, and I think gave Dortmund more as their lone striker than the Paraguayan did in 2010-11.”

Young Player of the Season

Marco Reus: He’ll be a teammate of Lewandowski next season, having agreed back in January to play in the black and yellow of Dortmund from next season, with a fee of around £17.5m reported to have been paid for his services. If he carries on from this season, that will be an absolute bargain. Only Gomez, Huntelaar and Lewandowski have more ‘points’ in terms of goals and assists combined, with Reus delivering 18 goals and 9 assists for Monchengladbach – a remarkable return for a 22-year-old, and one that played a huge part in The Foals securing a Champions League spot.

Ian Holyman said: “Sensational for Mönchengladbach…He’s a player who I think will receive wider acclaim at EURO 2012, where he isn’t likely to start, but will be explosive when he comes off the bench.”

Manager of the Season

Jurgen Klopp: While honourable mentions must go to Lucien Favre (‘Gladbach) and Christian Streich (Freiburg) et al, Klopp deserves this for leading Dortmund to back-to-back league titles for the first time since the mid-90s. His role in the success of the side, and the development of youngsters like Mario Gotze, cannot be underestimated, and his reputation is now such that his name is linked with almost every top managerial vacancy. However, you’d imagine he’ll be at Dortmund for the forseeable (and very bright) future.

“Managed to find the rights words to inspire his team to hold off Bayern, who invested heavily last summer, once again.” – Ian Holyman.

Team of the Season (4-2-3-1)

Ter-Stegen; Piszczek, Hummels, Dante, Lahm; Bargfrede, Kroos; Harnik, Kagawa, Reus; Lewandowski.

Do you agree? Should someone else have won? Shocked Huntelaar was left out of the team of the season? Leave a comment and let us know…

Borussia Park: finally seeing football worthy of the stadium

This season, Borussia Mönchengladbach has finally woken up.

To say they had been a sleeping giant would be an understatement; it would be fairer to say they had been in a coma.

Last season, they headed into the winter break with just 10 points from 17 matches. No team had previously managed to survive with such a poor record, but somehow Mönchengladbach turned it around.

Gerry Wittmann, founder of Bundesliga Fanatic, said: “I’d attribute their success to the hiring of Lucien Favre during the second half of last season, although the club made some moves during last season’s winter break that benefitted the club before Favre’s arrival, [such as] the signings of young defender Havard Nordtveit and veteran Martin Stranzl, along with veteran forward Mike Hanke.

“Favre is just an outstanding coach who was successful with both young players and veterans, getting everyone to play at the top of their game week in and week out.  Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have young stars such as Reus and ter Stegen, with Patrick Hermann coming along now too. Favre turned their awful defending around, and that in itself is huge.”

Founded in 1900, it wasn’t until the 1970s that Die Fohlen (or, The Foals) finally grew up. During that decade, they won five Bundesliga titles; two Uefa Cups; one German Cup; an Intercontinental Cup and finished runners-up in the European Cup.

However, their decline started steadily in the mid-eighties, and despite a German Cup win in 1995, they were relegated from the Bundesliga in 1999. Although they were promoted two seasons later, they were back down to 2.Bundesliga in 2007.

Now, under the guidance of Lucien Favre, and with a new wave of young stars led by Marco Reus, they are back – currently sitting 4th in the Bundesliga, and looking increasingly likely to qualify for the Champions League.

They may not win the title, but things certainly look a lot better than this time last year. And, this time next year, you could well be looking at genuine title contenders.