What a long meeting. We just sitting in sunny Stockholm. Me and my agent John. After a career ending injury, I recently finished my coaching badges. John is in contact with the first clubs which want a change in management. But not every club have the patience for my vision.
I want my teams to chase the ball high up the pitch to win it back early and in an active way. With the ball it is not about keeping possession but the quality of possession. Yes, we want the ball. But we don't want to play passes from one sight to the other. We want to move the ball as quick as possible to unsettle the the opponent and to create spaces towards the goal.
My first steps in management were on academy level. So I fully believe and trust in young hungry talented players. Something which is not fitting into every clubs vision.
I am excited and can't wait to start.
Let´s see which club believe in us and our vision.
It takes long three month to this day. Today I signed a two year contract at Bundesliga club Borussia Mönchengladbach. As I am from Germany, I played against this club a few times on academy level. So I know the club, its vision and the conditions.
There were other offers from the Bundesliga. But some of the clubs seem to exist in their own world when you hear their expectations for the new season. But Max was something else. Max Eberl. He is the Director of Football at Gladbach. A man with a clear vision and the gift of patience. He believe in the process and my abilities. So I couldn't resist and signed for this club. Our main target is to qualify for the Euro League this season.
The first week was busy. I planed the pre season. Because we starting into the campaign away against the current champion Bayern Munich, we just had to put some quality Tests into our schedule. We face some interesting teams like Atalanta, RSC Anderlecht, Kobenhavn, Brondby and FC Midtjylland.
Later that week I had a meeting with Max and our Head of scouting Mario Vossen. We planed the squat and our transfer targets. There were some very interesting young german players on the transfer list. We identify that we need to bring another defender and striker to the squat. With defenders like Thilo Kehrer, Robin Koch and Kaan Ayhan on the transfer list we were positive to match our priorities with the clubs aim to sign players from or based in Germany. But we did not identify striker who matched that philosophy. River Plate striker Rafael Santos Borre emerged as our main striker on the list. But maybe our scouts identify some other interesting players. Beside the striker and central defender the scouts are looking to find a replacement for our club legend and left Wing Back Oscar Wendt.
The process is running. Let us see which targets we really can convince to join our project and how the preseason will proceed.
The window is closed and the season is underway.
Not a busy window. We sold Ibrahima Traore (1.9 Mio.) and Fabian Johnson (2.3 Mio.). The young prospects Villalba (Striker) and Poulsen (Wing Back) leaving the club on loan.
Therefore we were able to sign Gian Luca Itter (Left Back 5 Mio.) and Robin Koch (Central Defender 7.5 Mio.) from Freiburg. In addition to that we signed young playmaker Niklas Dorsch (Heidenheim) for 2.2 Mio and loaned Striker Joshua Zirkzee (Bayern Munich) and Winger Djenepo (Southampton). There is an option to buy booth players at the end of their loan (Zirkzee 10 Mio. & Djenepo 25 Mio.).
In pre season we were able to implement our offensive and high pressing 5-3-2 (WB) and 4-3-3 (DM) systems to the squat. We just lost our game against Lille (0:1) but get wins against Tottenham, Atalanta and Anderlecht. There were some little injuries upfront so we decide to start the season with just one striker and choosing the more offensive 4-3-3 for the first league game.
As mentioned before we started the season away at Munich. A very closed game. Leading 1:0 with a goal form Djenepo in the second minute we lost just 1:2. Afterwards we managed to win the following 4 Games. Always switching between the 2 systems. Bremen and Hoffenheim (both 3:1) were match 2 and 3. The matches 4 and 5 were even more dominant. Against Hannover and Freiburg the lads win 3:0. Defensive midfielder Christoph Kramer and Mezzela Florian Neuhaus playing the key roles in our system and gave the whole team stability and structure. Best scorer is right winger/forward Breel Embolo who's scoring 4 goals so far. A good start wich resulted in a good second place behind Bayern Munich.
Now the window is closed and the lads are away with their national teams. Time for some contract extensions and reinventing the scouting system. Next in the league. Hertha Berlin (12.).