2016 was no successful year for the Foals, with them finishing the Hinrunde in the bottom half of the table. Apart from having sacked Andre Schubert and replaced him with Dieter Hecking, their year was truly remarkably bad and it looks like it might just continue. It all depends on how well Gladbach do defensively and how well and swift Hecking can repair the damage Schubert, Strobl and Vestergaard caused. But WHAT is needed?
The Foals truly need to find their way back. How should and how can Hecking improve his squad in January? Well, not losing Dahoud would be an intelligent move. Even though Dahoud is a very over-hyped player, he still is their best central midfielder and is a real top talent in German football. They need him to find his best form again if they are to reach Europe. Other than that, the defence needs desperate improvement. Strobl and Vestergaard shouldn't be anywhere near the starting eleven and they might need to bring in one or two players to stabilize things. Rüdiger from Roma would be a good fit. The defender has improved massively since his days at Stuttgart and is now one of the better defenders in Serie A. Timo Baumgartl would also be a perfect fit and why not loan or even spend some money on Kurt Zouma, a player who seems desperate for a chance. Then it's down to Hecking and his ideas. How much can he improve Gladbach? No idea, but improvement is due.
Dahoud is no real defensive midfielder and neither Strobl or Kramer have played well at defensive midfield. Both have limited Borussia's play mor than they have helped. With a back-line of three you need a regista-type player, a player who can take the ball and fins the best pass possible to start a move. An all-out defensive midfielder a'la Kramer does not work when you've got three at the back. Who would be available for Gladbach? wo players come to mind. First of all, Union Berlin's brilliant Croatian midfielder Damir Kreilach would be a great signing. Experienced, strong and calm, a great passer of the ball, he would be a sem-version of Granit Xhaka. The other one is Wylan Cyprien from Nice. He wouldn't be cheap, but would be the perfect fit for Gladbach. The Frenchman has the same attributes as Kreilach, but is better and proven at that level. If Gladbach fix a defender and a regista-type player in midfield, they could climb the table rather quick. But if they continue to play with Strobl and Vestergaard, things could easily go the other way around and soon you would expect fans to turn on the players.
Two very important months coming up for Borussia. How will they cope? Where will they finish? Let me know what you think. I expect them to finish 9th after a late push for Europe in April.
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