Mönchengladbach (dpa) – Borussia Mönchengladbach’s pride over the previous Champions League season is so great that criticism of the Bundesliga proceeds did not even arise.
The 1: 1 (0: 0) against Hertha BSC was the fourth 1: 1 at home this season, where points were possibly lost. “Of course we would have liked to win, that would have been important too. The result doesn’t really fit,” said ambitious football coach Marco Rose, whose goal for the season is to confirm at least fourth place from the previous season.
It can get tight after a third of the season. “These four draws at home make us walk a bit”, sports director Max Eberl said in the evening after the following disappointment in the results in the ZDF “Sportstudio”: “We would be better off with three or four points more.” The reality after eleven match days is different: eighth place with 17 points and four points behind to fourth.
‘We are still very close. We’re still here, ”Eberl said almost defiantly. Only a year ago, Borussia was eight points more at the same time – exactly the number of points they gave away unnecessarily in the home games against Union Berlin, Wolfsburg, Augsburg and now against Hertha leaders.
“We already have a season that is more difficult. We are perceived differently,” said Eberl. Just like Rose, he is of course also aware that the eight points given away at home are also a tribute to some exciting European evenings. “We play an excellent round in the Champions League. Now we are the big favorites with many opponents. This is a new challenge,” said Eberl.
Last season was different. Borussia was eliminated in the Europa League in the preliminary round, but was enthusiastic in the competition. In the premier class, the Gladbach team qualified for the round of Europe’s top 16 teams for the first time in 43 years, despite Wednesday’s 2-0 draw against Real Madrid. “I had tears in my eyes,” said Gladbach’s vice president Rainer Bonhof, who was still on the field at the time, of the milestone in the club’s recent history.
After the 1-1 draw against Hertha, Eberl was also proud of his team’s eighth finals. Probably also because of the currently positive mood in the club, Rose and Eberl have not given a critical word about the victory that was not won. “I am extremely proud of the team today. What they have invested in recent weeks,” said Eberl.
The downside to the success in Europe has been the extreme stress of recent weeks, which forced Rose to make six changes in the starting line-up against Berlin. His team mainly dominated after the break, but the fatigue is clear. Already in the Champions League, the curve went down after enthusiastic performances in the first four group matches, most recently in the 2: 3 against Inter Milan and in Madrid. Top performers such as Nico Elvedi, who also showed unknown dropouts against Hertha in some situations, seem overplayed. Failures and injuries of important players such as Ramy Bensebaini and Jonas Hofmann do the rest.
“These weeks have been very, very tough and will break your bones,” said all-rounder Valentino Lazaro, who demanded that he “knock everything out again” in the three competitive games until Christmas. “Of course we hope that we can finally get into a flow and start collecting the points,” said Lazaro. Otherwise, there is a risk of a show in effect in the new year to regain qualification for the Champions League. “It would be important,” Eberl said with a grin. Moments like Monday’s draw, which only has big names in store with Liverpool FC, Chelsea FC, Manchester City, Juventus Turin and Paris Saint-Germain, should also be there next season.