2023 has come to an end and the Bundesliga enters its traditional Winterpause, which gives us here at Bundesliga Fanatic the ideal opportunity to take a closer look at each of the eighteen clubs and rate their performance in the first half of the season. Next we run the rule over the drama that is Borussia Mönchengladbach.
The story so far
The season was always going to be one of transition for the Fohlen following the departure of key players Marcus Thuram, Lars Stidl, Jonas Hofmann and Ramy Bensebaini and so it has proved under new coach Gerardo Seoane. They finished in the bottom half of the table , but have progressed to the quarter-finals of the DFB Pokal where they will face 3.Liga side FC Saarbrücken.
The Bundesliga campaign handed Gladbach a testing start as they had to face Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig and Bayer Leverkusen in their opening five fixtures. They opened the season with a highly entertaining 4-4 draw at Augsburg, which saw them score a 97th minute to equalise having led 3-1 at one stage. Leverkusen then beat them easily 3-0, but Bayern had to work really hard to secure a late win with substitute Mathys Tel scoring a late winner.
Their next away trip produced another event packed draw as they drew 3-3 with promoted side Darmstadt. 3-0 down at half-time, Borussia took advantage of an early red card to the hosts and fought back to take a point. A 1-0 loss to Leipzig meant that they had only taken two points from their opening five games.
Their first win of the season arrived on matchday 6 with a 3-1 away win over VfL Bochum, but they couldn’t build on that, drawing at Mainz and then losing to a struggling Köln side. The next two home games brought victories over Heidenheim and Wolfsburg, but they failed to make it three out of three by throwing away a 3-1 lead at Freiburg to draw the match 3-3. Yet another late goal in the 96th minute proved highly costly.
The pattern of taking leads before succumbing continued at the Signal Iduna Park when Dortmund won 4-2 after being 2-0 down inside the opening half an hour. A fourth win was secured against Hoffenheim at the Borussia Park, before they ended the year with away defeats to Union berlin and Eintracht Frankfurt and a home point against Werder Bremen.
Tale of the tape
Record: 4-5-7, 17 points (1.06 per game), 12th in Bundesliga
Home Record: 11 points (3-2-3) Away Record: 6 points (1-3-4)
Goals: 31 (1.94 per game), Goals Against: 35 (2.19 per game), Diff: -4
xG: 23.3, xGA: 28.2
Entertainment has not been in short supply with Borussia Mönchengladbach this season, but that hasn’t necessarily helped their points tally. The opening day 4-4 comeback against Augsburg was exciting, while the draws with Darmstadt, Mainz and Freiburg also saw late drama.
The 4-0 win over Wolfsburg on matchday 11 was probably their match highlight, while the cup run with wins over TuS Bersenbrüch, Heidenheim and Wolfsburg has ignited the hope of a final appearance.
Giving up so many points from winning positions has been a disappointment this season, whereas the worst single defeat/ performance came against arch rivals Köln in the first Rheinderby of the season at the Rhein Energie Stadion. Losing to the Billy Goats is always tough for the fans to take and revenge will be on the menu when the two sides meet again on matchday 25.
Fans love a local hero to do well and 21-year-old midfielder Rocco Reitz is living the dream right now having had a very impressive Hinrunde. At the club since the age of seven, he has scored four goals this season- including the one voted the club’s best in 2023 (v Werder Bremen).
The past two seasons have seen Gladbach finish 10th, which was not seen as good enough with Adi Hütter and Daniel Farke both paying with their jobs. As mentioned, this is a season of transition, but the side have thrown way too many points unnecessarily and improvements will have to be made if they are to get anywhere near improving on those previous 10th place finishes.