Drum-roll Please . . . Borussia Monchengladbach

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written by Bhargav

So we leave Evian TGFC and move from Thonon-les-Bains/Annecy for Borussia Monchengladbach in Monchengladbach near the German-Dutch border. The club is often referred to as Gladbach and their nickname is Die Fohlen (the foals). Their mascot is also a foal named Junter. Gladbach have a decent history in German soccer. They’ve won the Bundesliga 5 times during the 70’s, 3 of which were consecutive. They’ve won 3 German Cups and 1 German League Cup (which is no longer played). In addition, they were runners-up in the old European Cup (now the Champions League), winners of the UEFA Cup twice (today the Europa League) and the first ever German winners of the UEFA Cup, and they won the defunct Intercontinental Cup, which was played between the best team in Europe and South America (Liverpool had declined to play). Some of Gladbach’s famous players are Lothar Matthaus, Jupp Heynckes, Swede Patrik Andersson, and American great Kasey Keller. Gladhbach also hold the Bundesliga’s record for the top four largest wins — 12 – 0 against Dortmund, 11 – 0 against Schalke, and two 10 – 0 wins. Sadly, this all happened in the 60’s and 70’s. Since the 80’s, Gladbach haven’t had the best of times. It’s now up to me to change it!

I did get offers to manage HSV and Bayern Munich, both of whom are in the Champions League. But I love playing as the underdog, that’s how you learn, and I decided to take the helm at Borussia-Park.

Speaking of learning, I think now is an appropriate time to recap some of the things I have learned. 1) Buy younger players with high potential so that they have room to grow. 2) Never release a player for free if you can help it. Offering them for free is less expensive than releasing them for free, so try to recoup as much of their value as possible. 3) Don’t go crazy on coaches if you don’t have the appropriate facilities. 4) Scouting network. Establish a great scouting network and especially explore in Africa and Eastern Europe for cheap and high potential players who will also play for cheap. 5) Make sure to get players with high determination and adaptability if they are foreign. I think that’s all for now, but I will add to this list, surely.

So enough exposition. Let’s move on to my season. I will be returning to my old format with a slight modification: The pre-season will be included in this post.

Pre-Season

I will also be keeping track of Evian. They are my first club and I think it will be interesting to see how they get along without me; if I had a lasting impact on them.

So, now Gladbach.

Finances were great and since I said I would pull a top-half finish (the media predicts us coming in at 13th) I received a transfer kitty of £4mil and a wage budget of about £14mil a year. The reason I said I would do a mid-table finish is because the squad is pretty disappointing. There are no good central mid-fielders and the squad is pretty old (average age of 26) with many players who have just been around for ages and are in their early 30’s. Change was desperately needed and luckily, the club had some AMAZING scouting in place. Seriously, the scouting set-up was absolutely phenomenal and I barely had to put in that much effort to find the players I needed.

So dramatic changes to the squad and I sent the 5 reserves and 2 youth players we had packing. Let’s take a look at my team for the season:

GK: Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Logan Bailly

No changes here from personnel already at the club. I was pleased with both of them. I think ter Stegen will be my starter.

DC: Anderson Bamba, Dante, Vlajko Nedeljkov, and Jagos Vukovic

Dante is my best center-back and along with Vukovic, will start. Bamba and Nedeljkov, the latter is a hot prospect, will be in the reserves. All except Nedeljkov were already at the club.

DR: Matthias Zimmermann and Felix Echevarne

Zimmermann was already at the club and Echevarne was a player who I had tried to sign when I was at Evian, but he was unwilling to move. Zimmermann will start for now, but Echevarne has loads of potential so he will definitely see his fair share of first team action.

DL: Oscar Wendt and Oscar Carpentieri

Ha, Oscars at left-back. Wendt was already at the club and will be my starter Carpentieri was from the same club as Echevarne, Velez, and is another hot prospect. And the two of them will help each other adjust, so I don’t need to worry about home-sickness.

MC: Dennis Christoffersen, Ive Martinovic, Lawrence Diallo, Vincent Di Stefano, Zeki Soylemez, and Amato Ciciretti

Apart from Ciciretti, all of them are pretty green. But they all have a lot of potential, particularly Ciciretti. He has the potential to be a star. He was on my team in my old Evian save and was doing great, this time around, however, I couldn’t pry him away from Roma till now. I know that my midfield will probably cost me some games but they have such talent that I am willing to gamble. Besides, before I came along we had only 2 central midfielders, I believe.

ST: Fallou Gaye, Joy-Slayd Mickels, Marco Reus, Mike Hanke, Patrick Herrmann, and Peter Juhasz

So surprisingly, not too many changes here. I only brought in Gaye and Juhasz. I am very excited for the 16 year old Hungarian — he is a 5 star recruit. Reus should be a name that is very familiar. He is currently lighting up the Bundesliga with his awesome performances and is linked with a move to several EPL teams, especially Arsenal. He is my best player and I will be looking to him to lead from the front.

So that’s my time. I am pretty pleased. Our oldest players are Dante and Hanke and they are only 29. We have some great youngsters I don’t see why we can’t mount an effort to qualify for the Europa League. But let’s actually see how we did! . . . On the next page :D

Hello! I am a lifelong Man Utd fan who now finds himself in Chicago. I study at Northwestern University and I have been hooked on Football Manager since the 2010 edition.

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Rod
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Rod

Hi mate, i really enjoyed reading you! Monchenglabdach is a nice option after leaving Evian. You brought a lot new faces and most of them are youngsters, this is the first year, so i’m sure that next season, with a few ins and outs the team can be a serious challenge for those top teams that were struggling until the end, only 2 points difference between 1st and 5th. By the way, i’m argentinian and i’m very surprised with the 2 full backs Vélez produced. Pay attention every 1st of April for the regens in that country.

Looking forward to the next post! Good luck!

Bhargav
Guest
Bhargav

Thanks for the advice, Rod. I’ll make sure to keep that in mind. Now that I’m in Germany, I will definitely pay more attention to all of South America.

CsAtlantis
Guest

You were so close to taking the 6th and final europa league spot from the league, but anyway you have done well in improving your finances, perhaps you can add some more quality to the squad next season? (A lot of your players seem to be attracting attention, hopefully you can hold on to the important players like Reus and Dante)

Bhargav
Guest
Bhargav

Thanks man. At this point, no one is absolutely indispensable. If the right offers come by, I might have to take it. I think I should get a decent transfer budget and most people will be able to be replaced by someone talented.

vaibhavc
Guest
vaibhavc

That was close getting into the Europa League, but that will have to wait for next season. Your finances have really improved. You don’t have much luck in the derbies! And it was surprising to see Dortmund win the league title, over Bayern.

Bhargav
Guest
Bhargav

Thanks Vaibhav! It was annoying having all my derbies back-to-back. I would have liked some breathing room, and it was annoying seeing in my inbox that the fans were devastated over and over again.

Bayern had started their campaign in bad form they were actually behind us all the way into January!

Nik
Guest
Nik

I am so glad you decided to play in Germany, cause it’s one of the leagues I usually play. The reasons are, as you said, that it has no restrictions in foreigners, at the end of every season you get a lot of prize money (the last place gets 13m euros and from the ninth place and above you get over 20m euros), and everybody can win everyone. People think it’s only Bayern, Dortmund or maybe Schalke, but in FM there are great teams.
Take care of Reus, ter Stegen, Dante and Zimmerman. They are very good players. Oh and be careful of Podolski… ;)
I am very excited. Take care man and good luck! By the way, is your cold better?

Bhargav
Guest
Bhargav

Thanks Nik! I think I will really enjoy my time in Germany. It’s a very even league. And thank you, I feel 100% again.

MVB
Guest
MVB

Love this story and have been reading with interest! shed a tear when Evian story ended but good to see the adventure continues with Monchengladbach. I’ve just switched my leagues around to include France, Germany and MLS so will be paying close attention as your story continues :)

Bhargav
Guest
Bhargav

I’m glad you enjoyed it! It was sad to part from Evian but I will keep an eye on how they’re doing and who is to say that I don’t end up there again?

Kevin
Member

Hey Bhargav
BMG, there’s a team from the past. If I remember correctly they were quite a force to be reckoned with when I was growing up in the 1970’s. Really enjoyed reading this post and thanks for the tips at the start, I wrote some of them down and a couple of your players as well so I hope you don’t mind. Good start to your BMG career and you’ve established a nice foundation to build on.

Bhargav
Guest
Bhargav

Thank you, Kevin! You have no idea what it means to me that someone of your high skill level is using my tips!
And I was for the most part completely unaware of Gladbach’s great history. I hope I can bring back those glory years.

Kevin
Member

LOL!!!

Skill level? It’s all pure luck mate and watching Mr Johnny Karp for two years :)

Bhargav
Guest
Bhargav

I think your crazy promotion record with Plymouth is pretty indicative of your skill at the game!

Johnny Karp
Member

You were unlucky to miss out on an Europa League this season, you did a great job! Gladbach is a club with a great history and I think you’re the man that can restore their former glory. Good luck!

Bhargav
Guest
Bhargav

Wow, thanks so much, Johnny. Coming from you, that means a lot to me.

Darren Smith
Member

Well I think that can be seen as a good start to life in Germany and you’re not too far away from boasting a threatening side. A little more strength in defense and one more clinical striker could see you challenge for honors quickly. Well done.

Bhargav
Guest
Bhargav

Thanks so much, Darren! Do you think I should bring in a more experienced midfield man to marshal the troops around?

Laxeyman
Guest
Laxeyman

Good season Bhargav, Monchengladbach looks like a really interesting challenge and you’ve started well :) Hopefully with a couple more additions you can keep improving and get a European spot next season. Good luck!
Happy New Year!

Bhargav
Guest
Bhargav

Thank you, sir! I am aiming to topple the teams at the top and after such a solid season, I think Europa League qualification is the minimum for next season!

Ana Garcia
Member

Good season!!

So close to 6th place and some European football but with a few new additions you should be able to push a little higher and maybe even get into the champions league!

Good luck!! :)

Bhargav
Guest
Bhargav

Thanks Ana!

I’m hoping to be quite a threat this coming season!

NKatsarov
Guest
NKatsarov

Well Done, mate. Gladbach is very nice team. In real life, last season they were so close to relegation in B2, but managed to survive and this season are rockin’ on.

I really think that you produced good season. Even though you didn’t get a palce in Europe for next season. Doubling the finances is also remarkable. I just think for myself that you need some more goals from your strikers, and to make more draws, than loses. Think it, If just half of the games you lost, were drawn, now you would be SECOND with a place in CL. ;)

And again, very good work, mate! I wish you luck for the upcoming season and I really think you can even be on top fo the league next may..! :)

Bhargav
Guest
Bhargav

Thanks dude! I hope a strengthened squad can do it! One of the things I love about the Bundesliga is the overall evenness of the league so anyone can be at the top at any season.

TheZiggy
Guest

You had a good season.

Missing out on a European place by a single point is tough. I’m sure you’ll strengthen for the next season and push into one of those places.

Best of luck

Bhargav
Guest
Bhargav

Thank you Ziggy! I’m hoping to restore Gladbach to their former glory!

Sears
Guest

Great season pal, best of luck next season!