Football

Lucien Favre leaves Borussia Monchengladbach in the dark

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With FIFA 16 set to hit the shops across Germany, from Aachen to Zeil am Main on Thursday, there is no doubt that several Borussia Monchengladbach fans will be opening their long-awaited console game, hoping that there is a special feature to re-wind footballing reality.

Despite EA Sports boasting that this 23rd edition of the current FIFA series it set to be the most realistic yet, including everything from the appearance of female players to a new training mode, we are still miles away from replicating reality.

However, for the Monchengladbach fans that have seen their club go from living like kings at the top of the European to scrounging like paupers at the bottom of the Bundesliga, there is no doubt that many will be wishing that their club could still play just as well as depicted on the PlayStation.

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If Fifa 16 were to be released in the sticky summer month of August when the Foals fans, with eyes bigger than their stomachs, were anticipating a season of challenging the mighty Bayern Munich for their first Bundesliga title since 1977, then the Borussians would be value for their money, with their four and a half star rating even set as a humble gesture by EA Sports. 

In this instance, who could possibly blame the Canadian-based gaming manufacturing giants for raising the Foals to their highest-ever ranking on the game, with the Foals arguably being the stand out team of the previous campaign across Europe's football spectrum.

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Much loved 

Having taken over as a nobody, with his name only striking a hint of recognition throughout the mountainous land of Switzerland and the German capital of Berlin, Lucien Favre was well on his way to returning the Foals back the glory days of the 1970's where they won five domestic titles.

Although it would take a miracle for the three-time DFB Pokal champions to eclipse Bayern as the dominative power in German football, any chance of sending out a warning to the Reds in the form of an atomic bomb, has all but disappeared following the cold-resignation of Favre early on Sunday morning.

Indeed, if the term "atomic" is anything to go by then, Max Erbel, the club's larger than life sporting director, would have felt that the whole world was about to close in when he was told by Favre's agent, who delivered the news that the Swiss manager wanted to resign with immediate effect.

Although Monchengladbach's start to the 2015/16 Bundesliga campaign where they have failed to win any of their opening five games, has been described as a travesty, this brash decision must come as the end of the world for everyone associated with the 1979 UEFA Cup champions.

"Favre said that he was worried that he could no longer find solutions to our problems but we tried to alleviate his doubts and told him that we were convinced he'd find the right solutions," Erbel recalled at a press conference on Monday afternoon.

Anger 

Despite keeping a cool face, during the press conference, it is fair to say that under this imitated impression lied disappointment shadowed by boiling rage.

Indeed, both Erbel and anyone associated with the club know that their appalling start to the season is only a temporary problem and could be remedied a healthy dose of confidence and time. This is no longer an option.

Yes, it is fair to say that the Borussians, who have conceded 12 goals in five games, deserve the same half-star rating as Irish side Galway United FC, but this simply does not matter to Monchengladbach fans.

For the first time in over 20 years, the Foals were going somewhere, with their ability to reach the Champions League group stage, an indication of Favre's glorious work in a city more Dutch than German, and more German than Dutch.

After four years of hard graft, blood, sweat, tears and copious amounts of beer thrown over Favre and his players in acts of rowdy celebration, the 57 year olds recognition at a time when they needed their leader the most has come as one of the biggest setbacks in the clubs 115-year history.

What now? 

Erbel, who confirmed that Favre was prone to mood-swings and threatened to leave the club previously, said that the Swiss manager "didn't listen to us, he had made his decision."

Although Favre's decision was probably set in stone following a 1-0 defeat to rivals FC Cologne, which left the Borussians mounted to the foot of the Bundesliga table, there has been much criticism relating to his apparent shaky relationship with the club.

Although, club president Rolf Koenigs had every right to utter the same words as Spiegel Online, who described Favre as showing as much compassion as a "human black box," he was classy enough to show off a combination of disappointment and reflectiveness to the press.

"This decision has shaken us to the core. I am just really sad that this incredible time together has come to an end. He was the perfect coach for us and we were the perfect club for him," said Koenings when speaking about Favre's lengthy spell at the club.

Indeed, with the dust slowly settling on what seems to be a move which has taken the Borussians from a position of denying Bayern the chance to come the first team in the history of the Bundesliga to win four consecutive titles, to fighting relegation all the talk has now led down one route.

Will Juergen Klopp be there to save the day, and become the man that every Borussia Monchengladbach fan wished Favre would be? 

 

 

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