Daniel Farke: 5 things on the new Borussia Mönchengladbach head coach
Jürgen Klopp and David Wagner are part of the Daniel Farke story so far. bundesliga.com finds out more on Borussia Mönchengladbach's new head coach...
1) Self-styled slouch...
Farke had a modest playing career, mostly spent as a striker in Germany's lower leagues with Lippstadt. After hanging up his boots he became sporting director and then coach of the club, taking them from the sixth to the fourth tier.
"I knew how to score, but was probably the slowest striker in the whole of western Europe," Farke recalled of playing days that yielded 124 goals in 256 games.
2) ... but no slow coach
Farke was a little quicker upstairs. After three seasons as Wagner's successor in charge of the Borussia Dortmund reserves, he followed his predecessor to England, taking charge of Norwich City.
The now 45-year-old oversaw a 14th-placed finish in his first season at the helm, before securing promotion to the English Premier League, as champions, in his second. Wagner also succeeded at the second time of asking in charge of Huddersfield Town.
3) A triumph made in Germany
No fewer than 12 players in Farke's 2018/19 promotion-winning squad either held a German passport or had played in the Bundesliga.
Former Energie Cottbus, Greuther Fürth and Bochum player Marco Stiepermann grabbed nine goals and six assists, and ex-Paderborn and Darmstadt man Mario Vrancic went one better, with 10 goals and seven assists.
Top scorer Teemu Pukki, voted the EFL Championship Player of the Season, scored just eight goals in 37 games with Schalke between 2011 and 2013, but came into his own under Farke, notching an eye-watering 29 goals and 10 assists in 43 appearances. Centre-back Christoph Zimmermann, meanwhile, played under Farke in the Dortmund reserves.
4) The Klopp connection
When asked which of his fellow English Premier League managers he would like to be stranded on a desert island with, Liverpool's Klopp selected Manchester City counterpart Pep Guardiola, and Farke.
"That's a horrible scenario - only the three of us?," he quipped. "I think I'll go with Pep and Daniel Farke.
"I like Daniel a lot, he's a really good guy. He's a world-class coach, and is doing a really good job."
The respect is mutual. "Jürgen's a world-class coach, in charge of of a world-class team," Farke once said of his German compatriot.
5) From Russia with 'Farke Ball'
Farke han't coached competitively since bowing out at Norwich with a win over Brentford on 6 November 2021. He joined Krasnodar in January 2022, but did not get the opportunity to step into the dugout due to the winter break and Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Bright-eyed following an unplanned mini sabbatical, Farke has promised a brand of football that is "brave, creative and easy on the eye" at Gladbach.
In practice, that is likely to mean the 4-2-3-1 formation that served Farke so well in his previous roles, with an emphasis on possession-based and combination play. Or, as it's known in some circles, 'Farke Ball'.
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