Jonas Hofmann and Marcus Thuram have been instrumental for Borussia Mönchengladbach so far in 2022/23, but consistency and the ability to win on the road have so far evaded Daniel Farke’s men.
The story so far
After the disappointment of last season’s 10th-place finish under Adi Hütter, which meant missing out on Europe for a second straight year, Gladbach made the (for some people) bold decision to appoint Daniel Farke as head coach despite the fact he had never worked in the Bundesliga before. A 9-1 win at Oberachern in the DFB Cup first round was a perfect start, with Thuram netting a hat-trick and Hofmann bagging a brace to give them a boost going into the Bundesliga campaign.
However, that remains Borussia’s only away win of 2022/23, with the Foals emerging as very much a team for home comforts. That being said, one of their best outings of the season came in Munich as they held Bayern Munich to a sensational 1-1 draw thanks to a record-breaking display of heroics from goalkeeper Yann Sommer with 19 saves. It meant Farke went unbeaten in his first four league fixtures in charge. But it’s one of only four points they have earned on their travels.
Consistency has been the issue for the Foals, for example following that superb draw at Bayern with a tame 1-0 defeat at home to Mainz. Their 5-1 defeat at Werder Bremen on Matchday 8 also saw them double their tally for goals conceded in the season up until then, even shipping four in the opening 37 minutes. The next week they then put five past arch-rivals Cologne, while they also lost away at basement dwellers Bochum before beating Dortmund. It has been the story of Gladbach’s campaign.
Key player: Marcus Thuram
After hauls of 10 and eight goals in his first two Bundesliga campaigns, last season was a tough one for Thuram with only three strikes in the 21 games he was fit for. But Farke was quick to praise both the Frenchman’s fitness and attitude in pre-season, with the 25-year-old proving he’s back at his blistering best now. He’s played all but a couple of minutes of added time across the first 15 matchdays, notching up 10 goals – and three assists – already to sit second behind compatriot Christopher Nkunku in the scoring chart. He’s also proven he is not shy of a shot, leading the division for attempts on goal (55), while he also ranks eighth for top speed (22.2 mph/ 35.72 km/h), which is another string to the striker’s bow.
Watch: All 10 Thuram goals in 2022/23
The fixture every Gladbach fan looks for first is the derby at home to Cologne. It is not a game that has been kind to the Foals of late, having lost the last three in a row – and last two at Borussia-Park – coming into this season. Imagine the delight, then, as Gladbach put five past their arch-rivals on Matchday 9. Defender Ramy Bensebaini bagged two, Thuram added the cherry with the fifth, Marvin Friedrich and captain Lars Stindl also got in on the act, while Hofmann was directly involved in three of them.
Watch: Gladbach 5-2 Cologne – highlights
One to watch: Jonas Hofmann
Most good things Gladbach do come through Hofmann, who has emerged as the talismanic figure we previously saw of captain Stindl a few years ago. The 30-year-old was their guiding light last season with 12 goals and five assists in 26 Bundesliga outings. He’s got five and four already this term, while the two games he’s missed with injury were Borussia’s only back-to-back defeats. The moment he was remotely fit, he was back in the side and scoring again in the final two home games against VfB Stuttgart and former side Dortmund. His form will be crucial to Gladbach’s hopes going into 2023.
Watch: Hofmann guides Gladbach past Dortmund
View from the camp
"We’re in the middle of a process where we sometimes take some steps forward but also always a few back. On the whole, we’re not yet solid, but that’s also to do with our injured players. A process doesn’t last half a year but at least several transfers windows because we need to add some things to be able to react to different match situations." - Roland Virkus (sporting director)
Key fixtures in 2023
- Bayer Leverkusen (h), 22 January
- Bayern (h), 18 February
- Leipzig (a), 11 March
- Cologne (a), weekend of 1 April
- Dortmund (a), weekend of 13 May
- Leverkusen (a), weekend of 20 May
Watch: The Bundesliga is back!
All 2022/23 season reviews:
Augsburg | Bayer Leverkusen | Bayern Munich | Bochum | Borussia Dortmund | Cologne | Eintracht Frankfurt | Freiburg | Hertha Berlin | Hoffenheim | Mainz | RB Leipzig | Schalke | Union Berlin | VfB Stuttgart | Werder Bremen | Wolfsburg
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