After bouncing straight back into the top flight following their relegation in 2011/12, the capital dwellers rounded off an impressive first season half with a Matchday 17 victory over Borussia Dortmund that keeps them firmly in the race for the European places ahead of the Bundesliga restart later this month.
Rising as high as fourth, pushing pace-setters FC Bayern München to their limits and winning at the imposing Signal Iduna Park, Luhukay appears to have struck gold with his shrewd blend of old and new. Many of Hertha's team played in their last top-flight campaign in 2011/12, and with 28 points on the board this season already, the sixth-placed Alte Dame are without doubt back where they belong.
Adrian Ramos is blazing a trail at the top of the Bundesliga scorers’ charts alongside last season’s Torjägerkanone runner-up Robert Lewandowski. The Colombian has started all 17 of Hertha’s domestic outings so far this term, scoring 11 and laying on two assists. The South American livewire also boasts a 100 per cent record from the penalty spot, having converted both of his two spot-kicks.
Best described as an 'impact player', Ronny has already cut an impressive highlight reel in 2013/14.Three of the Brazilian's four Bundesliga goals have come from the bench, with the 27-year-old getting off the mark in Hertha's opening day 6-1 win over Eintracht Frankfurt, rescuing draws against 1. FC Nürnberg and Hannover 96, and grabbing the winner against SV Werder Bremen on Matchday 16. Indeed, Hertha have yet to lose whenever their Samba star has scored in the league this season.
"They're aggressive and have really quick players," noted FC Bayern München head coach Pep Guardiola ahead of his side's Matchday 10 meeting with Hertha. "You could do with having a motorbike to catch them." Sure enough, speed demon Ramos gave the visitors the lead at the Allianz Arena, only for the Bundesliga leaders to record an eventual 3-2 win over Luhukay's team.
"[Victory] crowned what was overall a great calendar year," Swiss star Fabian Lustenberger commented after his side's final home game of the Hinrunde against Bremen. He was right. Just as comfortable in the back four as he is in midfield, the 25-year-old has not missed a kick this season, starting all 17 Bundesliga outings thus far and completing an average of 84.1 per cent of his attempted passes in the process.
Feast your eyes on all 11 of Ramos' goals in the first half of 2013/14 on the official Bundesliga YouTube channel: