Fabian Johnson is in high spirits as in-form Borussia Mönchengladbach prepare to welcome Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich to Borussia-Park. - © imago
Fabian Johnson is in high spirits as in-form Borussia Mönchengladbach prepare to welcome Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich to Borussia-Park. - © imago
Bundesliga

Borussia Mönchengladbach's Fabian Johnson: "Christian Pulisic is an exceptional footballer"

Fabian Johnson has seen a lot in his time in the Bundesliga, including a couple of famous Borussia Mönchengladbach wins over Bayern Munich and a fast-growing stateside interest in Germany's top division.

bundesliga.com caught up with the Gladbach and USA wide man ahead of the Foals' latest ding-dong with the record German champions...

bundesliga.com: Fabian Johnson, the last time Borussia Mönchengladbach beat Bayern Munich was two years ago, when you scored in a superb 3-1 home win. Before that game, Bayern were top of the Bundesliga and Gladbach were fourth, just like they are heading into Matchday 13...

Fabian Johnson: Sounds like a good omen to me... (laughs)

bundesliga.com:  Would you say that Bayern victory was one of your best games for the Foals?

Johnson: It's hard to say. It's true that I scored, and as an attacking player you're judged on goals and assists. If you get a late brace, for example, the media will say you're a hero, no matter what you did for the other 88 minutes. On the other hand, if a defender has a great game but makes a single mistake that leads to a goal, he'll get slammed.

Watch: Gladbach inflicted a first defeat of the season on Bayern in 2015/16

bundesliga.com: Is it possible to compare the game two years and the one coming up on Saturday evening?

Johnson: No, I don’t think so. The teams aren't the same as last time, and both clubs now have different head coaches. But one thing that hasn't changed is what it means to face Bayern! It's huge for everyone. Apart from anything else, you have a lot more friends and family telling you they're going to be coming along to the game.  

bundesliga.com: In spite of being fourth in the table, you currently have a goal difference of zero, having conceded as many goals as you've scored. What does that say about the Bundesliga this season?

Johnson: It shows just how competitive it can be! So many games are played on a knife-edge, and they can often be decided in the final minutes. In the past, there were games that you could be reasonably confident about winning before kick-off, but that's almost impossible now, given the strength of every club. It also means that every single point counts in terms of reaching your objectives at the end of the season. 

- © imago

bundesliga.com: You've only made five starts this season, but some of that has been down to your travels with the USA during FIFA World Cup qualification. How satisfied are you with your recent performances?

Johnson: Things haven't gone quite that way that I would've hoped. I know that there's a lot of competition for places here at Gladbach, but that's been the case for several years. Then again, I've always managed to fight my way back in the past, and I'm determined to do so again.

bundesliga.com: As you say, there are a lot of Gladbach players vying for a place on the wing. Have you ever thought about playing in an alternative position?

Johnson: No. I know exactly what I've already achieved with Gladbach, and I think I've shown time and time again that I belong in the team. So there's no reason for me to question my position.