Borussia Dortmund's appointment of Lucien Favre came as no great surprise, but what will the former Nice strategist bring to the table and why were BVB so darn keen? explains it all...

1) He plays the kind of football Dortmund adore

Jürgen Klopp set an exceedingly high standard in his seven years at Dortmund, underpinned by (i) his self-styled 'heavy metal football' (attacking hard and fast) and (ii) his fabled 'Gegenpressing' (attempting to regain possession as soon as the opposition has the ball).

When Thomas Tuchel came in, he refined Dortmund's approach in line with his penchant for a more possession-based game. BVB players, hierarchy and fans alike had no complaints, until Peter Bosz - arguably a victim of his own success at Ajax the year before - took charge in summer 2017.

The Dutchman lasted less than six months, his absurdly high line shipping goals by the bucket load and his preferred 4-3-3 formation one-dimensional at best. Peter Stöger steadied the ship, but his system - although pragmatic - lacked the energy and panache BVB, as a club, had become so accustomed to pre-Bosz.

Enter stage right, Favre. The Swiss guarantees dynamic attacking football (think Klopp), but not at the expense of his defence (Stöger the Sensible). There's also a touch of Tuchel's Pep Guardiola-inspired possession game in his blueprint for turning heads.

"I'm telling you, I'll be in your shoes one day!" There's a definite nod to Jürgen Klopp (r.) in Favre's eye-catching set-up. © imago

2) He gets the best out of all his teams

Although Favre is yet to win a major trophy on German soil, he has made a career out of surpassing expectations.

His first appointment after lifting the Swiss Super League and Swiss Cup twice came at Hertha Berlin, whom he took the club into Europe, finishing fourth, in his second season at the helm. At one point, the Old Lady even topped the 2008/09 standings. 

Favre's capital chapter ended with a premature parting of ways, but the Gladbach years catapulted him back to the top of the coaching class.

After hauling the Foals off the foot of the 2010 table and to safety via the relegation play-off, 'the Brain' oversaw fourth-, eighth- and third-placed finishes, with the Rhineland club enjoying UEFA Champions League group stage football for the first time in 2015.

Favre then enjoyed "two fantastic years at Nice, on a human and sporting level", winning plaudits once again for his easy-on-the-eye brand of football. Les Aiglons ranked third in 2016/17, but missed narrowly missed out on European qualification at the end of the following campaign.

All eyes on Favre. The 60-year-old is renowned for his ability to form tight-knit units. © gettyimages / AFP

3) He gets the best of of all his players

When Marco Reus says "Favre is the best coach I ever had", he means it.

Reus went from Dortmund reject to Germany's Player of the Year in no time at all under Favre, electrifying form that earned him a second bite of the cherry with boyhood club BVB.

Favre also turned Hertha old boy Lukasz Piszczek into the model right-back we see today at Dortmund.

And then there's Mario Balotelli. Jose Mourinho, Roberto Mancini, Brendan Rodgers, Klopp - the list goes on. All four attempted to tame the beast, but not one of them managed to get the best out of the talent and keep the personality happy at the same time, for long enough.

So now you know why Balotelli plundered a career-best 26 goals in all competitions in 2017/18.

4) He gives youngsters wings to fly

A sympathetic man manager, Favre's track record of developing youngsters is no less exemplary.

At Zurich, he handed 19-year-old Blerim Dzemali the captaincy. At Gladbach, he didn't think twice about throwing an 18-year-old Marc-Andre ter Stegen in at the deep end.

Arsenal's Granit Xhaka, Dortmund's Mahmoud Dahoud and Gladbach's Christoph Kramer also blossomed on his watch.

Imagine what he's going to do for Christian Pulisic, Jadon Sancho and the rest of BVB's prodigious young guns...

Mahmoud Dahoud (r.) is set to be reunited with Favre (l.) at Dortmund. © imago

5) He knows how to beat Bayern Munich

If record champions Bayern Munich approach games against Gladbach with trepidation, it's down to Favre.

Borussia beat Bayern home and away in 2011/12, and were the only team to avoid defeat to the champions - then coached by Guardiola - in 2014/15.

Favre's successor, Andre Schubert, adopted the Favre model with a four-point return against the red machine in 2015/16, while the Foals were the first team to inflict a defeat on the returning Jupp Heynckes in 2017/18.

It's no wonder Dortmund only had eyes for one man…

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