Daniel Farke smiled friendly, although he must have felt caught. Rather coincidentally, he was spotted during a tour of his future workplace, alongside Roland Virkus, Borussia Mönchengladbach’s sporting director. The photo, which showed both in the catacombs of Borussia Park, appeared on social media a little later.
At Borussia Mönchengladbach, they have known for a week at the latest that this does not necessarily mean something. Everything seemed clear with Lucien Favre too. Things had progressed well, his contract as the club’s coach had long been negotiated – but then, surprisingly for everyone involved, the Swiss canceled and embarrassed Borussia Mönchengladbach again.
But nothing went wrong with Daniel Farke. On Saturday afternoon, the Gladbachers actually announced completion. The 45-year-old will be the new coach of the Bundesliga club and successor to Adi Hütter, from whom the Gladbachers parted ways after the end of the season and an unsatisfactory tenth place in the table. Farke gets a contract until 2025.
At first glance, the newcomer may seem like the 1b solution to many, after Borussia initially focused on Lucien Favre. But that is at best due to the almost mythical reputation that the Swiss enjoys in Mönchengladbach. The apparently realistic prospect of his return had actually breathed new life into the slightly melancholy club after a mediocre season.
Favre had already worked for Borussia from 2011 to 2015. He initially saved Gladbach from relegation and then led them to the Champions League. The fact that it was never easy with him, that he was difficult to handle for the club management around the then sports director Max Eberl and that he simply left the club in September 2015 in a bang: many had obviously suppressed all that.
Farke is not Favre: but the difference is, so to speak, just a letter. And football-wise there are also some parallels. Farke is a coach whose idea of the game suits Mönchengladbach better than his two predecessors, Marco Rose and Adi Hütter, who belong more to the ball-chasing RB school.
In Mönchengladbach, the aesthetic ideas are very strongly influenced by the Favre era. With Farke, the club hopes to tie more strongly to the ball possession school. “Technically good footballer, lots of ball possession, a high level of game intelligence – that’s Borussia Mönchengladbach,” said sporting director Virkus. And the new coach should be the right man for that. Farke is someone “who fits exactly into the path we want to take,” Virkus explained. He stands for offensive football with a high proportion of ball possession.
That coincides with the ideas of many Gladbach fans and is even recognized by the greatest of the coaching profession. Pep Guardiola once explained that he rarely watches football in his private life, but if he does, then he prefers Norwich City games under Farke.
Even Virkus recently admitted that the Gladbachers had lost their way recently. When he had to admit at the general meeting last Monday – when asked – that the negotiations with Favre had failed, he also explained with regard to the filling of the coaching position: “We have not made good decisions in the past. It is now essential to make good decisions here.”
Farke has a good reputation in the industry. The Westphalian made a name for himself during his time at Norwich City. Despite limited financial resources, he twice led the club into the Premier League, but was also relegated to the First Division in between. He previously worked for SV Lippstadt and the U23s at Borussia Dortmund.
Most recently, Farke coached the Russian first division club FK Krasnodar. After Russia’s attack on Ukraine, he immediately terminated his contract – without having played a single competitive game with the club.