Borussia Mönchengladbach have parted company with head coach André Schubert, with Dieter Hecking set to be confirmed as his replacement, according to widespread reports in Germany.
Schubert paid the price for a disastrous collapse of form, with his side winning just one out of eleven Bundesliga games, a run that coincidentally started after the 45-year-old signed a new contract in September.
The club has wasted no time in moving for the former VfL Wolfsburg coach Hecking to take the charge of the side. All major media outlets are reporting that he will take over on a two-and-a-half year deal.
Dire collapse in form proves costly for Schubert
Schubert’s time in charge at Borussia-Park comes just fifteen months after it began, initially as interim coach, following the shock resignation of Lucien Favre.
Under Favre they had lost all five of their first Bundesliga games of the 2015-16, however Schubert turned that completely around, with six wins on the spin and a ten-game unbeaten run to boot.
His appointment was eventually made permanent after 11 games in charge, despite obvious doubts amongst the club’s hierarchy, and he went on to lead them into the UEFA Champions League group stage, via a play-off, for the second season running.
However under his leadership the club's away form was dire, with just four wins in 21 Bundesliga games on the road, and after a 2-0 win at home to FC Ingolstadt 04 on the 24 September, the Foals' home form collapsed in similar fashion, with only one more win in the league, against 1. FSC Mainz 05.
After signing a new deal until 2019 at the end of September, Gladbach would win only three more games at all, beating Celtic in the Champions League and VfB Stuttgart in the DFB-Pokal, as well as the game against Mainz.
A fresh start
His departure was confirmed by the club the day after a 2-1 defeat against, coincidently, Hecking’s former club Wolfsburg, which left the side in 14th place in the Bundesliga table going into the winter break.
Sporting director Max Eberl said on the club’s website that after several days of discussion and analysis, the club agreed with Schubert “that it is better for both sides to call an end to our time together.”
Although he praised the progress the club had made under Schubert, he said that “that development has come to a standstill for various reasons” and that the club felt it was time to make “a fresh start.”
Schubert confirmed that the two parties had agreed that “a new impulse from elsewhere” was needed to lift the club out of its current slump. “I would like to say thank you for a wonderful experience with some great people,” he added.
A return to where it all started for Hecking
It would seem that Hecking is set to make a quick return to employment following his sacking by Wolfsburg in October, after the team had won only one game in the Bundesliga all season.
His time with the Wolves though had been a success, leading them to second place in the league and to DFB-Pokal success in the 2014-15 season. However the club’s decline began almost immediately, with the sale of key players like Kevin De Bruyne, and the tightening of finances following the emissions scandal that rocked the club’s financial backers Volkswagen.
He had joined Wolfsburg in January 2013, after managing Alemannia Aachen, Hannover 96 and 1. FC Nürnberg. He will return to the club where he started his professional playing career in the mid-1980s, although he made only six appearances.
Ebert confirmed on Wednesday that an appointment would be made in the coming days, and he was looking for someone to continue the progress being made by the club's young players. When pressed on Hecking, he made no attempt to deny the club's interest, tantalisingly pointing out that his availability would make him an option.
Quotes via Borussia Mönchengladbach.