Borussia Mönchengladbach fire coach Holger Fach; Hertha defender claims almost 50 percent of players suffer depression; Podolski gets €20m price tag; Fahrenhorst faces long lay-off
Ex-Schalke coach and Gladbach star Jupp Heynckes could replace Fach
Borussia Mönchengladbach have sacked their manager Holger Fach because of their recent poor performances, the German Bundesliga club said Wednesday.
Fach's sacking comes hot on the heels of a 3-0 drubbing by league minnows Bochum, a result which left the former five-time German champions in 15th place on equal points with SV Hamburg, who are in the relegation zone.
Fach, 43, had only been in charge of Mönchengladbach for 13 months but the board have lost patience. "Nine points from ten Bundesliga matches and getting knocked out of the Cup is not good enough," explained Gladbach president Rolf Konigs.
Coaching duties in the meantime will fall to Mönchengladbach's amateur team coach Horst Küppel, who will lead the seniors out for an acid test of his man motivation skills at home against Bayern Munich this weekend.
Fach is the third managerial casualty of the current season following Hamburg's sacking of Klaus Toppmöller ten days ago and Jupp Heynckes' forced departure from Schalke 04 in mid-September. Ironically former Gladbach star Heynckes is now being touted for the vacant job.
Depression rife claims Berlin defender
Hertha Berlin defender Josip Simunic claims almost half of the players in the Bundesliga struggle to cope with the pressure that leads to the depressive state his former team-mate Sebastian Deisler is in.
Deisler's case is not an isolated one, claims Simunic.
Bayern Munich midfielder Deisler, 24, was readmitted to the Max-Planck-Institute for Psychiatry on Tuesday and Croatian international Simunic believes the pressure affects a lot more players.
"Many professional footballers can not cope with the pressure," Simunic told daily Bild. "I would say every second player in the Bundesliga has problems but are too afraid to admit them. Football is about having a clear head and Deisler does not have that at the moment."
Simunic, 24, played with Deisler for two seasons at Hertha and himself suffered from depression when he was at SV Hamburg in 1999. "I wanted to pack football in," confessed Simunic. "I was depressed and physically at my lowest level. At one stage I went a whole week without sleeping."
Cologne slap Prince-ly sum on Podolski
The Prince could attract a king's ransom in transfer fees.
Germany's 19-year-old international striker Lukas Podolski has had a staggering €20 million ($25.5 million) price-tag placed on his head by his German club Cologne.
Podolski recently claimed he would leave Cologne if they did not win promotion to the Bundesliga this season but the club are not willing to let 'Prince Podolski' leave the RheinEnergie Stadium, not even for a king's ransom. "This jewel is not for sale even at 20 million euros," said Cologne president Wolfgang Overath.
Podolski, capped five times by Germany, is contracted at Cologne until 2007 and the club insist there are no get-out clauses. He scored seven goals in the final eight Bundesliga matches last season and has netted eight times in nine league outings this term to head the German second division scoring charts.
Fahrenhorst faces extended lay-off
Frank Fahrenhorst will be missing from the champions' defense for longer than expected.
Werder Bremen defender Frank Fahrenhorst is suffering from a severe ankle injury which will keep him out of action for an undisclosed period, the German champions reported Tuesday.
The 27-year-old German international's injury was first spotted around 10 days ago in training but tests have revealed it is more serious than initial indications suggested. Fahrenhorst was expected to return for Bremen's Bundesliga game against Stuttgart on Wednesday.