Hannover host frugal Bayern, Gladbach pursue
Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness believes current coach Jupp Heynckes is proving that money is not everything in football. The record German champions have opened up a five-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga ahead of their trip to Hannover on Sunday and Hoeness has made it clear that Heynckes' traditional but not outdated methods are the key to their success.
In an interview with the Donaukurier newspaper, he could not help taking a swipe at one of Heynckes' predecessors Jurgen Klinsmann in the process. "With Klinsmann, we had Powerpoint presentations and we spent thousands of euros on computers so that he could show the players in epic proportions how we wanted to play, with the emphasis on the word 'wanted'," explained Hoeness.
"Heynckes has a flip chart with five marker pens which cost €2.50 each. He draws the opponent's formation on the chart and says a few things about it. We are winning games with Heynckes for €12.50 whereas we spent lots of money with Klinsmann for little success. A coach is not young or old, he is just good or bad."
Borussia Monchengladbach coach Lucien Favre is another who belongs to the former category. Having saved Hertha Berlin from relegation and led them to within touching distance of the title two years ago, the Swiss coach is repeating that success with Gladbach, who he has taken from the foot of the table into second place in little over six months.
His side can put the pressure on Bayern with a win at Hoffenheim on Saturday, a result which would reduce the arrears on the Bavarians to two points. Defending champions Borussia Dortmund can move to within three points of the summit with a third straight league win against Cologne while 2007 champions Stuttgart can also move to within striking distance of Bayern when they travel to Nurnberg.
Another Bavarian side, Augsburg, celebrated their first win in the top flight of German football last weekend and they open this weekend's action against fifth-placed Werder Bremen tomorrow night. Bottom-placed Hamburg are in action on Saturday evening when they host Wolfsburg in Thorsten Fink's first game in charge of the northern Germany side following his arrival from Swiss champions Basel.
Fellow strugglers Kaiserslautern and Freiburg also lock horns on Saturday while freefalling Mainz travel to Hertha Berlin. Sunday's other game sees two of Germany's European participants Bayer Leverkusen and Schalke clash at the BayArena.