The Bundesliga has been owned by Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund over the past four years and in that time the top 4 has rotated with Munich winning the league twice and Dortmund winning the league in back to back campaigns in 2010 and 2011. Schalke has graced the top 4 three times in the last four years and Bayer Leverkusen has made two appearances in this group while Werder Bremen poked its head in during 2009, and Hannover 96 snuck it’s way into fourth in 2010.
In 2011, Borussia Mönchengladbach made a rare top 4 finish, which they hadn’t achieved since 1995. Currently Mönchengladbach sits in fourth place with 31 points and is behind Borussia Dortmund only on goal difference. With 33 goals scored, they’ve scored the fourth most goals in the league behind Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Hoffenheim. With 17 goals allowed in 16 matches they have the fourth least goals allowed in the league. A deeper look at the makeup of this team reveals just why they’re doing so well this year and every player has been contributing and putting in great performances that are part of Die Fohlen’s revival.
Mönchengladbach were a powerhouse in the 70’s and became the first team to win three consecutive titles, but since that golden decade they’ve been far from the high-flying, pace infused side that ruled the disco era. Die Fohlen experienced the pain of relegation in 2006, but clawed their way back into the Bundesliga the following season. In 2010 they were almost relegated again, but managed to stay afloat and in 2011 they finished in fourth place after a strong campaign and brilliant performances from Marco Reus and Marc-André ter Stegen.
This year they’re at it again and are beginning to resemble the side that garnered so many plaudits. Their recent success starts at the back with their keeper Marc-André ter Stegen, who has been the club’s keeper since 2011. The 21-year-old German international kept 9 clean sheets in 34 caps last season and in 15 matches this year he’s already recorded 6 clean sheets, which is second only to Manuel Neuer’s nine clean sheets. The confident young keeper has great positional awareness, controls his box well and is capable of making acrobatic saves. His performances have attracted the attention of major clubs and he is likely to leave Mönchengladbach for Barcelona within the next year, but as of now he provides a great last line of defense for Die Fohlen. Although he’s put on brilliant performances in the Bundesliga, it should be noted that in his 3 starts for the German national side he conceded 12 goals and lost all three matches so he really needs to strengthen his game if he wants to be considered as a viable second option in place of Neuer.