Cologne and Mönchengladbach are trying to get out of the ditch they are in by buying new players. Will the clubs shopping spree make a difference for the second half of this year’s Bundesliga?
This winter has seen few exciting signings so far. Bremen sold Hugo Almeide and replaced him with a young, Swedish striker nobody has heard of, while Bayern managed to snatch Luiz Gustavo from Hoffenheim.
The clubs that have been the most active so far are 1. Fc Cologne av Borussia Mönchengladbach. Both clubs are obviously trying to get out from the bottom of the table, but will their new signings be able to deliver the goods and bring relieve to the fans?
Will the madness ever stop?
As I mentioned before on this blog, the Fc is always creating controversies. It is almost a law of nature that one controversy happens in Cologne every few month. This time around the coach Frank Schaefer managed to piss of his captain Mohamed, by giving the captain’s armband to Lukas Podolski.
Furthermore Cologne decided to buy a total of four new players in this transfer window. It seems to be the action of a team in panic, trying to see what is working. Let’s take a look at the players the team from the Rhine-city of Cologne has decided to buy.
Replacing Faryed Mondragon in the goal is former Bayern goalie Michael Rensing. (Mondragon managed to create a controversy of his own this season when he said he was as badly treated as Jesus.) Rensing is a solid buy. He is a capable shot saver, and has a decent area control. Having left Bayern has certainly left a bitter taste in Rensing’s mouth. Rensing is a keeper who wants to proove a point. If he prooves his point, he might turn out to be one of the best signings of this transfer window.
The next siging is a unknown man for most football fans in Europe: Tomoaki Makino. The Japanees defender is said to be a solid center back, and has impressed new sporting director Volker Finke. Finke knows Makino himself from his time in Japan.
Polish winger Sławomir Peszko is the Fc’s third signing. Having seen Peszko a few times playing for the national team, I must say that he certainly brings the speed and a goalscoring ability that Cologne has been lacking on the wings. However, one cannot be sure that Peszko will adjust to the Bundesliga imediatly.
Last, but not least, Christian Eichner: the defender from Hoffenheim is already a known quantity in the league, and has been a solid player for a number of years.
While Eichner is a solid signing, there is certain risk factor over the other three signings. I am afraid that restructuring the team in mid-season isn’t the best moves. Not selling some of the weaker players besides Mondragon will probably create some tension in the team. Cologne might have shot itself in the leg. As so many times before.
A defender, a kingdom for a defender
Gladbach have certainly had trouble of their own. Raúl Bobadilla seems to have fallen out of favor, and the strain of bad lack concerning injuries has followed the club throughout the season. However, the club is now trying to lift the club from the bottom and into mid-table.
Signing two defenders, while letting one go is a sound investment. Martin Stranzl was a good defender while he played for Stuttgart, I am sure that the Austrian international will make an imediate impact at Gladbach. Håvard Nordtveit has for a long time been regarded to be one of the most talented Norwegian defenders. Arsene Wenger remarked that he has never met a more mature 16 years old when he signed the west-Norwegian. Having had a loan spell at Nürnberg last season, Nordtveit is used to the Bundesliga.
However, the signing of Mike Hanke might not be a wise choice of the management. Hanke is known to be an unpleasent character when he is sitting on the bench. He is certainly talanted, but his form has varried through the years. It will be exciting to see if he makes an impact at Borussia.
However, I am still convinced that Borussia will be playing at the second highest level next season. Having had bad luck all season long. Furthermore, most people would agree, their underlying problem seems to be in midfield. Nothing has been done to strengthen the midfield, and the club’s unwillingness to part ways with Micheal Frontzeck has already caused a huge amount of damage.
Update on the Bundesliga for newcomers segment of this blog: I will not be able to finnish the segment before friday’s match due to me leaving Norway for a few days. However, I will return next week and I am optimistic that the segment will be finnished before the 19th round of Bundesliga action.
Do you think that these winter signings will make an impact? Leave a comment below.