Max Eberl announced that he would be prematurely stepping down from his role as director of sport at Borussia Monchengladbach last week.
After working for the club from 2005, initially as a youth academy coordinator, up until now, Eberl has been a massive part of what’s made Gladbach as prominent of a force in the Bundesliga as they were back in the 1970’s. Of course, it hasn’t been smooth sailing for Die Fohlen so far this season under Adi Hütter after Marco Rose left at the end of last season to manage Borussia Dortmund. It hasn’t been an easy transition, though they still have a decent enough squad that’s already bested Bayern Munich twice this season.
In a recent appearance on Sky Sports, former Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge offered his thoughts on Eberl’s decision to step down from his post. “Anyone who works in football in such a prominent role as Max Eberl, then the pressure is dramatic,” he empathetically explained (Abendzeitung). For such a positive tenure as director of sport at Gladbach, Rummenigge said he felt like the pressure was always going to mount on Eberl after the difficult start to this current season, especially after failing to secure a European spot last season, finishing 8th in the Bundesliga table. He said Eberl had been “standing in the sun for a very long time at Borussia, having experienced a lot of success with Mönchengladbach and buying a lot of good players,” but that “this year will be a problematic year for him.”
That’s not to say the pressure only exists when the club is collectively doing poorly and not meeting the standards set. With great success, as Eberl has experienced a lot of with his time at Gladbach, also comes added pressure to continuously raise the minimum expectation. Die Fohlen averaged a total of 39 points per season prior to Eberl’s tenure officially starting, a number which he helped raise to 52 and had once qualified for the round of 16 knockout stages of the Champions League; a benchmark of continued, collective improvement at the club.
For Eberl, Rummenigge said that, “with him, at some point, the valve probably burst, and then he wants out of this whole business, and you have to accept that,” suggesting that the continuously mounting pressure was really starting to get to him. Eberl himself said that he was tired, exhausted, and just didn’t have the strength to do the job that’s required when he officially announced his decision to step down. His health and well being should come first, as damning of a scenario as it could potentially be for a struggling Gladbach side.