Germany: Bundesliga
1 - 2
(1 - 1)
FC Köln
F. Neuhaus (16)
E. Rexhbecaj (3), E. Rexhbecaj (55)
By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Marco Rose takes heat from Gladbach fans: "You don't mess around with the derby!"

Borussia Mönchengladbach's recent defeat to 1. FC Köln in the sacred Rheinderby, along with the persistent rumours about his impending departure for Borussia Dortmund after the season, have led Gladbach fan societies to up the pressure on head-coach Marco Rose. 
The passionate Westphalian supporters of Borussia Mönchengladbach don't take a defeat to arch rivals Köln lightly. Germany's lower Rheinderby remains one of the oldest and fiercest rivalries in all of German football.

Gladbach trainer Marco Rose took serious heat for his personnel moves ahead of this Saturday's loss. The fohlen gaffer clearly prioritised a midweek Pokal fixture against VfB Stuttgart, rotating out seven of his best players for the subsequent league clash.

One change merely involved reinstating first-string keeper Yann Sommer. The other six rotations garnered controversy. Marcus Thuram, Jonas Hofmann, Alassane Plea, Christoph Kramer, Ramy Bensebaini, and Nico Elvedi all played in the Pokal fixture, but began the derby on the bench.

One Gladbach ultra group published a statement claiming this proved that their trainer did not understand the priorities of his fanbase.

"Anyone who sees the derby as an ideal opportunity to undertake a rotative experiment does not understand Borussia Mönchengladbach," read a statement by the FPMG supporters group, "you don't mess around with the derby!"

Even before kickoff, Rose anticipated the criticism. Asked about his team sheet prior to the match, Rose acknowledged that a coach making so many moves invited armchair quarterbacking from his supporters.

"If we win, Rose has done everything right and will be called the 'Master of Rotation'," he told a reporter prior to the start of the match, "If we're not successful, then the coach probably rotated out the win."

The increasingly vitriolic rhetoric surfacing online concerning Rose surely also has roots in his likely move to Dortmund at the conclusion of the campaign.

Though club sporting director Max Eberl recently put the chances of Rose staying at 98 percent (comically down from 99 percent in December), Rose's departure is treated as fact by most German football insiders.

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