BERLIN, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) — A look at Borussia Dortmund’s training-ground in the city’s Brackel district seems to tell the story of a club in a bit of a mess.
The Black and Yellows are enlarging their training facilities in efforts to grow. While building work seems to be going as planned, the football side of things is not.
The mood, therefore, remains subdued.
The club’s approach of relying on gifted youngsters is being scrutinized after a disappointing first half of the season. Besides broken league championship dreams, the team’s qualification for next season’s Champions League is in doubt.
Newly-appointed interim coach Edin Terzic hasn’t been able to turn things around as the successor of Lucien Favre.
The controversial Swiss was sacked at the end of December 2020. Ten points from six games is nothing to be happy about.
The effect of changing coaches hasn’t paid off. Doubts about the team’s mentality returned after the latest 2-1 defeat in Leverkusen.
“Quality is the result of talent and mentality,” the 38-year-old said. “We rely too much on talent and lack resolution to fight back.”
Dortmund’s youngsters can’t control their impetuousness. The team’s actions are often wild and uncontrolled. There seems to be no smart strategy.
The inconsistent performances in the season’s first 17 games are something to think about, midfielder Julian Brandt said.
“We can’t keep playing at the same high level for 90 minutes,” the German international added. Favre failed to lift the young team to a higher level. Terzic seems to be facing similar difficulties.
In Leverkusen, Terzic complained about unsatisfactory body language. “Heads went down too fast,” he said. The team was too impatient and not resolute enough.
Ahead of Friday’s duel against Borussia Moenchengladbach, former Liverpool and Bayern Munich midfielder Dietmar Hamann said: “It comes down to character and will. I can’t see both in the side at present.” Brandt admitted, “We are too far away from the top to talk about the title. Our main thing is to gain stability and have a good winning run.”
Team captain Marco Reus complained, “We can’t manage to shut up shop at the back. We are forever too open in the back and neglect to protect our goal.” While the youngster’s unsteadiness seems comprehensible, Borussia is suffering from its leaders’ ups and downs. Brandt, Reus, Axel Witsel and Emre Can are all busy trying to be consistent.
Not only did Leverkusen’s fast dribblers Diaby, Florian Wirtz, and Leon Bailey force Dortmund’s defense into risky man-on-mans, they also won most of them. Even underdogs like Augsburg and Mainz quickly exploited the gaps created by high-speed attacks.
Reus announced the team won’t give up and said the game against rivals Moenchengladbach has to be a turning point.
Instead of competing for the title, Dortmund has to secure its Champions League participation.
Missing the target, including the millions of euros coming with it in the end, might endanger the future of Dortmund’s promising ensemble.