Quo vadis Dortmund?
The past two years have been a blast. To be honest, it was almost good to do rather worse than bad in the Championsleague and Euroleague, otherwise we would probably have a hard time now, picturing what it was like to not be successful and all happy. But as great as the past two years have been, with the incredible first championship season under Klopp where noone had thought that we would have such an amazing season before it had started, and then the double victory in May. A dream come true and somehow another fairytale. A lot of people were wonding how much better any of this could really get and mostly the answer was a more successful way of playing in international games.
So with the first cupgame against Oberneuland ahead of us and the Supercup defeat against Bayern Munich behind us, it might be a good moment to take a look at our Borussia next season and what the outcome might- or maybe even should be.
Bundesliga: As far as I am concerned, the Bundesliga competition is and will remain the most important one in all the competitions. I always regarded Championsleague, which we also call "Königsklasse" (king's class) in Germany as the bonus to the Bundesliga. Failure is not nice, but rather well handled than a bad year in the Bundesliga. But that's just my opinion. So we had the Supercupgame against Munich on Sunday, which resulted in a 2:1 defeat where the first 10 minutes of the game and basically the whole first half as well, can be held responsible for the outcome. Of course Bayern had longed for that victory, six defeats in a row would have probably caused some serious heart problems amongst Bayernfans and so Dortmund basically decided to not really be a protagonist in the first half of the game. The Dortmund we saw in that first half would probably get a lot of problems in any sort of competition next year since the lack of concentration brought the whole team out of balance. Luckily enough the second half made up for the first one and if we had not met up with the old and familiar terrible conversion of chances, we could have drawn Munich- at least. Which brings me to my thoughts for the new season.
This season will definetely be a tough one. German media have almost agreed in unison that Dortmund will be in the lead concerning the Schale again and that Reus is the perfect back up for Kagawa, who had decided to join Manchester united. One has to admit though that Bayern was not really sleeping during the summerbreak either and have strengthend their team as well. What is important for Dortmund is the factor in how far Götze can reach to his old strength after his long injury, how well Marco Reus will fit into the team, whether the constant rumours about Lewandowski take a break during the season and whether our defense gets his structure back. Against Munich there were some almost unfamiliar mistakes that can make a difference in any game. If Dortmund continues to give it all as they have before, I am sure a table spot between number 1 and 4 will be achievable. It will, however, be hard to make it championship winners third time in the row. Not impossible, simply more difficult than last year.
DFB Pokal (Cup): We all know the saying that the Cup has its own rules, and most of the time this rule does definetely apply for the Cup. Last year we had a couple of rough games against Düsseldrof and Fürth and at some points even the luck on our side. That's how it goes. Concerning the cup it is difficult to make forcasts since you can never know which team to expect next. It could be a Bundesliga battle on an even level, or a team from the fourth division that us fans would expect to get beaten by us. Our first opponent is Oberneuland and with all due respect this game has to be won. We have lost against third and fourth division teams before- also in the first round- but we should expect Dortmund to win this game and the take it from there. Reaching the final is not easy- again possible to achieve- but I personally assume that we might not make it to the end this season.
Championsleague: Well, well, well- what to say or to think of this precious cup. The cup of all cups as some might say- where only the best compete, the true Champions of Europe. If you ask fans from other teams? They kind of still laugh about our performance last year. It was a big disappointment. When the CL groups were drawn and our group was finalized, we all thought that this was a group that we could handle. Far off. We could not handle that group at all. Our Championsleague performances were some of the weakest a German team has shown for quite some time. And it is our duty to do better this time. By better I do not mean that we need to march through, or end the group games as number one or two of the group- but number three should be possible and if it will be number four, we should hope that there will still be an improvement from last year. And again- this will be a tough one. The drawings will be on the 30. of August and we are all excited about our group. It could be Barcelona, it could be Milan, the task is to give it all, no matter who the opponent is. It is hard to give a prognosis of the outcome of our new Championsleague adventure but the aim should be to do better than last year.
My views might be a bit pessimistic, but after these fantastic two years it is almost impossible to imagine that it will continue this way. Maybe this is simply healthy scepticism because I definetely believe in our Borussia. This year might be another one with huge factors of learning processes- but as long as our team never gives up, it does not matter whether it is Bundesligaspot number 1 or 12, or a cup defeat in the first round, because what we love most about our team is not the success- but the aim and the spirit the team has. So come on Dortmunder Jungs, let's make this another unforgetable year.