In Good Times and in Bad Times
There it is. With a 0:1 loss against Hamburg, our Borussia caught one of the baddest season starts in the Klopp era. With 12 goals against us in seven games and seven points in total, we hit the bottom of the table. Especially bookkeepers will love the current Bundesliga season 2014/2015. Alleged underdogs like Paderborn win point after point and the traditionally expected strong clubs from Dortmund, Schalke and Wolfsburg are searching for their league form. But where does the schizophrenic performance from league to Champions League come from? And is Bayern already champion now?
But it is definitely not the right time to a) look or even b) talk about other teams. At the moment, the whole focus should lie on our Borussia. After the loss against the bottom crisis-torn club from Hamburg, coach Klopp blamed the missing consistency his team showed in the league compared to the champions league matches. And also the biggest optimists have to admit, that the current situation cannot be apologised by referencing to the long list of injured players. This one goes deeper, but before I try to answer why we are, where we are, lets first see how this loss yesterday came about.
Compared to the match against Anderlecht, Klopp rotated on three positions. Durm replaced Piszczeck as right defender, Hummels went in for Subotic and Ramos started for Immobile.
The opposite HSV coach Zinnbauer sent two new players on the pitch. For Cleber came Diekmeier and Janßen replaced Stieber on the left wing.
Hamburg started the match wide awake. With encouraged tacklings and proper tactical moving the Nordish boys prevented the lightning fast attacks after ball possession from our Borussia. Soley a free kick from Schmelzer could be counted as an attempt for the statistics, the ball however clearly missed the goal (8.). Additional offensive actions from our boys were missing in the beginning.
Hamburg on the other side waited patientily for their situations and mostly used them for determined and uncomplicated attacks. Müller, as an example, passed Hummels on the right side of the box and then missed the goal from a sharp angle. Our BVB meanwhile could not convert their ball possession into something useful. A single action like the one from Großkreutz, who overran two defenders and released a strong shot that missed clearly, remained a rare exeption in the Dortmunder offensive play (24.). A weak shot from Auba a few minutes later was also not enough to defeat Hamburg keeper Drobny (27.).
And although the Hamburg offensive efforts became less during the middle of the first half, the clever playing bottom team scored the go-ahead goal and a well-deserved one as well. After a terrible bad pass from Ramos near the middle lane, Hamburg switched fast as lightning. Via Jansen the ball reached Müller on the left who could not be stopped by Durm on his way towards Roman. The perfectly timed flat cross reached Lasogga who could score into the empty goal (35.). Due to the fact that Dortmund could not properly answer to this deficit, and further Müller even had a small chance to extend the lead (45.), our black and yellow boys were accompanied by whistles on their way in the locker room.
After the 15 minute break Klopp sent Jojic for Bender on the pitch, hoping for more valuable offensive actions. But that did not really change the character of this match. Instead, the intensity increased and the play flow became more and more interrupted by fouls and hard tacklings. Dortmund still with no penetrating power. Instead, Roman saved brilliantly against a header from Westermann from 5 meter distance after a freekick by Holtby (63.).
20 minutes before the end of the match – and after Hamburg did once more miss to convert another counter attack into something countable – our Borussia finally started to develop the familiar offensive pressure. Aubameyang’s header was saved by Drobny (70.), followed by a shot from Jojic that barly missed target (73.). But Hamburg did not sleep: Sokratis stood perfectly to deflect the ball after a shot from Janssen (76.). On the other side Immobile had the chance shortly after joining the match for Großkreutz, but his flat shot from the box marking closely missed the right bottom goal corner (79.). By opening up, Dortmund let Hamburg even more room to counter. Holtby missed the decision from sharp angle after he already passed Weidenfeller (83.).
Apart from that, the Hamburg defenders managed to throw themselves in Dortmunds shot attempts or cleverly closed the existing pass pathes. The last effort from Auba with a beautiful volley shot could also not prevent the loss (87.). Thereby, Borussias offensive efforts fizzled out and the bottom team of the table achieved their first season victory with a passionate and self-sacrificing fight.
Coming back to the initial question. I cannot answer why our Borussia can’t show in the league what they manage to show in the League of Champions. 6 points and 5:0 goals against a top team from England and Belgium speaks for itself. But what is missing in the national league? Is it motivation? Determination? Organisation? Stability? It will be up to Klopp and his team to figure that out. Luckily, we are facing a two week break for international games. Enough time to recharge batteries and free the minds.
We are facing bad times, yes we do. But it is like in a relationship. There are always ups and downs, victories and defeats. We will come back, after each trough comes a high. After bad times will come good times. Especially with these fans that were cheering at the squad long after the end of the match. A clear sign in direction of the team: In good times, in bad times, we will stand together Borussia!
Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller - Durm, Sokratis, Hummels, Schmelzer - S. Bender, Kehl - Aubameyang, Kagawa, Großkreutz - Ramos
Hamburger SV: Drobny - Diekmeier, Djourou, Westermann , Ostrzolek - Arslan , Behrami - N. Müller, Holtby, Jansen - Lasogga
Substitutions: 66. Stieber for Diekmeier, 83. Jiracek for Lasogga, 87. Rudnevs for N. Müller
Goals: 0:1 Lasogga (35., N. Müller)
Yellow Cards: Sokratis, Jojic - Holtby, N. Müller, Drobny, Ostrzolek