Long Road to Ruin
In an long interview with “Die Welt” coach Jürgen Klopp gave his view on the miserable Bundesliga results: “We had huge problems. It started with the problem, that we had too many matches and not enough players, not to mention enough training sessions. Subsequently the team was in a bad physical shape,” Klopp said. “We did have solutions, but we had no opportunity to use them, due to the fact that the tasks followed blow on blow. It was a really tough situation.”
Besides the physical situation, Jürgen Klopp also pointed to emerging psychological problems: “We quickly realized, that it would become hard. Already during the training camp we thought that it we would have to catch up on during the season. We won two of the first three matches, everything was allright. But after the match in Mainz, where our style of play was acceptable, everything went quickly. We had to admit that we were no longer able to train in an appropriate way due to new injuries. And due to these new injuries, our usable players were overburdened,” he told.
“Nevertheless you are Borussia Dortmund, you wear yellow jerseys and cannot be overlooked. You are runners-up, ex-champion, ex-CL-finalist. Everywhere you are everyone tells you 'things are going to be allright. But down on the pitch, all opponents are spoiling for a fight. It was like a spiral. Especially towards the end we didn't play very well.”
Still Klopp does not feel like not pointing out all the problems was a mistake. “We had to go through this. If I would have pointed out the problems, they probably would have grown. If I had mentioned the physical status of the players, this would have been counterproductive. If you think you are tired, then you feel like you are tired. We tried to solve it with more will and with running even more. But we rewarded ourselves not that often.”
“So many things happened during the last months, we nearly didn't have the opportunity to make any mistakes. We were only able to react. I fully understand that all reasons are not enough to explain the whole outcome. But we have to stick to the facts: We have, even though we didn't want it, proven that certain circumstances lead to unbelievable problems: Only due to a odd result in Freiburg we are not at the bottom of the table.”
In the end, if we want to get something positive out of the miserable months, we could only mention the strong company between club, team and the supporters. Influences from the outside were not able to divide Borussia Dortmund. Let's put an end to the misery and don't look back at 2014. There's a great task to deal with in 2015.
Black and Yellow Comeback?
Already tomorrow we have the opportunity to turn things around, at least if we do not concede a goal against Leverkusen within the first 9 seconds. According to Klopp Jakub Blaszczykowski will miss the start of the second half of the season, because of a flue. Gabonese Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang returned from Africa Cup on Wednesday and offers new options for Klopp together with Shinji Kagawa. Nevertheless both had not any training session during the last weeks, so Kevin Großkreutz will probably take the free spot in midfield. New signing Kevin Kampl will surely find a place in the starting XI, his performances during preseason were remarkable.
Jürgen Klopp is cautiously optimistic: "Compared to the match performances, the training sessions were much better. We are fitter than in the first half of the campaign. We worked hard and a lot of it made us better." Still he is fully aware of the great task his squad has to handle. "Leverkusen has a lot of quality, we have to prove that we have quality, too," Klopp said. "We have to be concentrated, allthough they score at lot of goals at home, we will try to defend them."
During the last years we always took some points from Leverkusen, hopefully we will do it again. It has been talked enough during the last weeks. The truth lies on the pitch.
Bayer Leverkusen: Leno - Hilbert, Spahic, Toprak, Wendell - L. Bender, Castro - Bellarabi, Calhanoglu, Drmic – Kießling
Substitute's Bench: Yelldell - Donati, Papadopoulos, Reinartz, Rolfes, Yurchenko, Brandt.
Missing: Jedvaj, Son, Kruse.
Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller - Piszczek, Sokratis, Hummels, Schmelzer - Sahin, Gündogan (Ginter) – Großkreutz (Mkhitaryan), Reus, Kampl - Aubameyang (Ramos, Immobile)
Substitue's Bench: Alomerovic - Dudziak, Ginter, Subotic, Mkhitaryan, Jojic, Kagawa, Kirch, Immobile, Ramos.
Missing: Aubameyang (?), Kagawa (?), Mkhitaryan (?), Kehl, Blaszczykowski, Langerak, Bender, Durm.
Referee: Kircher (Rottenburg)
Kickoff: 6.30. P.M. CET