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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Borussia Dortmund shows a weak reaction in the DFB Cup: doubts instead of increases

Despite progressing in the DFB Cup, the trend at Borussia Dortmund is pointing in the wrong direction. The weak performance in Hanover has increased the doubts about BVB. Coach Edin Terzic then chose an explosive move against his team.

There are many recurring patterns within the shortcomings that have accompanied Borussia Dortmund for years. But there are also positive ones. It has long been an evergreen that BVB shows a good reaction to poor performance or surprising setbacks and then you think: why not always like that? The most recent example could be the 4-1 win at FC Sevilla, after the game against 1. FC Köln was carelessly given up a few days earlier.

In theory, the ground was prepared: 0: 2 bankruptcy including a bad performance at Union Berlin on Sunday, Wednesday evening now the game in the DFB Cup at second division Hannover 96 – there would be an increase in the realm of possibility.

However, that did not happen in the happy 2-0 win against Lower Saxony, who were basically superior to Dortmund in every respect. BVB lacked a lot, not for the first time this season and now several times in a row.

A game idea on the offensive is still not recognizable, even against an opponent from the 2nd division, Borussia lacks the structure in ball possession, there were hardly any scoring chances worth mentioning. Hardly any team really dominated Borussia this season.

BVB: The trend is going in the wrong direction

The main concern was the again weak body language, the lack of intensity in the game against the ball and simply the lack of commitment to hold against early pressing and aggressive 96ers. This exposed Dortmund’s defense network several times. If Gregor Kobel hadn’t had such a great day in goal, the weakly defending BVB could easily have conceded three to five goals.

And yet this was exactly one of Edin Terzic’s credos: The others can perhaps be better, but not because they have done more for it! But now the coach had to end Jude Bellingham’s breather early and replace the Englishman as a stabilizer because the team wobbled a lot against a second division team.

These symptoms run through the season. Instead of becoming more confident and settled over time, the trend is going in the wrong direction. Critical looks at Terzic will inevitably increase. However, the focus should be on the team.

BVB trainer Edin Terzic with an unmistakable demand

Terzic then moved his team there at the press conference after the game – quite understandable and appropriate. The mistakes are discussed again and again, said Terzic, but the players are not turned off. His demand was unequivocal: “It also takes some form of intrinsic motivation for the boys to want to turn it off themselves. It’s not like it’s happening on purpose. But I don’t think we’re fighting it. We don’t learn from it. We have to be ready.”

Questioning the motivation of your pros is an explosive move that you don’t often get to make as a coach. He not only addresses the endless loop debate about Dortmund’s lack of mentality, but primarily the quality and attitude of the players.

This in turn does not put squad planning in a good light. Without exceptional players like Jadon Sancho or Erling Haaland, who with their top class were often able to save BVB in previous years after staid performances, the imbalance in the composition of the team becomes even more obvious than it already was.

BVB appearance in Hanover increased the doubts

Current squad players such as Thomas Meunier, Donyell Malen, Emre Can, Thorgan Hazard, Julian Brandt, Mahmoud Dahoud, Marius Wolf or Nico Schulz have never turned out to be real and constantly delivering reinforcements. The number of weeks in which these players were in the doldrums and added little value to the team clearly exceeds those of the opposite.

“It’s a process. Nothing that happens overnight,” said sporting director Sebastian Kehl before the game sky asked about the development of the team. However, the statement is also valid with regard to the composition of the squad. Even before the start of the season, Kehl expressed the suspicion that it would take several transfer periods to change the spirit and character of the team – but also to free it from the accumulated legacy.

In the here and now, however, none of this helps. BVB has maneuvered itself into a phase that is characterized by increasing sluggishness and can quickly turn into uncertainty if ideas continue to be weak or bad results. Instead of showing a reaction and an increase in performance, the performance in Hanover actually increased the doubts.

BVB: The upcoming games of Borussia Dortmund

date Opponent venue contest
Saturday October 22nd VfB Stuttgart Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund Bundesliga, 11th matchday
Tuesday October 25th Manchester City Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund Champions League, 5th matchday
Saturday October 29th Eintracht Frankfurt Deutsche Bank Park, Frankfurt Bundesliga, 12th matchday


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