Why It’s Time For Borussia Dortmund To Stop Acting Like Underdogs

BVB have stepped their game up in recent years, as they went so far as to win the Bundesliga two times in a row, participate in every Champions League since the 2011/12 season and even make it to the most recent final of the competition.  Despite this fact, their transfer policy still looks like one of a Premier League team contending for a Europa League spot.

Dortmund’s starting 11 might be one of the best around at the moment, but this was not achieved overnight by splashing cash in big way on a handful of stars. Even though they spent large amounts of money to sign players such as Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang, this probably wouldn’t have happened without the sale of Götze.

But hey, they definitely can’t be criticized for that! On the contrary, they are setting the example for others to follow. BVB’s problem is the squad depth.

The Champions League finalists need to realize that they are now regularly fighting on three fronts and they are expected to be almost always one of the front-runners in all competitions. Their management need to adopt a winning mentality. Their fans, their head-coach and their players have it already, but the question is whether they have enough players to hold up an entire season.

BVB ended last season trophyless, but with such a small squad and a second-place finish in two competitions, I would say they earned everybody’s respect.

This season they have been very unlucky with injuries though. Many key players have gotten injured since the start of the season and Jürgen Klopp has dealt with it either by promoting youngsters from the junior team or by applying versatile models.

It worked well for them in the Bundesliga and the DFB Pokal, but that wasn’t exactly the case in the Champions League. Assuming they make it through to second round, with no additions to the squad and with recurring injuries, I highly doubt they can manage to stand their ground against Europe’s big guns.

Recently, Klopp’s side were dealt a double backline injury blow, as Mats Hummels and Neven Subotić will face around a two-month and six-month layoff respectively. That meant they were left with only one central defender, which led them to sign up 34-year old free agent Manuel Friedrich. They were quite lucky to find a defender that Klopp has worked with before when the transfer window is closed.

Mats Hummels will be back in January, but would that be enough for them not to invest in a new central defender or in other positions? Hopefully they have learned their lesson this time. The hard way.

Simon Sammour