Borussia Dortmund Are Flirting With Disaster

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    Updated: January 5, 2014
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    When will the player poaching from the hierarchy of Bayern Munich end when it comes to Borussia Dortmund? As long as players want to play for the Bavarian giants the answer is never. This is back-to-back big name players Bayern has taken from Borussia Dortmund in successive years starting last year with Mario Gotze and now with Robert Lewandowski. And anyone that has watched Bayern know the only weakness that juggernaut has is central defense.

    Guess who happens to have one of the best central defenders in World Futbol, Dortmund. Mats Hummels is a class central defender and he is the linchpin and heart of this Dortmund team. If Dortmund manages to lose Hummels as well then that may be the nail in the coffin of any hope Dortmund has of competing for honors in the Bundesliga.

    How can a team lose it’s best creative midfielder, Mario Gotze, their best striker, Robert Lewandowski, and their best defender, Mats Hummels, all under 30 years of age and playing at a top-level and still compete? They can’t. Not in Europe and not in their domestic league. Just how Bayern want it.


    Don’t get me wrong, Bayern is not doing anything illegal and it’s not even immoral, kinda. It’s competition and it’s strictly business. But Bayern has a way of coming to the agreements with the players well before the end of the season so the player they will be purchasing may lose focus for Dortmund when it matters most, the end of the season. Again is this immoral behavior by Bayern or is just good strategy? 

    Either way Dortmund is worse of for not keeping their two best players on the team and that sends a message to the rest of the Bundesliga and Europe that they are a selling club. No team wants that title, and once you have the title of a selling club, it is hard to get it removed and even harder to get class players to come play for your team unless you can secure other big name signings while keeping the players you already have on the field. 

    The list of players leaving Dortmund does not begin with Gotze and Lewandowski unfortunately. Nuri Sahin tried his luck in another domestic leave after leaving as Dortmund’s best young player in 2011, taking a chance with the biggest club of them all Real Madrid in La Liga. His time there was blighted with injuries, lack of form and lack of playing time under Jose Mourinho. He rarely featured in Madrid.

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    Mourinho sent him on loan the following season to Liverpool under his former protégé Brendan Rodgers hoping that since Rogers followed the same sort of playing philosophy that Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp follows. Possession based counter attaching Tiki Taka futbol that Arsene Wenger and Pep Guardiola have embodied their entire careers. 

    Unfortunately for Sahin and Rodgers the partnership was just as bad as the one between Sahin and Mourinho. Sahin was eventually sent back home to Dortmund to try to revive his career.

    The other player that left Dortmund for what he thought would be a brighter future is Japanese international midfielder Shinji Kagawa. Just like Sahin, Kagawa was a vital part in the Dortmund team’s that won two Bundesliga titles under Jurgen Klopp. But just like Sahin before him another European giant, Manchester United, turned Kagawa’s head.

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    But similar again to Sahin, Kagawa has experienced a numerous amount of time on the injury table as well as the bench in his time away from Dortmund. He’s also played out of position when featured in the United lineup as well which has done nothing for his confidence. 

    Kagawa is not a wing player; he is midfielder that needs the ball at his feet in the middle of the park to create. Placing him on the wing is a waste and the only person that seems to realize that was Jurgen Klopp, but unfortunately for Kagawa, he left Klopp behind, as well as his form. 

    Dortmund may ultimately lose the most important person of all, the architect behind the title-winning sides that has been a constant thorn in Bayern’s side the last 4 years, Jurgen Klopp. 

    It’s hard to replace a great player, and it is just as difficult to replace a great manager. Ask David Moyes at Manchester United. Klopp is a title wining genius. He has done with his Dortmund side what Arsene Wenger tried to do for years with Arsenal during Arsenal’s 9-year trophy drought, win with young players. 

    Klopp got the best out of team full of players 25 and under and made them a force to be reckoned with in Germany and across Europe. Imagine what Klopp could do with a team of world-class veterans a lot of transfer money. He would be able to build a team that would rival Wenger’s Invincibles squad and the all-conquering Barcelona teams under Pep Guardiola. 

    If I have these thoughts I am sure a number of owners across Europe do as well. Dortmund would be in shambles if they managed to let one of the big European clubs come and take Klopp away in the event Klopp is sick of seeing his team lose the players he has helped become stars. 

    Dortmund is losing it’s grip on the top players it has nurtured, and every time a player leaves Dortmund for Bayern or another club, it’s hard to imagine that the team can keep selling players this often and remain viable in Europe and at home in Germany. Bayern is a machine and they will always be a super power in world futbol, Dortmund had a chance to build something great also but clubs like Bayern and Madrid and Man U may be too good a an opportunity for a young player to pass up. 

    If this trend continues, those same clubs may be too big an opportunity for Jurgen Klopp to pass up as well, and what a shame that would be.

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