How Dortmund’s Winning Formula, Is Crippling It!
As I sat in the Signal Iduna stadium in Dortmund, to watch B Dortmund host, outplay and overrun Arsenal by a flattering 2-0 champions league encounter, One could not help but wonder, how long will it take before this Dortmund team will self destruct? This might seem strange to you if you have never been fortunate to watch them play live.
Bvb Dortmund is definitely one of the most entertaining teams to watch in the world.Their playing style involves passion, speed,pressing football (all over the pitch) and they practically try to stifle oxygen out of the lungs of the opponent.
They are quite successful with this and came close to winning the prestigious Uefa Champions league two years ago,playing this way. Losing to Bayern Munich in the finals, 2-1.
Coached by a temperamental and positively motivating figure in the person of Jürgen Klopp, Dortmund has grown from a team that were facing bankruptcy and near extinction in mid 2005 to a better financially stable team capable of winning major titles.
However, as we share thoughts, they are languishing on 16th position on the Bundesliga table, after 16 league games, 1 point from relegation into the second division, with 27 points behind league leaders and eternal rivals, Bayern Munich !
[soccer-info id=’3′ type=’table’ style=’blue_light’ team=’964||Borussia Dortmund’ title=’Dortmund so far!’ width=’750′ /]
When they took on Arsenal, in Dortmund, they fielded just 5 regular starters and the rest were reserve players who normally used to be on the bench. That is what major injury to star players has constrained them to.
In the Bundesliga, Dortmund has the highest number of injured players and this has always been the case in recent years though this season they are struggling desperately and trying to march on in spite of this.
One could argue that the season is still quite young with still 18 games and 54 points to fight for, that after a world cup year (Dortmund had some players in the German World cup winning team) this was to be expected etc but the real reason in my opinion hangs on their Success formula!
Dortmund’s Playing Style!
The physical demands of the Dortmund playing style could seem inhuman at times. Mainz’s Coach, who beat Dortmund just 3 days after they outran Arsenal felt he had to check his TV’s remote to see if the TV was not on fast forward mode, as he felt the Dortmund players were running unbelievably fast!
This explains why from the onset, to accommodate Jürgen Klopp’s successful playing philosophy, of ultra physical body investment, he recruits mostly athletic,talented and relatively young players into his fold.
When Dortmund Recovers the ball from the opponent in its own half, the number of multiplied forward runs in front of the player in possession is so much and ferocious it often breaks down the opposition. This same pace is applied if that particular ball is lost in recovering up to crowd the midfield!
The Human body has a limit and I feel in football, there just has to be a recovery phase during a game and that’s one of the major reasons why Germany won the FIFA World cup in Brazil, because they were able to dictate the pace of the game at most times by their high ball possession and accelerate when they wanted to, without burning the edges.
Bayern Munich has the most of the German National team players in their fold, in fact as much as 65% of the team and they do not only have less injuries but are sitting top of the league with Pep Guardiola pulling the strings.
Not to forget that Dortmund’s virtue as often second placed or twice winners of the Bundesliga, play also in the energy sapping champions league, alongside the league, reducing further the recovery periods available to them to replenish lost energy!
If there is one thing you are guaranteed of when you visit the Dortmund stadium in a home game, it is that there is going to be movement and very high tempo end to end stuff with the ball and high tempo traded passes forwards coupled with aggressive pressing when the ball is lost.
This is the key to their success, and at the moment, the burden on the physical aspect of the players is Killing them and if not solved, could see Dortmund even struggle like never before under the recent but successful Jürgen Klopp era!