It feels like forever ago that BVB opened up the season with back to back 4-0 victories over Borussia Monchengladbacgh and FC Ingolstadt. After a rough 2014-2015 season, those two thrashings couldn't have felt any better. Dortmund was back and there would be a race for the title yet again. But alas, after a great season, we came home with no trophies. So, was the season a failure? Let's discuss.
Goals, goals and more goals. Dortmund led the league in goals this season with 82. BVB scored 3 or more goals in 24 games in all competitions. That's unbelievable. They were also prolific at creating chances with 64 assists total and 15.6 shots per a game in the Bundesliga this season.
To add to a great offensive production, Dortmund also had the second best defence in the league, only letting up 34 goals. They rarely collapsed against teams and our changing cast of defenders throughout the season, did not upset the balance in our back four.
Thomas Tuchel worked his magic in his first year at the helm. Under Tuchel, Mkhitaryan became one of the best chance creators in Europe. Tuchel's 4-2-3-1 and 4-4-3 lineups were extremely effective with Julian Weigl acting as the pivot. The young Weigl came from 1860 Munich, and immediately made a huge impact for BVB. Although he did not register a goal all year, his passing was central for BVB's success this year. Also Tuchel's use of Ramos and Kagawa as attacking super subs proved highly effective in moments throughout the year (Kagawa against Wolfsburg in the fall for example).
The end. After looking like Dortmund had absolutely dispatched Liverpool, they came back, dismissing BVB from the Europa League. Most BVB fans (me included) thought they would win the Europa league this year, and after eliminating Spurs, Liverpool didn't seem like a terrible challenge. After the collapse against Liverpool, the rest of the season didn't go so great. Even though Dortmund blew out its next three opponents, BVB lost to relegation zone Frankfurt 1-0 then tied Cologne 2-2 on the last day of the season. It hurt for BVB to end such a good season without a win in its last two.
Then came the game against Bayern in the Pokal. Dortmund actually played pretty great in the game, but BVB couldn't finish its chances. In the end, BVB lost on penalties, giving the double to the evil empire, and leaving Dortmund with nothing to remember the season.
As for other bad moments this season, BVB had a couple of bad losses. Getting thrashed by Bayern when they were flying so high in October wasn't great. Losses to Hamburg and Cologne, in the end of the fall, really hurt Dortmund's chances in the title race as well.
Maybe one of the most sour notes in the song of the season came from the announcement of Mats Hummels' departure for Bayern Munich. Mats became a fan favorite, because of his ability and his criticism of players making the move to Bayern. Many BVB fans were upset at his departure and the media's spin on it being a homecoming, even if that home threw him away, because he wasn't good enough for them. We'll see which version of Hummels Bayern gets in the fall, the one who was so good in the second half of the season, or the one who was almost hapless in the first half.
This year has opened up many door to Dortmund's future. Thomas Tuchel has proved he can develop talent quickly, as seen with Julian Weigl and Christian Pulisic. In Weigl and Pulisic we have discovered two young pieces that should be Black and Yellows for years to come. With the arrival of Mikel Merino and Ousmane Dembele in the summer, TT will have even more pieces to turn into some of Europe's best.
Also a large pool of young talent in our farm, such as Michael Eberwein and Felix Passlack, assures the pipeline will keep moving. The next man up mentality of Watzke and Zorc has made BVB a powerhouse in world football. It doesn't look like its changing anytime soon.
One Last Note
Schalke 04 didn't beat us this year so there's that.
If you think we didn't go in depth enough here into certain players, don't worry. We have a player review scheduled for every player/coach/youth team over the next few weeks. Echte Liebe.