Yesterday’s Champions League action told a familiar story for Borussia Dortmund.
BVB drew 1-1 in Cyprus, but it’s a draw that really feels like a loss. It came against an inferior APOEL team in a match that Dortmund had to win. Tottenham and Real Madrid drew in Spain, but Peter Bosz’s side failed to take advantage of that.
The story was also familiar because BVB’s opponents scored primarily due to a mistake from Roman Bürki. In a season where the Swiss keeper has made quite a few blunders, this was unquestionably the worst.
Bürki gives the ball right to APOEL, and then fails to adequately save a shot. A rough showing.
Dortmund’s keeper also made a mistake at the weekend against Leipzig. He flapped at a cross allowing Marcel Sabitzer to head the ball into an empty net.
And of course earlier in the Champions League season Bürki had a disappointing showing against Tottenham at Wembley, where he let two goals beat him at his near post.
Clearly, Dortmund have a problem between the sticks. But fans turning on Bürki will only make the problem worse.
Unless BVB go out and buy someone in January, this season is Bürki’s. Roman Weidenfeller is the backup, but he’s 37-years-old now. He is not spry or athletic enough anymore to be a keeper for a team like Dortmund that is aiming to compete for a Bundesliga title. Any mistakes Bürki makes would surely be emulated by Weidenfeller, or worse.
Bürki is only 26 and still has room for improvement. This season has put his inconsistencies on full display, but he still has the ability to make incredible saves, and just to play much better than he has been so far.
I’d preach patience. And while it is only a vocal minority abusing the player, Dortmund fans are better than that.
There is no one realistically available in January who could come in and improve on Bürki’s performances. If the situation hasn’t improved by the summer, then it may be time for a new signing.
But for now, get behind your goalkeeper. He has the toughest job on the pitch.