THE BUNDESLIGA SEASON APPROACHES!!!!
The 2017-2018 Bundesliga season is upon us, and with it comes a whole year of excitement. We have a new manager and new players joining the fray which will make this season super unpredictable. Are we looking at a disaster or the league title? Hell, I have no clue! Lets take a look at what we do know.
The New Guys
Lots of new faces will be in Dortmund this season. Before we talk about those we will be seeing on the pitch, we must start with the new man on the sideline; Peter Bosz.
Thomas Tuchel was a great coach for BVB’s style and talent, and now Bosz has to deal with the pressure of replacing TT. At Ajax, Bosz was quite successful getting the Dutch side to the Europa League finals, where they only lost to money-bags Manchester United. While he wasn’t able to take home the league title, he fostered a lot of young talent and had them playing his style of football. With a team also full of young talent and high expectations, quickly teaching his style of football will be crucial to how our season turns out.
So far Bosz has seemed like he is struggling to get his team playing that football. With lots of struggling in the preseason, things will have to change quick for Bosz to get the early results we need. In terms of his personality, he seems like he has what it takes to be the classic lovable BVB manager, except for the suits he wears on the sideline.
The new players we got this off-season show lots of promise. Our acquisitions so far have been Max Phillip, Mo Dahoud, Omer Toprak, and Dan-Axel “King of the Giants” Zagadou. Toprak, unfortunately has gotten hurt and will miss the beginning of the season. Our other three new guys are fully fit and look ready to go.
Mo Dahoud was a young star at BMG and has looked the part so far in the preseason. He should be able to help Julian Weigl dominate the midfield and dictate the game for Dortmund. With League, UCL and Pokal to play in, Mo will be an extremely useful player as we try to keep Weigl healthy.
Zagadou has looked alright in the preseason as well. He will probably need some more time to develop until he is an option for big BVB games, but as a rotation player he will bring a lot of value to Dortmund as he learns to play at the highest level.
Phillip has the potential to be a high quality performer right away for us. Its nice for us to get a attacker who isn’t a project. He’ll also be crucial for our crowded schedule.
For the first time in awhile no major talent has left BVB in the summer...for now. This squad is chalk-full of quality players, many of whom should get even better as the season goes on.
Our back-line pairing of Sokratis and Bartra struggled the first half of last season, but has shown much promise since. With Sokratis and Bartra being two of the most popular players in Dortmund watching how our defense plays will probably one of the best parts of the season. With Schmelzer and Lukasz Pizczek still as our first choice fullbacks we should be okay most of the time on the wings. Raphael Guerreiro being hurt definitely hurts the depth there. The likely addition of Hoffenheim’s Jeremy Toljan should at least provide some relief on the right side.
Our midfield is crowded as usual. Julian Weigl is still our most important player in the middle. The past two years Weigl has proven that BVB would be much less without him. Our teams entire flow runs through the young midfielder’s vision and passing ability. If Weigl can improve any more then he already has BVB is on a good path for the season.
Another central midfielder that will be an impact guy for BVB is Nuri Sahin. Nuri is a BVB legend, unfortunately he seems to always be hurt. If he does stay healthy he will give Weigl some valuable rest time.
Also there is Rode...I have nothing to say about Rode.
As for our other midfielders we have tons of attacking talent. With guys like Shinji and Castro (when hes in form) we have huge players who can play in any competition.
While Marco Reus may be hurt for much of the season, Christian Pulisic is looking to claim the title of being a world class player. Pulisic has improved at an insane pace in the last few years. Just last season no one thought he would be ahead of Mor in the pecking order, but he’s now a whole class above the Turkish winger.
Also Mario Gotze is back and raring to go this year. After finding out a metabolic disorder is what has been holding him back, the German World Cup winning goal-scorer is ready to pay his debt to the club. Once Guerreiro comes back we are also getting one of the most versatile players in the Bundesliga. Even thought hes suffered a tough injury, Raph showed a lot of promise last year and when he gets health he will fit perfectly in Bosz’ system in the midfield too.
Up front we have three options. The obvious first choice is last year’s top scorer, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Even with his attitude problems Auba cares only about one thing and one thing only: scoring goals. Even in our first round DFB Pokal game Auba was chasing goals that we didn’t even need. I don’t think his attitude should worry any BVB fans during the season. The guy is a winner and he’s here to do just that.
Our other two options up front out of the guys we already have are Andre Schurrle and Alexander Isak. Isak is inexperienced, while Schurrle is literally always injured. While Isak may be a top player one day, he is going to need more game time and it may hurt us if he is relied upon in the league. Schurrle is a mess, no other way to put it. While I do hope he rebounds, it seems he’s doomed at Dortmund. He’s injured again now, and it seems unlikely that he can be the old Schurrle again and help BVB in the race against Bayern.
Last season BVB could have been champions. We had the talent, we had the manager, and we had the will. The one thing that derailed the season; injuries. We had up to 11 regular contributors hurt at one time last season, and things weren't much better at most other points.
This is one of the most talented teams in Europe, and if Bosz can continue Tuchel’s legacy then we have a shot. But injuries are a big factor again. We have already lost Reus, Raph, Schurrle, and Toprak before the season has started. It will be rough, but with luck and good management this team does have a chance at the top of the table this year.
One more factor that I have not mentioned is Dembele. Dembele was one of Dortmund’s best players last year, and is really invaluable at the moment. But his future seems to be in limbo. BVB has said they haven't received any good offers from Barca, but Dembele refuses to talk to the team. It’s a messy situation that could vastly affect the beginning of the season.
So...what are you predictions for the season this year?