Dortmund CEO Hans Joachim-Watzke has a reputation as an overly-cautious pessimist, and it’s moments like this that explain why. In an interview he did with T-Online, he was asked about BVB’s position at the top of the table, and he had this to say:
For me it is a miracle that we are now table leaders. In the end, we did not have a total of nine people, five of which were from the original master formation. Schmelzer, Bartra, Reus, Guerreiro, Schürrle. "
This isn’t his most controversial statement, though. It’s quite reasonable to be surprised by Dortmund’s success, especially given the club’s injuries. However, his next statement, which he gave when asked about BVB’s title chances, is sure to ruffle some feathers:
The question is always: What happens in Bavaria? When they find their form, we will have no chance. They would have to leave feathers, then there would be another German champion.
Before we get into this, there was a bit of confusion from some sources with regards to the translation. His original statement, in German, was “Wenn sie ihre Form abrufen, haben wir keine Chance,” which many sources have taken to mean “When they find their form, we will have no chance.” However, “Wenn” is more accurately translated as “if”, so in reality his statement was a bit more conditional than at first glance.
Either way, this statement is unusually pessimistic, even for Watzke’s standards. It’s true that Bayern are probably the better team, and that when they are at the top of their game, they are potentially the best side in Europe. That being said, BVB have plenty of talent to go around, and as the Super Cup showed, are more than capable of going toe-to-toe with Bayern, or at least putting up a decent fight. While I highly doubt that BVB could go pound-for-pound with an in-form and healthy Bayern for an entire season, I would never say there wasn’t a possibility of it happening.
Furthermore, let’s just say for the sake of argument that he’s right. If Bayern find their form, Dortmund have no chance. It’s still incredibly irresponsible to go out and say it publicly, much less in an interview with a major website. It’s disrespectful to a) the fans, who have been waiting for a legitimate chance at a title for years, and b) the players, many of whom desperately want to win the league again.
I’m not saying that he should be overly optimistic, but there’s a difference between realism and pessimism. A lot of things will have to go right if Dortmund are to seize the Meisterschale from Bayern, but as of now, it surely isn’t looking impossible. The boys are flying high, on top of the table, and haven’t even surrendered a goal yet. It’s a little premature to count them out.