As the start of the second half of the Bundesliga season looms, there’s only one thing left for Dortmund to play for in the league. Bayern Munich are, once again, too far ahead and will surely waltz to their sixth consecutive title. Second place is now the goal, but BVB will have a dogfight on their hands just to secure a position in the top four.
There are still a lot of matches to be played this year, but it’s important to look to the future. If Dortmund want to “break the wheel” that is the current Bavarian dominance of German soccer, then something is going to have to change this summer.
That “something” should actually be a “someone”; Julian Nagelsmann.
Nagelsmann is only 30-years-old and is widely considered to be one of the best young managers in the world. Until recently, it seemed most likely that he would eventually leave Hoffenheim for Munich. But then Bayern had to sack Carlo Ancelotti sooner than they would have liked. Now they have ended up stumbling into a successful rekindling of their relationship with Jupp Heynckes.
This is Heynckes’ fourth stint at Bayern Munich! He looks quite lively for a 72-year-old, and there are credible reports that the defending Champions want to extend Jupp’s contract past this season.
This opens the door for Dortmund and Nagelsmann. Julian has been in charge of Hoffenheim for more than two years now and has seemingly already achieved all that he can at the club. They did incredibly well to finish 4th last year and qualify for the Champions League playoffs, but they were knocked out there by Liverpool and then proceeded to finish dead last in their Europa League group.
Hoffenheim do not have the resources or organic fan culture that Dortmund have. BVB can offer Nagelsmann more money and a more consistent shot at the Champions League. They should do that as soon as they legally can.
Peter Stöger is doing a good job so far since replacing Peter Bosz, but hopefully the recruitment process for Nagelsmann has already begun. There has been far too much instability at Dortmund in recent years. The next managerial appointment needs to be handled correctly to make sure that “starting over” isn’t a yearly occurrence.
Nagelsmann would have the opportunity to create something great at Dortmund. It would be a process, but the last time something similar happened at the club it was Jürgen Klopp building and producing two consecutive Bundesliga titles.
Dortmund don’t need a Klopp clone, but they do need someone young and promising who would be able to commit to a curriculum at the club for longer than just a year or two.
If all goes right for Nagelsmann, he would probably see himself at a bigger club than even Bayern Munich down the road. BVB would make sense as his next step on that journey. It would be the perfect place for him to continue growing as a coach while also receiving the resources necessary to compliment his managerial talents and win some silverware.