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Roman Weidenfeller: Dortmund Plagued by ‘Individual Interests’

Borussia Dortmund Pre-game Training & Press Conference Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

Roman Weidenfeller did not hold back in his assessment of Borussia Dortmund’s season. In an interview with Kicker, he lamented the players’ tendency to place their own interests over the interests of the club, and of themselves as a collective.

“At no point (in) this season, the squad was able to work with full focus... to be honest, I had the impression that there were too many individual interests and not the unconditional will to carry out the collective plan.”

The idea of the “broken locker room” had been common this season and in years prior. Of course, there were plenty of problems between Thomas Tuchel and certain members of the old guard.

While BVB’s current season got off to a great start under Peter Bosz, it quickly turned sour as BVB’s form suffered. Stories began to emerge of Julian Weigl ignoring Peter Bosz’s position instructions. Marc Bartra, frustrated by Bosz’s bizarre instructions, pushed for a transfer. Aubameyang became more enamored with his bank account, and pushed for a midseason move to North London. Most importantly, the squad’s performances on the pitch have suffered. The players have looked completely uncoordinated, and as a result, BVB have suffered some putrid results.

These problems speak to what can best be described, in HR terms, as a “toxic work environment”. It was clear that whatever problems the players had with Peter Bosz’s tactics, legitimate or not, could not be kept off the pitch. It’s also clear that Peter Stöger does not have whatever is necessary to push this squad to fulfill its potential. Over the summer, BVB will have to work to reinvigorate the dressing room. This doesn’t just mean a new manager who can properly motivate the players, but one who has a system that the entire squad can get behind. The players will also have to understand that any problems they have need to stay off the pitch so that BVB’s performances don’t suffer.