Do the match observations for the Freiburg game. There will be plenty to say. What’s the worst that can happen? Well here I am, with basically nothing to say, about to spin three observations out of one thought: that was rubbish.
Borussia Dortmund suffered defeat at the hands of SC Freiburg in a game that they absolutely should have been winning. They conceded two speculative goals, one of which was definitely Hitz’s fault, but Dortmund never really looked like they were the better side. Prior to the two long-distance efforts by Freiburg, the game had few moments of note, and once BVB were 2-0 down, they were scrambling to get back in the game. They managed to find one goal, through a nice finish from Youssoufa Moukoko, but otherwise it was far too little and far too late.
Spare a thought for English fans that support Southampton and BVB. England lost to Scotland in the Six Nations, and both Southampton and BVB lost earlier today. It has not been a good Saturday.
Sacking Favre was a Mistake
The calls for Lucien Favre’s head were getting louder and louder with every sub-par performance this season. Had the pandemic not interrupted normal order, it was highly likely that Favre would have been replaced in the summer. But instead, Favre stayed in place for another season, and it always felt like he was overstaying his welcome a little bit. Unfortunately, that only heightened the calls for his head when BVB put up another of their customary terrible efforts.
I was never really that keen on sacking Favre at that point in the season. I certainly didn’t think he had a future at the club beyond this season, and fully expected him to be replaced in the summer. So getting rid of him after a big loss against Stuttgart? It wasn’t my preference, but I understood. Unfortunately, however, Terzic has shown that things can get a whole lot worse. The problem is that having sacked Favre early int he season, Dortmund are running out of options a little bit. Where do they go from here? Do they promote Enrico Maaßen from BVB II? Maybe Kehl or Sammer would take the job? Maybe it’s time to give Schmelzer & Piszczek a go as a player manager double-act? It feels like we’re probably stuck with Terzic now, and that’s not great news.
Fatigue or (Lack of) Fight?
It’s very easy to attribute problems to the prominent narrative that this team lacks courage or fight, and there’s possibly some truth to this claim, but I think fatigue definitely played a part today. After a hard game earlier in the week, several players also started today, and those same players put in lackluster performances. Brandt and Delaney, especially, struggled. Haaland and Sancho also struggled to impose themselves on the game, but I’m not sure how much that can be attributed to fatigue, rather than the struggles elsewhere on the pitch.
Given the difficulties Dortmund faced earlier in the week, running a midfield partnership of Brandt and Delaney fails to inspire. At the very least, I’d have liked to see a fresh player in the midfield. If Dahoud had started in Brandt’s place, would Dortmund have been able to gain a little more control?
Ultimately, it’s another game that BVB should have won, and the evidence suggests that they were the better team, but still, here we are, having snatched defeat in unlikely circumstances. It’s difficult to know what to say when this keeps happening.
Champions League Slipping Away?
I’ve resisted the suggestions that BVB might struggle to qualify for the Champions League up to now, but I’m starting to come round to that idea. How many more points will Borussia Dortmund drop in games that they should be winning? This was supposed to be an easier run of games, but they’ve already managed to lose.
Borussia Dortmund are only three points away from fourth, so it won’t take much to turn things round, but the problem is that it is becoming harder to imagine them doing so. The only reason they stand a chance is because everyone is struggling. Some part of the problem is that the pandemic-driven changes to the schedule has resulted in more injuries and more tired legs, opening the door to the teams that are not competing in multiple competitions. But BVB’s issues go deeper than that. They have been poor. I’m not sure I see a resolution to this problem either. They’ll need to find one if they’re going to claw their way back in to the top four though.
What did you think of today’s performance? Leave your thoughts below.