By Oliver Trust
Fans of Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig, and Borussia Moenchengladbach currently might be full of worries turning their heads to a long-forgotten competitor.
Borussia Dortmund seemed erased from the group of title favourites. Now the Blacks and Yellows are back dressed in shining armour.
Facts tell the story and prove things have significantly changed.
Having gambled away five possible points in advance of the winter break, Dortmund had hit rock bottom. The entire club seemed to have fallen into a profound lethargy. The club’s pre-season announcement, wanting to win this campaign’s title, seemed not more than a fading memory.
After three games of the second season half, Dortmund is enjoying a powerful upswing.
Jadon Sancho became the youngest Bundesliga performer to score 25 goals. While the Manchester City educated striker scored 12 goals last season (34 games), he scored the same number after 20 rounds of matches in 2019/2020 – aside from 13 assists.
Erling Braut Haaland scored his 7 goals in only three games (1 assist). The Norwegian goal monster needed 77 minutes to score all of his goals. The club’s new arrival (20 million euros from RB Salzburg) only played 137 of 180 possible minutes in his first games in Dortmund’s shirt.
The reaction of Marco Reus and Achraf Hakimi showed the competition in Dortmund’s squad has increased. The team’s captain and the Moroccan international (on loan from Real Madrid) let off steam when taken off the pitch during the game against league newcomer Union Berlin (5-0).
Signing Haaland and German international Emre Can (26 million from Juventus), the side increased options for Swiss coach Lucien Favre. Julian Brandt, Thorgan Hazard, Axel Witsel, Thomas Delaney, Manuel Akanji, Dan-Axel Zagadou, Reus, and Hakimi have to fight for their position.
A club can rarely correct its transfer mistakes in a winter break. Dortmund bucked the trend. Haaland widened options as the side lacked a robust spearhead up front.
The 26-year-old Can closed the noticeable gap when it comes to the team’s mental and physical fighting quality. Can is said to be a winner type triggering off a team’s spirit and deliver a wake-up-call when needed. Former German international Matthias Sammer for long demanded to buy a so-called aggressive leader.
The 62-year-old Favre might remain cautious when talking about its squad’s title chances. The entire rest of the club seems on fire. The team appears full of new passion and desire to answer the crisis-talking by delivering convincing answers.
Enthusiasm among fans couldn’t be higher.
The sports magazine kicker called Dortmund’s post-winter-break performances “the start of a new offensive.”
The club’s leaders keep silent, avoiding any official statements expressing new ambitions. CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke, managing director Michael Zorc and sporting director Sebastian Kehl more seem to lean back and enjoy an enchanting and maybe surprising comeback. Enditem