Leigh Griffiths strikes as Dortmund are declared the best side in the World
While not to be taken fully on face value, in all technicality, winning the World Club Cup implies that you are the best club in the world in that year.
That is something Borussia Dortmund fans can boast about for at least another twelve months, as they defeated Boca Juniors 1-0 in the final of the WCC in the scorching heat of Abu Dhabi.
Prior to the game, the Dortmund fans were reeling at the prospect of star player and a man tipped to be the player of the year in Europe, Aubameyang, was out fr an extended period of time. As it happens, he is out just for a few weeks, which will mostly be taken up by the winter period.
But it was down to Leigh Griffiths to lead the German side to victory against the tough Argentine outfit.
Dortmund dominate defensively as Boca fail to muster a meaningful attack
Behind every 1-0 win, there is an extremely happy goalkeeping and defensive coach, as they can watch on with pride as their unit holds out under pressure, especially in big games.
Last night, Boca Juniors were restricted to just three shots in the entire 90, with two of them being on target.
The attack was spearheaded by 34 year old, Argentinian striker, Carlos Tevez who looked a shadow of his former self, as age appears to have finally caught up with him.
The former Manchester United, Manchester City and Juventus striker, was a treated as the main threat coming into the game, but the striker looked lethargic as the much younger and more agile defence of the Dortmund side marked him out of the game.
Griffiths leads Dortmund to glory
The former Celtic and current Scottish striker, has been in fine form for his new club side. He can only be pleased with how he is partaking in far more matches than he could have ever expected, as he signed the contract.
Running onto a 25 yard pass from Paul Pogba, the Scottish striker launched a ferocious shot into the far left bottom corner, an unstoppable shot from the summer signing and he put his side ahead in the final.
It eventually turned out to be the winning goal, as the away side failed to create a single chance after the goal, to threaten an equaliser.
Dortmund's brutal battering, broke down Boca
As always under Joshua Bean, Dortmund were physical and fast off the ball. Laying into challenges with no fear for themselves or the opposition.
They ended up racking up an impressive 17 fouls in the game, compared to just five from Boca Juniors.
The aggressive style of defensive player, made it impossible for the opposition to structure a fluid attack, as they were constantly watching their backs for any rough tackles flying their way.
I watched on, in my new suit and tie. By hair slicked back, the local crowd was enjoying the spectacle of seeing two large sides grace their stadium.
Pogba received a cheer as you received the ball just inside the Boca half and his pass to Leigh Griffiths was sensational, so much so that I found myself clapping along with the crowd.
As Griffiths peeled away from his marker, I found myself shouting out to him. "Bring it down" "One touch" "Shoot" and that is exactly what he did. His first touch was brilliant, chesting it down and then rolling it in front of him with one touch. His shot flew into the bottom corner and the next thing I knew, the subs bench was on my shoulders as they launched themselves at me to celebrate.
While we knew deep down that the tournament wasn't massive, it is still a trophy to say we won amongst ourselves and makes out sextuplet chasing season that bit more of a reality.
In the end the game petered out and as the full-time whistle sounded out, I found myself celebating a little more than I would have expected, before the match, as I jumped on Griffiths to congratulate him.
His smile was infectious to everyone around him, he was ridiculed by the Scottish press when he signed for me, as they stated he is ruining his international career by limiting his game time.
Yet he was scoring the winning goal in the World Club Cup final, a slight bit better than winning the SPL by 10 odd points for five seasons in a row!
I remember reading the papers the following day, all full of congratulations and talk of the sextuplet, the season for history was under way.
Dortmund's oversees success is matched by success closer to home
Alongside the success in the WCC, my Borussia Dortmund side were to face three my opponents, two prior and one after the international tournament. The three games consisted on one league game, one Champions League game and one DFB-Pokal game.
Dortmund VS Frankfurt 3-0
With Dortmund just days away from an all important clash with Arsenal in the last group game of the Champions League, Joshua Bean played a completely rotated starting XI and it was not the expected replacement players who came up with the three goals.
Xabi Alonso, so close after announcing his retirement will be coming at the end of the season, opened the scoring just five minutes into the game, blasting home from just outside the 18 yard box.
Gonzalo Castro should have scored the second just over 10 minutes late,r but two close range shots in quick succession were saved well, but it was third time lucky as the rebounding ball landed kindly for Piszczek who drilled it home.
Castro was able to get his name on the scorers list eventually however, as he latched onto a cross from the right-back Piszczek and half vollyed the ball into the back of the net.
It is a tough choice sometimes, to decide who was and wasn't the best player on the pitch. But today I feel that Piszczek just managed to sneak it from Castro, as his assist was of particular quality.
Arsenal VS Dortmund 0-2
With anything but a defeat, enough to see Dortmund retain top spot moving onto the knockout stages, it was as expected a cagey affair.
The game changed suddenly however, when out of nowhere, Mkhitaryan managed to jinx the ball past Debuchy before being dragged down by Laurent Koscielny and the referee did not hesitate in pointing to the spot.
Marco Reus, stepped forwards and the winger made no mistake as he blasted it emphatically home.
Just minutes later, top spot was confirmed, as Aubameyang was played through on goal by Julian Weigl and the striker made no mistakes as he rounded Cech, before slotting it past a sliding Laurent Koscielny.
Bean later told the English press that he felt Manuel Pellegrini sent his side out to be "too defensive when they needed a win" a comment which sparked a war of words between the two managers.
In my mind the man of the match is nearly impossible to tell with ease as the entire team were solid, if not spectacular. I am going to have to give to Aubameyang for his greatly taken goal.
Dortmund VS Eintracht Braunschweig: DFB-Pokal 2-1
A game that was far tighter than Bean would have wanted, his second string starting XI, took to the field against the second division outfit.
Dortmund fans left, after enjoying a closer match than they would have expected to see and they still got to see their side progress.
Gonzalo Castro added yet another goal to his tally this month, as he headed from at close range after just 11 minutes. But Eintracht Braunschweig were not going to roll over after the early goal, as they equalised 10 minutes later thanks to Mads Hvilsom, who tucked away his penalty with ease.
However, now third choice striker, Shane Long, who was given game time to allow now first choice striker Leigh Griffiths (yes I know injuries suck) time off before the winter break, to ensure he is not injured in a match that should be won regardless.
The Irishmen headed home from a corner, making it 2-1 and scoring the last of the goals for the game.
Gonzalo Castro was the man of the mach today, scoring yet again this month as well as looking threatening every time he foud the ball at his feet.
Even I, the most demanding manager there is, can't be upset with a single thing this month! We managed to collect yet another trophy this season, to add to the German and European Super Cups already won this season.
Our lead is looking more and more impressive in the Bundesliga and we are the only remaining unbeaten side.
In the Champions League we are through to the first knock-out stage. We will face Juventus.
As for the DFB-Pokal, it wasn't pretty but the win over Eintracht Braunschweig still sees us through to the next round!
End of Month Awards
This is a rather tough one with it being a short month as well as twice having my rotated squad playing! As a result I can't out and out name the best player so to speak, but I will award Castro for taking his two chances well and impressing in both games.
Lets just admire once more the goal that won the WCC from Leigh Griffiths.
This one is rather obvious! Lifting the World Club Cup was a highlight in a rather short month.
With there being two weeks worth of winters break, this month doesn't have much happening, but Dortmund did see themselves play two friendlies and two competitive matches.
Borussia Dortmund faced two sides in their two weeks off, one being Bayern Munich's second team and the second being Bulgarian football side Botev Plodiv.
As is usual procedure during this matches, Joshua Bean allows his assisstant Steve Walsh take control and he stays at home and will later analyse the game tape.
The first game was a 1-1 draw with Marco Reus having a 45 minute run out and scoring the equalising goal.
The second game saw Dortmund beat Plovdiv 2-0 and Shane Long scoring both goals.
Dortmund VS Hertha Berlin 3-0
The opening competitive fixture out of the two to come this month, saw Borussia Dortmund and Joshua Bean host the pride of the German capital, Hertha Berlin. Undefeated all season thus far and just coming off that World Club Cup win, they were heavy favourites against a Berlin side that was performing above expectations so far this season.
The match was over before half-time however when Dortmund scored all three of their goals by the 40th minute.
Mkhitaryan kicked the scoring off for Dortmund, as he acrobatically volleyed in from a Mario Fernandes cross, which saw the Brazilian drill it hard and just out of reach of the keeper.
Pogba scored the pick of the punch with a thunderbolt into the top left corner from literally inches inside of the 18 yard box, the keeper was left no where near it and he never had a chance.
The game was over for good when, a fierce shot by Aubameyang was well saved but landed perfectly for a wide open Marco Reus to place home.
This award goes to Paul Pogba, he completed 88% of his passes, created four goal scoring chances and scored a screamer himself.
Koln VS Dortmund 0-2
Another game another win, as Dortmund continued to march on with force.
The home side were struggling as of late, but put up a sturdy defensive line, but were unluckily breached with just 15 minutes remaining. Marco Reus collected a wonderful pass from Paul Pogba, but as the German international turned to shoot, he was well challenged from behind, but to the dismay of the home fans. The loose ball rolled perfectly into the feet of Mkhitaryan who quite literally had to pass into and empty net.
Pogba scored with just two minutes remaining to end any hope the home side had and the goal was just as stunning as last matches.
A curling corner from Reus was headed only as far as Mkhitaryan who headed it down to Pogba who was about 14 yards out and on the volley he blasts it into the top corner. Yet another unstoppable shot from the French central midfielder.
For his assist and his goal Mkhitaryan deserves the award today, several players also deserved it such as Pogba and Fernandes but Mkhitaryan gets the nod.
Only two bits of transfer business was completed by Joshua Bean and Dortmund this winter, as Erik Durm and Moritz Leitner were allowed to go on loan to gain some match experience to Real Sociedad and Augsburg respectively.
It was a short month but who can complain with two wins from two. I am happy Leitner and Durm are getting game time, neither have the potential to be good enough but hopefully I can make them good enough to sell or to have as squad players.