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Achtung Borusse!

Borussia Dortmund FM Story
Started on 26 November 2018 by OohAhCantona
Latest Reply on 27 December 2018 by OohAhCantona
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  • VIEWS9642


The 2017-18 season was brutal in Dortmund, newly appointed head coach Peter Bosz didn’t even finish out the season and interim manager Peter Stöger was shown the door at the end of the season. After two consecutive coaches from the same tree (Klopp & Tuchel) the team finds itself starting fresh. Dortmund looked to Lique 1 and landed Nice’s Lucien Favre, the BVB board would finally get their man after targeting him at Borussia Mönchengladbach prior to signing Bosz.

Favre, a former player, spent most of his career in his home country of Switzerland with a single season spent in France (Toulouse) before closing out his playing days after his second stint at Servette FC in 1991. Favre did enough to earn twenty four caps for Switzerland, but only managed a single goal during that time. He started his coaching career as the U-14 assistant coach at FC Echallens before moving on to Academy Manager of Neuchâtel Xamax.

His first managerial post was at Yverdon Sport in 1997 before moving on to his former club Servette FC, then FC Zürich where he won best Swiss manager two years in a row. Favre then left Switzerland for the first time in 2007 to take over Hertha BSC, which would be a preview of his abilities as a manager in the coming years. In 2008-09 Hertha BSC would have the 13th largest budget in the Bundesliga, but Favre managed to parlay that in a 4th place finish that included a stunning 2-1 victory over Bayern Munich. Favre would be sacked in September of next season, another preview of things to come, which left him free to take over at Borussia Mönchengladbach in February of the 2010-11 season. This is where Favre would really show his managerial acumen, taking a team that was seven points into the relegation zone (16 points from 22 games) and pushing them to Bundesliga safety after beating VfL Bochum in a two-legged relegation playoff. The following seasons would be Favre’s crowning achievement in the Bundgesliga, a 4th place finish would land them in the Champions League playoffs followed by finishes of 8th and 6th before directly qualifying for the Champions League with a 3rd place finish in 2014-15. 2015-16 would start very poorly for Borussia Mönchengladbach, losing all five opening league games and ending with Favre resignation in September. Favre would turn up in France at OGC Nice after flirting with the Everton job, and promptly take them to 3rd in Ligue 1 and head back to the Champions League.


Tactically, Favre is definitely not in the gegenpressing mold that Dortmund fans came to love under Klopp and Tuchel. He still favors a 4-3-3, and has used a 4-4-2 in recent years, but it mostly resembles a 4-1-4-1 with a withdrawn DM shielding the center of the defensive line. He favors a fluid counter-attack that has worked well since his days at Mönchengladbach. Favre’s biggest summer signings (DM Axel Witsel, CB Abdou Diallo, CM Thomas Delaney, RW Marius Wolf, and CF Paco Alcácer) added strength to the core of his preferred formation, and fans will need to get used to a lower tempo attack with a more deliberate build up.

Borussia Dortmund is in a bit of an upswing in terms of roster makeup after selling off Wonder Kid Ousmane Dembele (£105M to Barcelona) and scoring threat Pierre-Emerick Aubemeyang (£57M to Arsenal) in the 2017/18 season. This followed a larger loss of man power in the 2016/17 season when Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Mats Hummels, and Ilkay Gündogan all left for bigger paychecks. A few clever signings, most notably Manchester City product Jadon Sancho, have BVB in a position to make a solid run at Bayern Munich’s perch atop the Bundesliga in the coming seasons.
Good luck pipping Bayern to the Bundesliga title, will be following with interest!
Good start here. Looking forward to more! Dortmund are a team full of potential and a good side to look to progress with. Best of luck.
This will be an exciting challenge, I can feel it! Good luck!

2018-19 ROSTER

BVB spent heavily on first team reinforcements, but they continue to have some depth issues. If injuries don’t become an issue this team has a shot at the Bundesliga, but it’s going to be rough on everyone if they try to go deep in a cup competition. Bayern Munich will likely be Champions yet again, with significantly more depth to work with, but Favre will not make it easy.

Without a doubt this is Dortmund’s weakest point. A lack of depth and high end talent make this a position Michael Zorc, BVB’s Sporting Director, will need to focus on either developing this position or finding a suitable transfer target for mid-season. Roman Bürki is set to start in goal, but he isn’t that much better than Marwin Hitz who joined this summer on a free transfer from FC Freiburg. At least the both have experience in the Bundesliga, but it wouldn’t take much to find a replacement.

Best Player : Roman Bürki

Another group begging for some depth, but at least there are a number of solid starters. The biggest weakness in this group is the youth filling most of the starting spots with only a single player you could consider a veteran (33-year old RB Lukasz Piszczek) who is set to retire soon. Abdou Diallo (22) and Manuel Akanji (23) form a solid pairing at CB with Raphaël Guerreiro (24) set to start at LB. There are some exciting prospects in backup roles, like CB Dan-Axel Zagadou (19) and RB Achraf Hakimi (20) who is on loan from Real Madrid, but Favre would find himself in a bind of one of them needed to step up into a starting role for more than a few weeks. Long time Dortmund player LB Marcel Schmelzer (30), who has been at BVB since his U-19 days, and CB Ömer Toprak (29) round out the veteran core of this defense. Favre’s more defensive style may help this group, but they are still one major injury away from being a problem.

Best Player : Raphaël Guerreiro

The middle of the pitch is where BVB figure to shine as they enjoy a roster full of very good players, depth, and exciting youth. The headliner, at least in the English media, is wonderkid Jadon Sancho. Playing an attack left midfield role, the paltry investment put into getting him away from Manchester City is already looking like the deal of the year. BVB have placed a value of £100M on the 18-year old winger, and Favre will look for opportunities to give him starts as part of a winger rotation. Team Captain Marco Reus is slated to start centrally, acting as Dortmund’s No. 10, but he can easily slide out to the LW position and cede the center to Mario Götze who is actually wearing the No. 10. The biggest impact player, considering Favre’s system, may be under-the-radar singing Axel Witsel who figures to man the DM position in the 4-1-4-1 defensive structure. His level of experience will be valuable in this transition year after playing in China for a year and could prove to be a great mentor for the young crop of midfielders coming up the system. Some familiar Klopp / Tuchel holdovers (Julian Weigl, and Shinji Kagawa) will fill out the starting XI, likely rotating in at CAM or a more withdrawn CM as Favre tries to balance a rough schedule. Rounding out the midfield is likely BVB’s strongest single position, CM has solid depth and talent thanks to the summer transfer of Thomas Delaney from Werder Bremen. Backing up Delany is Mahmoud Dahoud, a graduating youngster who could be entering his prime and will have no problem stepping in for Delaney, and one of BVB’s most promising prospects in 19-year old Sergio Gomez who may also sneak into the CAM rotation for lower end cup ties.

BVB’s wings are where the superstar youth players find themselves, joining Sancho are Christian Pulisic and Jacob Bruun Larsen (back from a loan spell at VfB Stuttgart) who are both only 20-years old. Pulisic figures to be the starter at RW, with Marius Wolff looking to break into the Starting XI if Pulisic needs a rest or gets injured. Favre’s system will use inside forwards more often than not, but this group of players is capable of playing both roles very well.

Best Player : Marco Reus (Captain, Team Leader)

The forward position, or more specifically the center forward, is Favre’s other area of concern. There are some good players, but the issue will be depth and long term planning. Paco Alcácer has been handed the keys to the CF position, and most believe he will be a quality player, but he’s currently on loan from Barcelona and might not be back for 2019-20. The spanish CF could be a steal for Zorc, but unless they work out a low-cost transfer or extend his loan spell his contribution will be short term. The long term solution would be Maximilian Philipp (24) who is currently blocked by Alcácer, but if he shows he can be the main man up front it could eliminate the sting of Alcácer’s departure. Waiting in the wings, and currently enjoying a brand new contract, is Alexander Isak the 19-year-old Swede of Eritrean descent who has already featured for Sweden’s U-21 squad. Isak has the most to benefit from an Alcácer injury or departure, and Favre will look to find playing time for their hot prospect where possible, but at this stage he can’t be counted on to start in the Bundesliga or Champions League.

Best Player : Paco Alcácer
There are real areas in the squad that could do with improvement. However, there are areas that are very strong and therefore set you up well for the season. There seems to be a good balance of youth and experience and that could really benefit you across the season, when they blend together.
A lot of young players that could become real stars in the modern game if you develop them right! The squads not quite as strong as the team that reached a Champions League final but with a bit of investment and development of young talent it could surpass that side
2018-11-27 23:40#252854 ScottT : There are real areas in the squad that could do with improvement. However, there are areas that are very strong and therefore set you up well for the season. There seems to be a good balance of youth and experience and that could really benefit you across the season, when they blend together.

I'm way behind on my posts compared to where I am in my save (just a few games before end of the season), and it is BRUTAL to keep all those midfield mouths fed. I had to give up using Reus as a No. 10 / CAM to get Götze regular starts there, and I have so many RW options I'm actually relieved when Pulisic gets injured.
There is quite a bit of depth in some areas, not so much in others. It'll be interesting to see how you use Reus in the long term. At the age of 29 at the beginning of the save, he could start to lose his pace soon. A more central role for the future for him?
2018-11-28 22:35#252872 Justice : There is quite a bit of depth in some areas, not so much in others. It'll be interesting to see how you use Reus in the long term. At the age of 29 at the beginning of the save, he could start to lose his pace soon. A more central role for the future for him?

Heading into the end of the season, I'm having heartburn over that very issue. I want to leave LW to Sancho, but if Reus stays in the center it means Götze is now a back up and I have to do something with the (2) really good CAM youngsters I have that should really be playing regularly in cups and as a backup to Reus. They have outgrown the U-19 and Dortmund II teams.
OohAhCantona's avatar Group OohAhCantona
4 yearsEdited


July would signal the opening of Dortmund’s preseason, Favre’s first, and the start of a long season. Favre’s first slate of games would provide an important window into the rest of the season, a long list of friendlies that would avoid the over-hyped cash grabs enjoyed by bigger teams would give him plenty of time to work on getting everyone ready.

The important lessons that were learned right away were courtesy of vacations, most of the senior players were on vacation into July which would allow younger players to see the field and give Favre an idea of how things would work out if the big names went down. It was not encouraging to start, but eventually got better as players began to learn the system.

Friendly (A) : Borussia Dortmund 2 - Kapfenberger SV 1919 1
A tougher-than-expected opening game saw Dortmund go down 1-0, making the second choice squad look bad right out of the gate. Without most of their big guns it was a struggle to convert a serious advantage in possession and shots into goals. Luckily Abdou Diallo made it 1-1 on a header from a corner, and Maximilian Philipp won it with a 89’ goal on a great through pass from Mahmoud Dahoud. Paco Alcácer looked rather lost in his first game for BVB, having his sub win the game didn’t help.

Friendly (A) : Borussia Dortmund 4 - SV Grödig 2
The goals finally came, but not in the way you would expect them. SV Grödig were outclassed from that start and a Mario Götze goal three minutes in didn’t make things much better. Things were definitely coming together for BVB after that first game and the youngsters available made the most of their time. Offensively the wingers were the most destructive force in this game, constantly taking on Grödig’s defenders and using their pace to put themselves in a dangerous position to score or assist. Götze’s goal came off a low cross from Jadon Sancho who blew past two defenders, drew out the nearest central defender, and found Götze rushing into the box to attack the near post for what looked like an easy tap in. Abdou Diallo would score twice (17’, 65’) to make that three so far, and Sancho would opt to hammer one in himself.

“Jadon was impressive,” said Favre during the post game news conference. “Marco will need to watch his back on the wing!”

This was an important game for players without certain starting roles to show Favre that they can handle his offense. Allowing two goal late in the was not something Favre, or anyone at Dortmund, wanted to see but it’s hardly time to panic
Some good results there. Glad to see that the younger players took their chance and impressed, judging by the results. Sancho is an incredible talent and will definitely be one to watch over the course of the season.
Two wins, six goals. Can't complain.


With Marco Reus back in the fold, Favre’s tactics would finally take shape and let fans see how things would be run during the season. Reus would occupy the No. 10 role, the CAM with Jadon Sancho to his left and Christian Pulisic on his right. The only thing missing would be a better idea of how the deeper lying midfielders would work out as Axel Witsel would remain on vacation and be one of the last players scheduled to return. Luckily the most difficult games, against Napoli and Lazio, would come at the end of summer with the team at full strength.

Friendly (A) : Borussia Dortmund 1 - LASK 1
Having more veterans back was not an instant cure, in fact it might have made things worse as players tried to get back into shape and integrate into the squad. Things looked decent offensively, but some of the same problems remained. Having Reus man the CAM position looked inspired as he fired a number of key passes through to Paco Alcácer and Jadon Sancho, most of which were wasted. Sancho did finally connect, hammering in a shot at 58’ to give BVB the 1-0 lead they desperately needed to relax.

Once again, the heavy use of subs toward the end of the game gave LASK the opening they needed. Ömer Toprak looked terrible, finding himself a spectator as Samuel Tetteh sped past him and poked it past Roman Bürki. Not the result anyone was expecting.

Friendly (A) : Borussia Dortmund 2 - Oberhausen 0
Something must have clicked, most likely improved fitness and familiarity with Favre’s system, and this game could have easily been much worse for Oberhausen. Marco Reus looked like a world class player ready to face down the Bundesliga. Most of the game was played in Oberhausen’s half with BVB’s attack in control for most of the game. Anyone on defense that wasn’t fully fit was barely troubled.

Reus opened the scoring at 24’ after Sancho ran to the goal line, after a through ball from Reus, and sent it back in toward the penalty spot for an easy score. He later found Jacob Bruun Larsen making a run inside to score at 57’ and seal the victory.

Friendly (A) : Borussia Dortmund 3 - Lotte 0
If the Oberhausen game was something clicking, the performance against Lotte was an explosion. Marco Reus would star again, finishing with a 9.20 rating and a hand in every goal without scoring himself. This game would also mark the return of Thomas Delaney to midfield, which no doubt helped keep their opponents off the scoreboard for a second game.

Much like the previous game the young wingers showed their quality and helped lock up this game before the half. Delaney opened his Dortmund account with a 13’ goal off a blocked shot that came back and found him in the penalty area. Reus would add two more assists to his preseason with almost identical through balls, first to his right to release Jacob Bruun Larsen on goal (30’) and then Jadon Sancho (40’) with an almost identical pass to the left. Lotte never looked to threaten and the second half was all about building match fitness for back ups and rotation players.

“This was good, Marco played well. Saw the field, the passes, like a veteran.” said Favre after the game. Dortmund are set to face tougher competition to open August with their first friendly at home against Napoli.
A decent set of pre-season result, heading into the final one against Napoli. Hopefully they serve their purpose and allow the squad to be ready for the new season.

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