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Achtung Borusse!

Borussia Dortmund FM Story
Started on 26 November 2018 by OohAhCantona / First Post
Latest Reply on 27 December 2018 by OohAhCantona / Last Post
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I probably made a mistake by setting the start date of my season insanely early, for some reason half my team was on vacation deep into the preseason. Maybe it was World Cup related? Hasn't been an issue in 2019-20, everyone showed up for the start of preseason.

I'm going to put the blame for those first three games squarely on vacations.
A decent set of results, hopefully fitness won't be too much of an issue into the campaign
OohAhCantona's avatar Group OohAhCantona
8 monthsEdited


The final two weeks of the season would be Favre’s last chance to get the team going, with everyone back in camp and fit to play he would be out of excuses for any poor performances. Two home games against good teams (Napoli & Lazio) would also give fans an opportunity to come out and see some interesting games.

Friendly (H) : Napoli 0 - Borussia Dortmund 2
The game opened tightly, with both teams making solid attacks, but eventually Napoli gave way at by 30’ Dortmund was in full control. The 4-1-4 defensive front had Napoli on lock down, losing possession regularly and giving Dortmund counter attacking opportunities. Unfortunately they didn’t result in much, with a 12:3 shot advantage after 30’ but no goals to speak of.

While the game was exciting, it had to have been frustrating for the fans. Luckily the tension broke just before the half, for the fans and a certain player, as Paco Alcácer would open his BVB account at 43’ on a killer long pass that would release him between the central defenders and give him a 1-on-1 with the goalie. Unlike every other time this summer, he converted with a sharp shot to the lower left corner as the keeper fell to his left. It was only a preseason game, and it wasn’t even halftime, but his teammates celebrated as though he’d won the league.

“It was good,” said Alcácer afterwards “but it is early, it doesn’t matter until the games count.”

The half ended a little too late for Napoli as Thomas Delaney scored at 45+3’ on a pass across the box from the goal line hit firmly by Christian Pulisic. That would essentially end the game, the second half was a rather dull affair with Napoli parking the bus and settling for blocking Dortmund’s shots. Subs were brought in late, and it ended without Napoli following up on their start to the game.

Friendly (A) : Borussia Dortmund 5 - VfL Rhede 0
The final “easy” friendly was exactly that, a mostly dull affair unless you are a huge Marius Wolf fan. The recent Eintracht Frankfurt transfer, who finds himself firmly behind Christian Pulisic in the RW pecking order, got the start today and made the most of it.

Even with most of the primary starters sitting this one out or waiting to be subbed it, this game was all BVB. To be more specific, it was all Wolf. He started the scoring at 10’ and followed it up later at 21’ with a cracking shot from the top right of the penalty area that left fans in awe. Rhede’s day would basically be summed up when a Dortmund attack resulted in Marcel Gallus heading it into his own goal to send the visitors up 3-0 at the half.

The second half was more of the same, total domination by Dortmund until Wolf was tripped in the box trying to cut inside for a shot. He was allowed to take it and recorded his first hat trick for BVB. Going down 4-0 after 76’ seemed to be it for Rhede, and the rest of the game saw them sit back to try and stop the bleeding. They looked gassed at 84’ when Wolf tried to cut inside, this time the defender opted not to trip him, and the defense looked disinterested as he ran to the penalty spot and easily put in his fourth goal of the day.

The only real take away from this game was that Dortmund’s bench can beat a Landesliga Niederrhein side, which should be expected.

Friendly (H) : Lazio 0 - Borussia Dortmund 3
The final preseason game would cause quite a bit of excitement at the Westfalenstadion, but to be fair most of it was going on off the field. As fans will do when visited by a rising star, there was much talk of Dortmund signing central midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. With a valuation of £85M there was literally no chance Zorc would be able to finds the funds for this one.

“No,” said Zorc bluntly when asked before the game. “He’s a great player, but we haven’t even looked into it.”

Dortmund would have Lazio beat in overall depth, but they would have the upper hand in flashy talent that will likely leave in high priced deals. Milinkovic-Savic is the headliner, with CAM Luis Alberto and CF Ciro Immobile not far behind. All three would be on the field today, and Dortmund’s full starting roster would meet them in preparation for the DFB-Pokal opener.

Lazio’s fans would be disappointed very quickly, literally, in the first minute of the game. Lukasz Piszczek, the team’s elder statesman and vice-captain, would overlap Pulisic as he cut inside and receive the ball near the outside of the goal box before putting a speculative shot just inside the near goal post after bouncing off an embarrassed Thomas Strakosha. The game would continue on fairly even footing, with Alex Witsel blanking Milinkovic-Savic and Milan Badelj hanging on against Marco Reus in the middle. BVB did enjoy a more successful attack, managing to hold on to the ball against Lazio’s 3-5-2 despite the midfield advantage, and they finally broke things open off a corner. Reus’ in swinging kick from the left corner hit a Lazio defender and found Jadon Sancho just outside the goal box on the left, knocking it in to make it 2-0 was easy with Strakosha still trying to recover from the initial rebound.

The visitor’s body language was not good going into the locker room, and it wouldn’t get all that much better in the second half. Christian Pulisic would be a halftime sub with a bruised shin, making way for Marius Wolf who didn’t waste time putting Pulisic on notice again. At the 47’ mark he rushed into a void created when both central defenders closed in on Paco Alcácer trying to run down the middle with the ball. Alcácer tapped it back to Reus, who had all day on the ball, who found Wolf rushing in to take a shot with his first touch. Again Strakosha did his best but the ball caromed of his outstretched arm and found the side netting.

Lazio continued doing their best, but with BVB sitting back in a defensive 4-1-4-1 shape they only found a yellow wall and the game wound down for a Dortmund victory.


With the start of the season looming things looked just about as Favre had planned. The team had come together defensively, allowing four goals in their friendlies (all in the first three games), and Marco Reus looked to earn his “Rolls Reus” moniker as the center of BVB’s offensive engine. The only lingering concern was Paco Alcácer’s performance over the course of the summer, which was disappointing for everyone including himself. Alcácer only managed a single goal, a worrying sign for someone who is expected to lead the team in scoring.

“It was not good, I was very frustrated” admitted Alcácer “but I am working hard and I believe the coaches and the team support me.” As a loan move from Barcelona, Alcácer needs to impress here to either land a spot in Barcelona’s lineup or convince BVB to trigger their purchase clause and keep him on.

To be fair, it is the preseason and it’s hard to tell how things are going to work out over a full season. Dortmund open their Bundesliga campaign against RB Leipzig at home on August 26th after the DFB-Pokal opener at FC Carl Zeiss Jena on August 19th.
Leipzig are not going to be an easy start but hopefully your side is well used to you enough to get themselves something from a difficult tie
A tough opener to begin your Bundesliga campaign, but a great test to see how pre-season has prepared them. Prior to that, you should get some confidence from beating a third tier side in Jena in the cup.
just caught up with this story, love it i almost went for Leipzig but chose Villa in the end Rues will do well too
2018-12-06 13:13#253176 No1VillaFan : just caught up with this story, love it i almost went for Leipzig but chose Villa in the end Rues will do well too

I keep looking at Leipzig's youth players and wonder why I took Dortmund. I'm a secondary BVB fan, but to be perfectly honest I didn't know they classified as "rich" and thought I would need to struggle with finances a little more. RB Leipzig might have given me that element of difficulty, but it's too late now!


BVB made some shrewd summer signings, but they didn’t stop there as they went hunting for the next Dembele in the hopes of future profits or a homegrown star willing to stick around. Most of these signings won’t see the field for BVB for some time, but there are a few that might get some time in cup competitions.

The biggest and most promising signing was Lyon’s Maxence Caqueret (£4.6M). With BVB’s central midfield options getting older (only two under 25) there is a great opportunity for Caqueret, who is only 18, to compete with Sergio Gómez for playing time. Zorc and Farve didn’t stop at Caqueret as they piled up wonderkids like Antonio Marin (£6M), Lincoln (£3.5M), and Pelayo Morilla (£1.5M) for bargain prices.

The acquisition of buzz worthy players wasn’t the only goal, media hype doesn’t win games, as management focused on areas of weakness (GK & CF/ST) but scooping up a number of players that could prove to be big names in the next few years. The signing of 18-year old Romanian GK Ionus Rus was a tap in as he was available on a free, and Joey Koorevaar (£1.5M) who represents a serious improvement on the existing U-19 / Dortmund II options. Zorc decided to open the piggy bank (as much as Dortmund could at this stage) and landed Ramires (£3M) and Lazar Samardzic (£1.5M) to who could find their way to the Westfalionstadion in the next few years.

Final Transfer List (Impact Signings)
Antonio Marin (LW, Dinamo) £6M
Maxence Caqueret (CM, Lyon) £4.6M
Lincoln (CF, Flamengo) £3.5M
Ramires (CM, Esporte Clube Bahia) £3M
Pelayo Morilla (CAM, Sporting Gijon) £1.5M
Lazar Samardzic (CAM, Hertha BSC) £1.5M
Joey Koorevaar (GK, Feyenoord) £1.5M
Frederik Nörrestrand (RB, Bröndby IF) £950K
Dejan Joveljic (CF, Red Star Belgrade) £950K
Jores Okore (CD, Aalborg BK) £475K

Part of landing all of these players was promising an improvement to the club staff, which opened the preseason a little thin. Zorc and Favre worked to fill all vacancies across their coaching, scouting, and medical teams in order to help bring all of these new additions along. BVB had little to no luck prying staff away from bigger clubs, constantly hitting a wall with Juventus’ employees, but they managed to pillage some lower teams and use promotions to temp new hires along while focusing on younger staff looking to develop themselves as well as the players.

Zorc was also willing to improve Dortmund’s scouting staff and move forward with an expanded scouting budget. The recruitment of scouts and coaches with experience in South America, adding an emphasis on Brazil, and a focused approach to central Europe (Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Czech Republic, and Poland) will hopefully expand their ability to bring in future stars.


With everyone back from vacation and the first team locked in Zorc set to moving a few players out on loan moves. The first player loaned out, with numerous suitors, was Dan-Axel Zagadou. The promising CB found a starting position at Mainz 05 and looks like he could easily be a starter for BVB next season. With the depth BVB have at CB it looked like the only option was sending Zagadou out, it would be very difficult for him to break the starting lineup without a number of injuries, and being a starter at Mainz 05 would keep him on track for Bundesliga stardom.

Following Zagadou out the door was Alexander Isak to 1. FC Köln, a tough decision for management. Isak’s move would leave Favre with only two natural strikers, but having Isak be a key player for another team (even in the Zweite Liga) would be better for him than sitting around waiting for Alcácer or Philipp to get hurt. Having Götze gut it out as a third string striker is now Plan B, but it’s still better than having Isak rot on the bench.

Unfortunately for everyone, the drama started early courtesy of Julian Weigl. BVB looked to basically sit out the end of the transfer window with all of their business concluded well before the preseason had ended, but Bayern Munich had different plans. A last minute bid for Weigl, for an insultingly low amount, was quickly rejected by BVB and without warning Weigl exploded. Weigl was rather insulted by the rejection, seeing this as a personal affront that would ruin his career and his desire to play with better players. He took to social media and broadcast his displeasure almost immediately, making a bad situation worse.

Farve was rather taciturn on this issue, making a single statement to the media prior to their first game against RB Leipzig.

“We will not be discussing transfer rumors, but we are disappointed that Julian would make this situation public. Michael [Zorc] and I will deal with this internally.”

Sources within the organization report that it did not go well, internally or externally. The Weigl-Dahoud central midfield pairing was looking like a solid Plan B behind Delaney-Witsel and the future of Favre’s 4-2-3-1, but now it wasn’t even clear if Weigl would be around for their first game. Weigl’s morale was reported to be “abysmal” and much to Favre’s surprise numerous players sided with Weigl and felt he was being treated unfairly.

Reports started flying that Weigl was on his way out, none of them coming from BVB management. Perhaps there was blood in the water after Bayern’s opening jab, and a few clubs began to express interest. Arsenal and Manchester United started to circle with Bayern continuing to be Weigl’s preferred landing spot. If Niko Kovac was looking to unsettle Dortmund’s locker room, he did an excellent job, and it looks like that may have been Bayern’s only motivation as they failed to register another offer before the season opener. According to inside sources there were no further offers for Weigl, and BVB were preparing to open the season with their current line up.
Clever business on behalf of loaning out two talents that were otherwise not going to get the regular game-time they needed. The Weigl situation must be incredibly frustrating and hopefully he sorts his attitude out in due course. His ability cannot be doubted, but if nothing changes I expect he could be leaving at the next available opportunity.
2018-12-07 16:46#253217 ScottT : Clever business on behalf of loaning out two talents that were otherwise not going to get the regular game-time they needed. The Weigl situation must be incredibly frustrating and hopefully he sorts his attitude out in due course. His ability cannot be doubted, but if nothing changes I expect he could be leaving at the next available opportunity.

This is my first FM, and this was the rudest awakening possible to the micro-management aspects of the game. He was such a tw*t about this, I just wanted to get rid of him, but Bayern Munich were offering me much less than his value and Zorc refused to value him less than 30M.

Plus, having the ENTIRE TEAM side with him was also really annoying. His entire complaint was based on the quality of players at Dortmund, he didn't have anything to say about playing time. He sh*t on his teammates and they thanked him for it!
Need to keep hold of Julian Weigl!
OohAhCantona's avatar Group OohAhCantona
8 monthsEdited


DFB-Pokal (A) : Borussia Dortmund 5 - FC Carl Zeiss Jena 0
Bizarre weather conditions marked BVB’s opening game of the DFB-Pokal with a light drizzle in warm weather. Environmental conditions aside, Dortmund were hardly troubled by Jena on their way to a dominant win which acted more as a warm up for RB Leipzig at home next week.

The stats explain this one well, with Dortmund out shooting Jena 21-2 and allowing only a single shot on target for the Dritte Liga side. Combine that with 60% possession, and it’s no surprise that Dortmund walked away with a trip to the second round.

The most newsworthy element of the result was the performance of Paco Alcácer, who opened the scoring at 17’ and closed it at 61’ to put fans at ease. This should be expected against weaker competition, but Alcácer really made up for the preseason by putting on a show and snagging the PoM nod with a 9.4 over Thomas Delaney who’s 9.3 (and second goal of the game) looked to seal the award. The other promising sign was Marco Reus’ performance as the No. 10, completing (2) key passes and an assist (Alcácer’s second) along with converting a penalty. Even without the goal, Reus looked extremely comfortable driving the offense and picking out the wings and Alcácer on the attack.

RB Leipzig should prove a tougher test, but all signs point to BVB being ready to pass it. Later that week BVB will know their opponents in the Champions League group stage.
OohAhCantona's avatar Group OohAhCantona
8 monthsEdited


Bundeslia (H) : RB Leipzig 0 - Borussia Dortmund 2
After months of waiting, the BVB faithful would finally have their season opener. The Westfalenstadion would be at capacity, over 81,000 fans crowded in to watch their team face off against a team loaded with future stars. Pre-game narratives focused on ST Timo Werner and LW Emil Forsberg, two players that might not even be on the team in January, their presence weighing heavily on Favre’s defensive planning.

If anyone was put off their game by the atmosphere, it was Leipzig. Both teams looked solid, but a closer look at the statistics showed that Dortmund (more specifically their midfield) was dominating this game. Leipzig’s 4-4-2 did not do well against Dortmund’s 4-2-3-1 today, with Axel Witsel and Thomas Delaney virtually forming a wall behind Marco Reus in the middle. Reus, Jadon Sancho, and Christian Pulisic turned into Ralf Rangnick’s nightmare as they overran Leipzig’s defense.

Despite the advantage, Leipzig held the game 0-0 until Reus broke things open at 58’ off an exchange of passes that had been dangerous all day. Witsel collected a wayward pass near midfield and quickly found Reus in transition. Reus picked out Pulisic on the right making a run into the space between the midfielders and LB Marcelo Sarrachi and then taking on Sarrachi to make his way to the right corner of the box. Leipzig’s defenders made their way back, opening a channel at the top of the box for Reus to move into, where Pulisic found him with a low cross to usher into the left side netting.

The Westfalenstadion exploded, perhaps it was appropriate for the Rolls Reus to score BVB’s first league goal of the season after 58’ of tense action. Pulisic would be the creator again at 75’, this time with a little less gusto as Leipzig would be unlucky. A Raphaël Guerreiro corner from the right would find Sancho’s head on the far side of the goal area, land just about right in the middle at the GK Péter Gulácsi’s feet, bang off a few legs before essentially landing on Pulisic’s foot. In all of the confusion Pulisic managed to look up and find Lukasz Piszczek waiting patiently around the top of the goal area. A quick pass back and a hard shot at goal put the hosts up 2-0 and RB Leipzig seemed broken.

The joy of pending victory was almost wiped out as Reus began to limp, waving for a sub, and went out at 76’ for Mario Götze. The game finished out without Leipzig providing much resistance, and in the end BVB enjoyed a 22-4 shot advantage which painted a clearer picture of the win. Pulisic getting tabbed as PoM was also telling; Leipzig couldn’t contain him at all. Pulisic led both teams with (3) chances created, (4) key passes, and (2) assists.

“I am happy for them, especially Christian” said Favre after the game “but, it is only the first game. We have many more, and need to keep playing like this.”

Favre was quick to play down the win, but one thing he couldn’t play down was that this 2-0 victory marked the 7th consecutive clean sheet posted by his side. Things seem to be falling into place and keeping the other team off the scoreboard is a great way to keep winning.

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