There have been doubters along the way for Borussia Dortmund, but even those slow to warm up to BVB can now acknowledge that the boys in Black and Yellow are extremely dangerous. We didn’t need to see Dortmund dismantle Atletico Madrid, 4-0, in the Champions League to know BVB was a menace, but it surely didn’t hurt to watch it happen.
An offense to envy
The Dortmund offense is loaded, versatile, and eager to attack with reckless abandon. Make no mistake, Marco Reus is the catalyst for the BVB attack both as a leader and a playmaker. Reus is a bonafide offensive threat with his explosive movement, creative vision, and keen ability to finish. A true star, Reus is unselfish and dedicated to the efforts of the team. His presence allows all of the other components to fall nicely into place.
Need a striker? Paco Alcacer came over from FC Barcelona to fill the void and provide a consistent scoring presence with a tremendous ability to finish.
Need wide players? Jadon Sancho, Mariusz Wolf, Christian Pulisic, Jacob Bruun Larsen have been superb. The group, as a whole, has pace, is creative, and plays with a raw aggression that applies constant pressure on the opposing defense.
Need depth? Mario Gotze might just be rejuvenated and Max Philipp has looked more relaxed since being relieved of the pressure of being the starting No.9 for BVB. Shinji Kagawa has been relegated to the role of deep reserve and Mahmoud Dahoud provides additional midfield capabilities to ensure that Dortmund is essentially strong everywhere.
Gone are the days of Peter Bosz and Peter Stoger trying to fit square pegs in round holes, Lucien Favre has re-created the once broken wheel for Dortmund.
A defense that has surprised
If there is an area of the squad that has the potential to fall back down to Earth it is the defense, but BVB might be set up in a way to prevent that from happening. With Axel Witsel and Thomas Delaney patrolling the midfield, Dortmund has a strong base in front of its center backs and outside backs.
Witsel and Delaney have controlled midfield play and made life much easier for the group of defenders looking to meld together including Abdou Diallo, Manuel Akanji (currently injured), and Dan-Axel Zagadou, along with outside backs Achraf Hakimi, Marcel Schmelzer, and Lukasz Piszczek, and Raphaël Guerreiro. While that defensive core group is not especially threatening on the surface, it has been good enough behind Witsel and Delaney to stifle most of Dortmund’s opponents this season.
It also might be nice to think about the potential and capabilities of Diallo, Akanji, and Hakimi, but having the Witsel-Delaney duo as a “first line of defense” has worked out well and made what was thought to be an area of doubt, a strength of sorts.
How effective have Delaney and Witsel been? 23-year old Julian Weigl has been reduced to a bit player in the rotation. In addition, the often overlooked Roman Burki has been excellent as well in goal for Dortmund.
Can they do it?
The answer to this is a resounding, “Yes!”. Dortmund has absolutely scary offensive potential and has just enough young players to safely assume that they will ride the wave of excitement and continue to buy into Favre’s rotation. BVB is not only coming for Bayern Munich, but they are looking to take them down in a dominant fashion.
As for Bayern however, “the King stay the King” until someone proved otherwise. November 10th’s Der Klassiker should be a great indicator of whether Dortmund can prove that it is, indeed, for real or whether this is just another hot streak that will unravel in due time.
We’re betting on Dortmund as team that has officially made the leap. Now it is up to them to stay consistent and prove it.