Bundesliga: Dortmund’s Dress Rehearsal To Disaster

DORTMUND, GERMANY - JANUARY 27: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Dortmund looks on during the Bundesliga match between Borussia Dortmund and Sport-Club Freiburg at Signal Iduna Park on January 27, 2018 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by TF-Images/TF-Images via Getty Images)
Bundesliga: Dortmund’s Dress Rehearsal To Disaster

It is painfully clear that if Christian Pulisic is to put away the Nightmare of Couva behind him, he must play for a European competition contender. Borussia Dortmund, now under the direction of Peter Stoger, is not one of them. Once upon a time, BVB were a respected brand in world football under the direction of current Liverpool gaffer Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel. But under Peter Bosz, their form dipped and the appointment of Stoger as manager has backfired immensely on Hans-Joachim Watzke. Deutsche Welle explains….

Dortmund wanted everyone to believe that their relative struggles last season were of no cause for concern. That was a much easier sell before being humbled in the UEFA Champions League group stages, starting the calendar year with three straight draws and public unrest.

In truth, instead of keeping pace at the top of the table, Dortmund have melted in the mediocrity of the chasing pack and are closer to being eclipsed by teams around them than they are to posing a threat to Bayern. BVB may finish in the top four come the end of this campaign thanks to the inability of sides around them to capitalize on their slump, but until they stop papering over the cracks, their long-term aspirations will never be realized.

A 2-2 draw with Bundesliga outsiders SC Freiburg at Signal Iduna Park highlighted the problems with Dortmund. A lack of cohesion, convincing play and an arguably deliberate lack of performance from wantaway hitman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang told the story and cued the supporters to unfurl a banner that read, “No player is bigger than the club.”

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It was a futile, ignorant statement from the fans who are blind to the chilling reality, a chilling, surreal era of truth bombs, of players having sufficient financial leverage to turn the tide and put their own careers into their own hand. Dortmund director Michael Zorc argued that Arsenal Football Club must accept Dortmund’s terms to get Aubameyang. But the longer the Gabonese international remains at BVB against his own will, the longer his form will suffer and with it, the team as the concern becomes whether or not they have enough points to stay in the top flight.

As for Bayern? They viewed Dortmund’s implosion from a distance in their 5-2 teardown of TSG 1899 Hoffenheim at Allianz Arena. A balanced attack saw five different goalscorers dial in: Robert Lewandowski (21′), Jerome Boateng (25′), Kingsley Coman (63′), Arturo Vidal (66′) and Sandro Wagner (90′). A balanced attack that Dortmund had replaced with eye-spilling drama, player turnover, third-division-tier football and a swelling bastion of fans ready to turn on their club and call for a revolution, not unlike that depicted by MMORPG firms like Square Enix.

Arsene Wenger, send help.

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Jo-Ryan Salazar is a writer for The Stoppage Time, a soccer blog powered by Azteca Soccer. A supporter of the Los Angeles Galaxy since 1996 and a committed supporter since 2002, Jo-Ryan also follows Chelsea FC, Melbourne Victory, FC Tokyo and Paris Saint-Germain. Apart from soccer, Jo-Ryan is an administrative assistant for a local nonprofit in Long Beach, California and also does photography, photo-editing and fictional writing.

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