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Borussia Dortmund: Struggling for Silverware

Hugely popular German Bundesliga outfit Borussia Dortmund is one of the most successful clubs hailing from Germany. A team with one of the most passionate and loyal fan bases across the whole world. The club has won several domestic league trophies and domestic cups, along with a UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and a UEFA Champions League.

Dortmund over the years has built up a reputation of playing some of the most attractive, entertaining, and attacking football in all of Europe, along with integrating several members of the club"s highly-rated youth set up. Dortmund has struggled to perform and challenge silverware domestically over the last five years. This has led to drastic changes in management and personnel at the club in this time with the hierarchy desperate to bring back glory days to the ever-loyal fans of BVB.

Pre-Jürgen Klopp

Borussia Dortmund had struggled massively with financial difficulties throughout the early 2000s, barely surviving bankruptcy several times. The club was in turmoil, struggling to challenge for silverware and being unable to hold onto key players like Tomas Rosicky and Christoph Metzelder.

The club was also what seemed to be a manager merry-go-round, changing managers 4 times in eight years. The club has found more steady ground financially towards the end of the 2000s but without providing good enough results on the pitch, failing to provide any silverware after 2002. The club sought another change at the helm this time looking at Mainz 05 manager, Jürgen Klopp.

The Klopp Years

Klopp took charge at the beginning of the 2009-10 season, managing to take the team from a 13th place finish the previous year to a 5th place finish in his first season, narrowly missing out on qualification for the Champions League. The next two seasons brought massive success to the Dortmund faithful.

The club won back-to-back league titles for the first time since the club"s "golden age" of the mid-1990s. Klopp had his Dortmund squad playing attacking, high-pressure football, integrating many of the younger players at the club. With his youthful squad consistently defying expectations, Dortmund reached the final of the UEFA Champions League for the first time in eighteen years.

Although the club lost the final to Der Klassiker rivals Bayern Munich, neutral fans fell in love with Dortmund. The passion of the fans behind the club and the desire of the team to overcome the underdog status was the story of the 2012-13 season.

Struggles Without Klopp

Klopp left the club at the end of the 2014-15 season to seek pastures new with the club bringing in Thomas Tuchel to replace the outgoing Klopp. Since then, Dortmund have struggled to keep up with the big spending Bayern Munich, losing several key players to the Bavarian giants.

The club has focused more on bringing in several youth talents who have in turn been sold on for huge profits. The club has helped develop the players from promising youngsters to recognized worldwide superstars. Even with the club having this unbelievable talent at their disposal they have not been able to consistently properly challenge for the Bundesliga title, some experts believing they had even fallen behind RB Leipzig domestically.

He had some minor success in Europe leading the club to a Champions League quarter-final and Europa League quarter-final, suffering defeat in the latter to none other than Jurgen Klopp’s new club, Liverpool. Under Tuchel the club had only won one major domestic trophy, a DFB Pokal victory in the 2016-17 season. Tuchel announced he would be leaving the club before the 2017-18 season. He would go on to be replaced by Dutchman Peter Bosz.

Again, for the second time in three years, Dortmund headed into another Bundesliga campaign with a new manager at the helm. Peter Bösz got his Dortmund side off to a fantastic start to the season breaking a club record winning his first seven games in charge. Unfortunately for Bösz and Dortmund, this was not a sign of things to come.

After the great start, Dortmund had gone off a twenty-game winless run which culminated in Bosz being relieved of his duties as a manager in the December of 2017, less than eight months after being appointed.

The club appointed Peter Stoger as interim head coach for the remainder of the season and was tasked with trying to salvage something from the season. The club ending up selling key players Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Marc Bartra in the January. While the club signed a long-term replacement in Manuel Akanji from FC Basel, though the club only managed to secure a six-months loan deal for Michy Batshuayi to try and fill the void left by the Aubameyang departure.

This was not well received by fans of the club. Stoger managed to guide the club to a 4th place finish in the Bundesliga before stepping down at the end of the season, with the club expecting to announce a new manager in the summer.

Dortmund announced that former OGC Nice manager Lucien Favre would be stepping into the managerial hot seat. Favre had come in following two years in charge at the French Riviera club, guiding them to the club’s highest league finish in decades. He was also seen as a great appointment by the Dortmund fan base and German media thanks to his transformation while in charge of Borussia Monchengladbach at the start of the decade.

He was the perfect coach to help continue the development of the youthful first team. He came in and made some large changes to the squad by signing no less than eight new first-team players, bringing Jadon Sancho into the fold as a key player in the starting XI, and handing the captain"s armband over to Marco Reus.

Favre’s first season in charge was deemed a relative success, the club had improved on their points tally from the previous season and pushed Bayern Munich all the way down to the last day of the season in the Bundesliga title race, unfortunately losing out on the title. The club looked to be back on the up and therefore granting Favre a new contract extension.

Failing to Take The Next Step

Dortmund fans went into the next season full of hope under Lucien Favre, he had given the club hope that they could once again dominate in the Bundesliga. The club again spent a relatively large amount during both transfer windows, bringing in the hottest prospect in world football during the January window, Erling Haaland.

Dortmund went on to exit the Champions League at the last 16 stages after giving up a two-goal aggregate advantage against former boss Thomas Tuchel and his Paris Saint-Germain side. The Bundesliga season had been interrupted on March the 13th due to the Coronavirus pandemic, leading to a pause in the season for just over two months.

The Bundesliga returned in the middle of May with clubs being instructed to play the remainder of their games behind closed doors. This had a visible effect on the Bundesliga giants as they would lose three of their remaining five games at home. Even with all this happening the club once again failed to challenge for the league title, disappointing fans by finishing with a lower point tally than the previous season and a total of thirteen points behind once again winners Bayern Munich.

Heading into the current 2020-21 season, Dortmund had hoped for Favre to not disappoint and provide much-needed silverware. They had managed to hold onto key figures of the first team such as Erling Haaland and Sancho, as well as spending a fair amount of funds to sign Birmingham City’s Jude Bellingham.

Dortmund started the season strong with five wins from the opening six games, with Haaland leading the line with five goals. With the club sitting joint second with Bayern Munich, the fans once again started to believe that this could be the season to eradicate the previous years of disappointment.

Lightning would strike again as Dortmund started to falter and stumble in the league, conceding multiple goals and not seeing out matches against lesser opposition. The club did however perform well in the group stages of the Champions League, topping their group losing only one game in the process but this was not enough for the hierarchy.

After a not only disappointing but quite humiliating heavy 5-1 home defeat to newly-promoted VFB Stuttgart, the club had decided that they had seen enough and relieved Lucien Favre of his duties as head coach. Edin Terzic has stepped in as interim head coach until current Borussia Mönchengladbach boss Marco Rose takes over at the helm in the summer of 2021.

After a not only disappointing but quite humiliating heavy 5-1 home defeat to newly-promoted VFB Stuttgart, the club had decided that they had seen enough and relieved Lucien Favre of his duties as head coach. Edin Terzic has stepped in as interim head coach until current Borussia Monchengladbach boss Marco Rose takes over at the helm in the summer of 2021.

Right now, is currently a key stage for Borussia Dortmund. They are once again about to begin another season with a fresh face in charge, with several European giants circling the club like sharks looking to snatch up one of the many talents at BVB. They had done so well to hold onto their prized assets last summer, whether that is possible this summer is a completely different story. What can the club do to halt this disappointing run of continuous inconsistency and what will Marco Rose bring when he arrives in the summer?

For More Borussia Dortmund, Bundesliga, or World Football content, follow me at @Daryl_Lindsay_1, and follow us @FootballOTH for more great Champions League content!

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