Champions League: Dortmund confident before the Chelsea game

Champions League: Dortmund confident before the Chelsea game

BAlmost as interesting as the things that Sebastian Kehl said to a small group of journalists on Monday about the situation at Borussia Dortmund were the thoughts that he left unmentioned, but which are certainly going through the minds of some of those responsible at BVB. Before the duel against Chelsea (9 p.m. in the FAZ live ticker for the Champions League and on DAZN), the sports director was almost enthusiastic.

“We’re in really good shape,” he said, “and that shows that we’ve made some adjustments, that a few things are working much better and that the team was also willing to work on some issues themselves.” Other explanations by Kehl sounded similar. During the winter break, the professionals worked in problem areas such as “performance culture” and “mentality issues”.

The six games this year, all of which were won, “showed that we’ve made significant progress,” he explained. At most, grounding words or warning remarks appeared in subordinate clauses. Anyone who knows BVB a little knows that such moments of exuberance are dangerous.

Strong-willed leaders

After a few victories, Dortmund have often allowed themselves to be misled by the impression that they have finally become a stable top team, only to then slack off again. Intransigence is perhaps the most important quality in contemporary football. This is how Argentina became world champions, and because of this virtue, Union Berlin has a serious chance of becoming German champions. Borussia Dortmund too?

This question is not only being asked by the supporters of the Revierklub. Because next to the 19-year-old super talent Jude Bellingham, players like Emre Can, Julian Brandt and Marius Wolf blossom into strong-willed leaders. The defense has stabilized, Julian Ryerson, who came from Union Berlin, is a good reinforcement and confidence is high. Or will they collapse at some point, as has almost always been the case in the past ten years?

If Matthias Sammer were not only an advisor to the management, but also jointly responsible for the everyday climate, he would probably curb enthusiasm in such a situation. For years, one of Dortmund’s problems has been that excessive emotional swings in all directions sometimes cost clarity. After all, Brandt said last weekend: “In the euphoria you have to be careful not to overdo it.”

At BVB, however, they have decided to enjoy the moment of success in order to keep the flow going and at least to speak less publicly about the still existing potential for improvement. But maybe this time they will succeed in creating a working mixture of euphoria and intransigence, to which Chelsea FC cannot find the right answers.

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