Sebastian Kehl's petrified expression gave a deep look. With a halting voice and unusually long pauses in speaking, the Dortmund sports director struggled for the right words to explain the sporting oath of disclosure at 2: 4 (2: 3) in Mönchengladbach.
"That's far from our claim. It's clear that this will give us a few turbulent weeks," he commented on the ongoing crash of the title aspirant from the Champions League races.
National soccer player Julian Brandt reacted no less depressed to the second bitter away defeat at the wrong time. "It hurts a lot when you lose before the winter break. That's extremely heavy luggage. For me, it's my own fault, complete inability."
At the start of the World Cup break, peace and quiet at the Revierclub is severely disturbed. The 0:2 in Wolfsburg and the 2:4 at Borussia Mönchengladbach within four days left a powerful impression on everyone involved. Until BVB restarts the Bundesliga on January 22nd, every look at the table will cause discomfort.
Frustration with coach Terzic
Coach Edin Terzic also made no secret of his frustration: "You don't despair, but you're just very disappointed. Now we have a deficit that we have to make up for. We're not starting from zero, we're starting at minus."
After 15 match days with more shadows than light, little has remained of the spirit of optimism last summer, which was associated with the return of the self-confessed BVB fan Terzic to the position of head coach. After all, the team is six points worse than under the direction of Terzic's predecessor Marco Rose at the same time last season and has already suffered six defeats.
The long list of shortcomings raises doubts as to whether the team has the quality required for one of the top four places this season. BVB once again revealed serious defensive problems in Gladbach and were well served with goals conceded by Jonas Hofmann (4th), Ramy Bensebaini (26th), Marcus Thuram (30th) and Kouadio Koné (46th).
The defensive should be stabilized with the acquisition of the two national defenders Niklas Süle and Nico Schlotterbeck. "I don't get the hang of it, it can't be explained. If we defend like that, you can't be successful," Kehl complained. Brandt looked similarly helpless: "You can't really invite an opponent more than we do today."
But the balance in attack is unworthy of a title aspirant. The lightning-fast, but still harmless Donyell Malen does not ignite in his second year in Dortmund. In addition, the newcomers Karim Adeyemi and Anthony Modeste have remained far below the expected level for weeks.
Hope for the return of Reus and Co.
The fact that BVB is still in the running both in the cup and in the Champions League could only reduce the frustration about the growing gap between aspirations and reality to a limited extent.
The comeback of injured professionals like Marco Reus, Mahmoud Dahoud, Thomas Meunier or Jamie Bynoe-Gittens, which is expected for January, could help to remedy the deficits. "Hopefully we'll create new options with one or the other player who comes back. And then we have to attack again," Kehl demanded.
However, there could be no talk of a positive mood among the German national players for the World Cup in Qatar. Nevertheless, goalscorer Brandt (19th) did not want to let the anticipation of the tournament take away. "By the time I arrive on Sunday evening, I'll probably still be extremely sick of everything," admitted the 26-year-old, "but I can't blame the DFB team for it. Accordingly, you have to find the switch - sometimes it's not that easy. "