The coach at a loss, the team without form and the club bosses in need of explanation - Borussia Dortmund is facing a long winter break in crisis mode.
After the sporting oath of disclosure at 2: 4 (2: 3) in Mönchengladbach and the fall from the Champions League ranks, the peace in the company is severely disturbed. Contrary to usual market mechanisms, soccer teacher Edin Terzic is not up for grabs. "He's doing a great job. We're a thousand percent convinced of him," said Managing Director Hans-Joachim Watzke on Sunday at TV station Bild.
The BVB boss held out the prospect of Marco Rose's successor staying for a long time: "Let the boy do it, he still has a long time ahead of him at BVB, regardless of whether he has three or six points fewer than his predecessor."
But the 0:2 in Wolfsburg and the 2:4 at Borussia Mönchengladbach within four days left a powerful impression on everyone involved. Sebastian Kehl's expression of suffering after the final whistle on Friday was profound. With a halting voice and unusually long pauses in speaking, the sports director struggled for the right words to explain the desolate performance. "That's far from what we're aiming for. It's clear that this will give us a turbulent couple of weeks."
"We start at minus"
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." Coach 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. We're not starting from zero, we're starting from 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 Marco Rose at the same point last season and has already suffered six defeats.
Long list of defects raises doubts
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. 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.
Return of injured gives hope
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.
Despite all the annoyance about the failed final sprint before the winter break, Watzke does not doubt the clout of the team: “I am totally convinced that we will qualify for the Champions League again. This week was very bad, but it is only a snapshot will be on Matchday 34."