The mood remains tense
Things are now getting tough for Borussia Dortmund
November 26, 2023, 8:04 p.m
After the successful comeback against Borussia Mönchengladbach, the anger at BVB has disappeared. This fuels confidence for the game in Milan – and helps ensure a harmonious general meeting. But everything is not well with the Black and Yellows.
Hans-Joachim Watzke came energetically to the lectern. The managing director of Borussia Dortmund was relieved not to have to explain the next bitter setback. But at the annual general meeting of the Black and Yellows in the Westfalenhalle, even the boss didn’t paint everything rosy. After the hard-fought 4:2 (3:2) against Borussia Mönchengladbach, doubts remain with the runner-up.
“We were hoping for two or three points more at this point. But we don’t have to go to waste. But that doesn’t mean everything is good,” said Watzke, dressed in a gray suit and white shirt. The fickle team around captain Emre Can had previously only been greeted with cautious applause from the approximately 850 members – despite the successful start to the weeks of truth. The mood remains tense.
“We showed comeback qualities again”
After the 2-0 deficit and the desolate first half hour, at least the mentality was right. “We showed comeback qualities again. It’s a feature of the team this season,” said sports director Sebastian Kehl. In the league, Dortmund have already collected an impressive eleven points after being behind. But they continue to run behind the music at the top. League leaders Bayer Leverkusen are ten points away, FC Bayern are already eight points away. Coach Edin Terzić found it “extremely important that we start the next block with a win.”
Marcel Sabitzer (30th), Niclas Füllkrug (32nd) and the strong Jamie Bynoe-Gittens (45th) turned the game around before the break. Donyell Malen (90th + 7) put the lid on the empty Gladbach goal. “The victory,” Kehl admitted, was important “to calm things down.” After the defeats against Bayern and in Stuttgart, there were “not easy days”. Kehl countered speculation about discord between him, Watzke and Terzić: “You go through it together, you stick together and trust each other.”
“We trust this team”
But the mood in the club until the winter break will largely depend on the performance in the awesome program in the coming weeks. With a win on Tuesday against top Italian club AC Milan, BVB would have secured their place in the round of 16 in the Champions League early. Leverkusen and Leipzig are waiting in the league, with the DFB Cup going to Stuttgart in between. “We trust this team,” assured Kehl. Encouraged by the victory, Watzke is also looking forward to the duel with Leverkusen with confidence: “We have the opportunity to check on Sunday whether they really cannot be beaten.”
But the team’s defensive behavior only partially justifies this trust. There have been eleven goals conceded in the last four league games – there could have been even more. “It definitely won’t be boring with us this season,” joked Terzić, before seriously paying his team a big compliment for their “morale, energy and belief.” This applied primarily to Bynoe-Gittens. The 19-year-old was the most striking BVB player. “Jamie played a great game. But what he showed is only a glimpse of his potential. If he helps us like that, then we’ll be happy,” said Terzic. And Watzke could appear even more energetic.