Bundesliga: Borussia Dortmund’s dazzle back after Thomas Tuchel touch
Borussia Dortmund look a different side this season. Two wins in two has seen them gatecrash Bayern Munich’s Bundesliga bid and supplant them at the top of the table on goal difference after scoring four for a consecutive league match.
New boss Thomas Tuchel’s tactics are slightly different to those of previous manager’s Jurgen Klopp, who played mainly on the counter-attack, utilising the speed of transitional personnel.
Instead, as evidenced in their latest 4-0 victory over Ingolstadt, Dortmund have a new strategy to unlock defences; overload one side of the pitch, with quick, short, precise passing, drawing defenders across, before switching play to the other flank for their full back to explosively latch onto it, as Mathias Ginter did majestically for the opening goal last time out.
No doubt a major revelation for Dortmund is 19-year-old defensive midfielder Julian Weigl, who signed from 1860 Munich in the summer and looks the real deal. His pinpoint distribution enables Dortmund to mount attacks with lightning speed and he forms a highly effective partnership with Ilkay Gundogan, now back to his best after a career-threatening fractured spine.
A slight shift to a 4-3-3 system, which sees a frightening forward trio of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Marco Reus and Henrikh Mkhitaryan interchange at will and patiently carve out openings has Tuchel’s team joint-top of the Bundesliga.
Although only a couple of matches have been played, it is far too early to suggest that the club will win the title; after all, Bayern Munich have dominated for the last three seasons, sweeping all aside.
However, their tag as Germany’s second team has recently come under threat from a hugely ambitious Wolfsburg side, willingly backed by native car giant Volkswagen. And then there is Bayer Leverkusen, who also took advantage of Dortmund’s decline last campaign.
The recruitment of 24-year-old Swiss stopper Roman Burki looks a smart signing from recently relegated Freiburg, especially for £2.45m and can go onto to become one of the best in Europe.
It looks positive for Dortmund so far, though Tuchel will be keen to ensure that his players keep their feet on the ground with the club 14/1 with Coral to win Bundesliga.