— Borussia Dortmund (@BVB) July 30, 2015
Borussia Dortmund’s season officially started on Thursday night. Third round Europa League qualifier against Wolfsberger AC for the first match after a straining preseason hardly sounds delicious and a massive inconvenience, considering the shortened preseason. Nevertheless BVB did what they had to do and won 1-0 in Klagenfurt in front of 32.000 in the packed Wörthersee Stadion. So if you weren’t watching, what have you missed?
Thomas Tuchel’s first line up was, of course, highly anticipated. Who would play in goal? Roman Bürki. Is that definite? Roman Weidenfeller will get to play in the second leg, so Tuchel can procrastinate longer before making a decision. Jonas Hofmann and Julian Weigl in the starting eleven, keeping Shinji Kagawa and Gonzalo Castro on the bench. Thomas Tuchel obviously didn’t consider the Austrian tv presenter’s obsession with Kevin Kampl. The Dortmund coach had explanations for both: “Jonas Hofmann has internalized our ideas in training better than other so far, he also harmonizes well with Marco Reus. He’s looked very alert so far, which is why he will play today.”
Hofmann’s form has been up and down in the preseason, displaying better and worse matches, like everyone else. In the end it was him, who scored the only goal of the night with the simplest of tap-ins after a well executed counter-attack. Julian Weigl successfully passed his ‘stress test’, as Tuchel called it. The coach wanted to see, whether Weigl would operate as calmly under competitive conditions. The 19 year old did and impressed with a lot of great passes and clever positioning to cut off opponent’s pass-routes. It was ‘only’ the Wolfsberger AC, but the kid from 1860 Munich is looking like a superb transfer. Ilkay Gündogan summed up the match rather well.
— Ilkay Gündogan (@Guendogan8) July 30, 2015
While the black and yellows were the dominant side in the first half, not allowing any danger in front of their own goal, the second half came with a few tickles. Unsurprisingly, the disadvantage in fitness showed after an hour and Roman Bürki had to make a few saves to deny an equalizer. BVB couldn’t uphold their pressures forward defending and allowed the Austrain’s more space – and more set-pieces. Dortmund should be good enough to easily make it to the next round, but the tie can easily become more interesting, if one of those set-pieces slip through the mob of players. For Thomas Tuchel there is still a lot to do, when it comes to defending dead ball situations.
In the end Wolfsberger AC even had the better chances, but couldn’t find the net against tired guests. The narrow lead should be enough to kill the match off on the following Thursday in the Westfalenstadion. It wasn’t nice to watch, but nobody cares about the 1-0 win against Qarabag FK either.
Disappointed in Kevin Großkreutz
Most of the fuzz was created about an Interview, that Kevin Großkreutz allegedly gave to BILD, bemoaning that none of the BVB’s had sat down with him to talk about his future in weeks. German TV channel Sport 1 being the investigative medium, that they are, asked Thomas Tuchel about the Großkreutz quotes ahead of the game. “It’s the second time he chose to publicly communicate via the media. I’m disappointed with Kevin Großkreutz, because we had a different understanding. This is not the way we interact with one another here.”
Sporting director Michael Zorc found similar words after the match: “If he really said that, I’m very surprised about his words. Because our coach had an extensive talk with him a couple of days ago.” While Zorc was at it, he also answered to a few complaints aired by Milos Jojic. “I also head that Jojic complained [that Jürgen Klopp hardly spoke to him], even though he had a talk with Zejlko Buvac twice a week in his native language. I think, players should play better and talk less – at least in public.”
Obviously, Kevin Großkreutz didn’t help his standing at the club and his future remains to be open. Tuchel said at the beginning of the preseason, that the 27 year old must stay patient after returning from a long injury spell. So far Großkreutz hasn’t shown much patience, but it’s too soon to say, whether he’ll find a suitable taker.