There was an interesting article in this month’s Four Four Two magazine, where it analysed the position from where the top teams in Europe scored their goals from.
My eyes were immediately drawn to the fact that Dortmund only scored one goal from outside the box all season – Nuri Sahin’s peach of an effort from 30 yards against Fortuna Düsseldorf. The mix of goals inside the box were scored very central to goal and despite Robert Lewandowski not being what I would term a poacher, the majority of his goals were around the position where all strikers like to be, looking at the whites of the eyes of the keeper.
It also analysed the position of where the ball was passed, which assisted the goal and this adds even more to the fact how good the movement of Marco Reus and Lewandowski is when Mats Hummels and notably Ilkay Gündogan provide the killer ball from deep. Jürgen Klopp’s side like to play a high line defensively, which in turn puts pressure on the opposing defence and with the kind of quality you have from deep you are putting a side on the back foot when the pressing game allows you to either put the ball into the box or switch the play to the flanks
The analysis for me showed how important the left hand side will be next season for BVB, now that the right hand side has been ripped apart with the serious hip injury to Lukasz Piszczek, as his understanding with Kuba down the right has been one of the key fundamental parts for the success of the last three seasons.
The ability of both players to swap positions and overlap at will has seen over 20 assists last season and something that will be sorely missed for the first half of next season. There has been talk that new signing Sokratis will be the new full back, but I see him more as a central defender and not as energetic as Piszczek – who transformed into a full back from his earlier career as a striker thanks to his excellent engine – plus his relationship with Kuba may take a while to prosper and I can’t see the big Greek having the attacking ability and engine to provide the ammunition to the front men.
I think it has been quite apparent that Dortmund have been linked with players who can play down the left side, Brazilian Bernard and Belgian international Kevin de Bruyne are both confident with either feet and are offensively minded, who have the energy to work closely with Marcel Schmelzer (in a similar effective manner to the Poles down the right) , who despite being heavily criticised has improved defensively, though that may be due to the fact that he has not been used as an attacking threat thanks to the reliance down the right. His delivery continues to be excellent and it may be needed more as Dortmund look to start the season on the front foot. The tide could be turned with the left showing the right, the way to goal.