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Die Schwarzgelben – Rise, Fall and Rise Again

Could you guess who I’ll be managing by reading the title, or by seeing the stadium in the image above? How about another clue…

Football Scenes Images | Football Posters | Borussia Dortmund


The club is often mentioned with the abbreviated BvB, which stands for Ballspielverein Borussia or in English “Borussia club for ball games”

Looking at the numbers, Borussia Dortmund is the most popular football club in Europe; the club has the highest average attendance. With eight national titles, five DFB-Pokals, a Cup Winners’ Cup and a Champions League, not many would argue against Dortmund belonging to Germany’s football elite.

It seems like an age since Borussia Dortmund’s time in the sun. Der BVB won the Bundesliga twice under Jürgen Klopp in the early 2010s but have since been outclassed by Bayern Munich at every step.

FC Bayern has won numerous league titles in a row, but Dortmund is enjoying a renaissance of late. Superb youth players, some top talents and some of the most passionate fans around has seen Die Borussen become part of a four-way battle for the Fußball-Bundesliga

BVB History

Borussia Dortmund is a football club steeped in History. It may not be as decorated as its German counterparts Bayern Munich but it is interesting to look at nonetheless. Prior to the Second World War, Dortmund had been a moderately small club founded in 1909 by 17 youths unhappy with the “trinity youth” where any sport was overlooked by a strict parish priest.

After WWII the original Borussia (Lat. Prussia) Dortmund were dissolved like any other German organization by the Allies to distance the club from its Nazi past. However, before the War, Dortmund’s president was sacked due to his anti-Nazi tendencies.

“BvB” was re-established in 1948 after the original dissolution by the Allies. They would go on to reach the German Cup Final the following year, before dominating West German football for the next decade. In 1962 the Bundesliga was officially formed, the 2012-13 season being its 50th. The club’s record in the 70s and 80s was that of a mid-table team after financial difficulties, not claiming a league title or cup until 1989.

BVB Recent History

Dortmund’s recent history can be characterised in five words, “Rise, Fall and Rise again”.

RISE: The previous season’s European Cup had been won by Juventus on penalties against holders Ajax after a 1-1 draw. It would be the side from Turin who would face BVB in the final, to be played at old rivals Bayern Munich’s Olympiastadion. The road to Munich had been comfortable for Dortmund, with only one defeat in the group stages to Atletico Madrid, before beating a strong Manchester United 2-0 over two legs in the semi-finals. Borussia’s team consisting of the likes of Mathias Sammer, Andreas Moller and Lars Ricken would prove too strong in the final for Juve by securing a 3-1 victory. This wasn’t just any Juventus team as well. Their side consisted of the enviable talents of Alessandro Del Piero, Christian Vieri and the young Zinedine Zidane.

FALL: The beginning of the 21st Century proved a turning point for Dortmund after financial problems hampered a promising start. Despite the loss of Hitzfeld to Bayern Munich in 1997, Borussia managed to win the Bundesliga in 2002 and reach the UEFA Cup final (losing 3-2 to Feyenoord). However, as in the 1970s and 80s, the club was crippled by financial problems due to a decline in the stock market, Dortmund being the only club to be publicly traded, needing a £2 million loan from Bayern to cover their payroll. The following seasons brought more mid-table mediocrity before even coming close to relegation in 2006/7 and 2007/8. They would need an urgent change.

The answer to Dortmund’s problems – Jürgen Klopp

RISE AGAIN: Klopp’s arrival in 2008 would spearhead the rapid change to Borussia’s fortunes. Klopp’s early record was decent, resulting in a 5th place finish in 2010 before the 2010-11 season which brought BVB back into the international spotlight. Dortmund’s youthful squad won the league title despite an average age of just over 24 with the talents of Nuri Sahin (21), Mario Gotze (18) and Mats Hummels (21) leading the campaign. The season also included a run of 14 wins out of 15 before Christmas. Despite losing Sahin to Madrid the following season, BVB still managed to win the league and cup double. The latter was secured by a 5-2 victory over Munich with Polish striker Robert Lewandowski scoring a hat-trick.

The Yellow Wall

A spellbinding sight in the south stand of Borussia Dortmund’s Signal Iduna Park that may not be quite visible from space, but whose dimensions and noise reach up to the stars. At 328ft long and 131ft high, the Südtribüne of one of world football’s most magnificent venues packs in enough people to make up a town. A raucous, bellowing, spine-tingling town of Schwarzgelben souls that can cause opposing teams to wilt and BVB’s best to bloom. A combination of fan power and design make the Yellow Wall – a term that originated in 2005 – the spectacular sight it is.

The Yellow Wall is where passion meets pandemonium, both picturesque and phenomenal. It is unique and inspiring, bringing pride to the people who stand within its embrace and goosebumps to those looking in from the outside. Long may the fans bask in its brilliant wonder.

A New Era – The FM_Teacher’s Era

Two years to potentially prove myself worthy of managing Borussia Dortmund. Let’s look at the manager profile…

We start off very basic with no coaching licence and no top-level football appearances. So, we really are starting from scratch. I have set myself as a manager that has a preference for youth development which should help achieve some of the board’s aims.

To make things more realistic, I have turned off the ability to buy any players in the first transfer window. So, with there being no additions to the squad until January, let’s look at the transfer activity from the summer transfer window. The main signings from the summer are that of Goalkeeper Gregor Kobel and forward Donyell Malen, with the latter arriving at the club to counter Sancho’s departure. Kobel, meanwhile, impressed last season with Stuttgart Teenagers Soumaila Coulibaly and Abdoulaye Kamara have also both joined the BVB ranks from Paris Saint-Germain. Club legend and veteran of the back-to-back titles under Jürgen Klopp, Lukasz Piszczek, has left to return to Poland.

So, what stands out and will guide me towards my aims whilst I manage Dortmund. The media prediction of 2nd; Bayern have won the Bundesliga back-to-back on numerous occasions – I will be aiming to change that. Last season Dortmund finished 3rd in the league and won the DFB-Pokal so there the team clearly has some quality.

Dortmund lifted the DFB Cup for the fifth time in 2020/21

The other part that stands out to me is both the training and youth facilities being superb. Dortmund is known for creating very good young players and I hope to continue that tradition.

Mateu Morey, Jude Bellingham, Gio Reyna, Youssoufa Moukoko and Immanuel Pherai 

BVB Club Culture

The expectation set by the board are reasonable and will suit my style of management. Playing both attacking and entertaining football will fit into the way that I like to play football but more on that later when I actually get round to creating tactics.

In terms of how the board like to approach transfers, they would like me to sign playing under the age of 18 for the future, sign players from domestic rivals (isn’t that what Bayern do?) and sign players under the age of 21 for the first team and sign German players. Apart from signing players from domestic rivals, signing younger players will work for me.

In the first season, it seems that the board don’t think that we can progress into a single competition final. They want me to finish in a position in the league that ensure qualification for the UEFA Champions League, reach the semi-final of the DFB-Pokal, reach the First Knockout Round of the UEFA Champions League. The board don’t seem to care about the Supercup…

What to expect

We’ve seen everything imaginable from Dortmund in recent years. They can absolutely blow teams away but then also be overrun themselves. It’s that inconsistency that has seen them fall short since the Klopp days. Thomas Tuchel, Peter Bosz, Peter Stöger, Favre and Terzic have all tried to settle things in the meantime – hopefully, I can change that!

I have five pre-season friendly matches in which to make preparations for the upcoming season. There are a few players in the U19s and Dortmund II that I’d like to see getting some game time in these friendlies but I must also ensure that the main squad is ready for the season ahead.

So, based on the club culture and the board’s targets for this season… what’s next?

  • Review the players
  • Review the staff of all squads (Borussia Dortmund, Borussia Dortmund II and Borussia Dortmund U19s)
  • Setup training schedules
  • Setup staff responsibilities
  • Set and review tactics during pre-season

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