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Die Schwarzgelben – Fail To Prepare, Prepare To Fail

When it comes to success, I’ve always lived by the philosophy that preparation is vital! Therefore throughout the season with any club that I manage on Football Manager, I always take preparation very seriously.

Preparation begins with sorting out staffing responsibilities, recruiting additional staff. This is the same across the club; for Dortmund, I’ve sorted staff for both the first team the U19s.

Now, the images above show that there isn’t much room for improvement when it comes to staffing across the club. However, where the above image fails is the comparison of staffing in other leagues. The current comparison compares staff ability within the Bundesliga.

For the first team, the aims for future improvements are to recruit a Goalkeeping Coaching who will improve Goalkeeper Handling and recruit a coach with high ability in defensive coaching. A lot of improvement is required in the medical team, therefore, recruitment of high-quality physios and sports scientists will be required. The medical team is of vital importance due to the intense setup of the tactics being used by both the first team and U19s.

For the U19s there are some requirements needed within the coaching team and the sports scientists within the medical team. The way that I look at things regarding the U19s, if I can get the best coaches possible within the setup the future for Dortmund in terms of youth development should be fantastic!

With former U19s and Borussia Dortmund II manager, Mike Tullberg leaving to be Assistant Manager at Liverpool the need for an U19s Manager became important! Recruitment for a new U19s Manager took a while due to, in my opinion, the people that applied not being good enough for the role. After using the staff filters from Passion 4 FM I was able to find a new U19s manager in former TSG 1899 Hoffenheim U19s Manager, Marc Kienle

September 2021

With no transfers in the first season, we moved quickly from August into September. The fixtures in September saw the first two fixtures in the UEFA Champions League Group D.

September started with a trip to the BayArena to play Bayer 04 Leverkusen. With the Bundesliga fixtures going well thus far, it was time for a test against Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League. In this fixture, I set up using the V2 tactic just to provide some more defensive protection. The match went well ending in a draw, naturally, Erling Haaland scored the goal for Dortmund.

Things got better in September as the team continued to win in the league against FC Union Berlin, Borussia Mönchengladbach.

September ended with the trip to Belgium’s Cegeka Arena to play Koninklijke Racing Club Genk in the UEFA Champions League Group D. Due to (no disrespect) KRC Genk being a weaker side than Machester City I use the intense tactic in this game. The game ended with seven goals being scored! Haaland bagged himself a hattrick, naturally.

October 2021

The form in October carried on in a similar vein to the form displayed in September. The month started with two home against FC Augsburg and FSV Mainz 05. After that, we took a trip to Gewiss Stadium in Atalanta, Italy this game ended in a draw. With three games already played in the UEFA Champions League and only one win and two draws the second round of Group games need to be a lot better to ensure qualification into the next round.

Aside from the worry of the average start to the UEFA Champions League, form in the Bundesliga continues to flourish with wins against DSC Arminia Bielefeld and FC Köln.

The second round of the DFB-Pokal saw an away fixture against Union Berlin

November 2021

November was a tricky month with it leading to the defining matches in the UEFA Champions League. We picked up another win in the UEFA Champions League at home against Atalanta. In league we headed to the Red Bull Area to play RasenBallsport Leipzig in a game that Haaland got injury in (prepare shocked face!)

Luckily, Haaland recovered VfB Stuttgart game was obviously after being slightly injured he came back like a machine and scored a hattrick in the 5-0 win. Unfortunately, it seemed that Haaland was bought back too early from his minor injury as a few days later I was notified that Haaland needed a rest meaning he would be unavailable for the next game

After Haaland came back with a bang, Dortmund took a trip to Manchester for the last but one UEFA Champions League game against Manchester City, an important game without Haaland. With qualification for the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League in the balance, Dortmund sitting second in Group D and Atlanta sitting third it was important to add some points to secure qualification into the next round.

That didn’t go so well as we failed to score a goal in Manchester

To finish off November, we headed to the Volkswagen Arena to play VfL Wolfsburg, another game without Haaland. From reviewing previous games without Haaland, it does seem that we struggle when Haaland is not in the team. We did manage to beat VfL Wolfsburg but it was Emre Can that got the single goal.

December 2021

The first game in December saw the return of Der Klassiker, this time in the Bundesliga. Yes, Haaland returned for this game but failed to score a goal (we’ll put it down to the decreased match fitness). However, for the first Bundesliga Der Klassiker this game ended with a total of five goals.

The tactical set-up involved using the V2 tactic for more defensive stability. Despite this, we still managed to concede two goals through Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Müller. However, as much as we can concede we can always score more, and that’s exactly what we did – Marco Reus, Dan-Axel Zagadou and Donyell Malen scoring the three goals for Dortmund.

The final and deciding game in the UEFA Champions League Group D against KRC Genk saw us end with a “high five”, youngster Youssoufa Moukoko scoring twice. Three wins and two draws were enough to see the passage through to the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League (the draw is yet to be determined).

To finish December we played VfL Bochum 1848, SpVgg Greuther Fürth and Hertha BSC all games in which Haaland bagged a goal which saw him end 2021 with a total of 31 goals from 22 games.

Now, December is usually the time that the Ballon d’Or winner is announced. Hopefully with the number of times that I have dropped his name in this post (too many, okay!) you’ll know who’s won the Ballon d’Or

With 2021 nicely wrapped up, how will do things look heading into January? Have you worked out the league position by looking at all the results? If not, why not try now?

Didn’t fancy doing that, no? Okay then, I suppose I’ll show you!

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