Mistakes were made
Hamburg, Krasnodar and Mats Hummels. What have the two cities and the BVB defender in common? Right – Dortmund was not successful in these two matches and Mats Hummels contributed a lot to the two defeats. Against Hamburg he scored an own goal. Against Krasnodar he caused a penalty. The captain of Borussia Dortmund recently had bad luck with one or two actions. For those who are not able to watch every Dortmund match – Hummels really did a lot of mistakes like bad passes, misguided positional play and wrong decisions. You do not see those mistakes. They take place during a match and are barely chosen for the highlights. Of course everyone could observe the caused penalty and the own goal. On the other side he has one of the best tackling rates (about 70% – the same as Boateng and Höwedes). I guess no one would talk about Hummels and his match mistakes. But at the beginning of the season he did a crucial verbal-mistake. Or was it even a mistake? We will come to this later.
Borussia Dortmund is one of the best teams in Europe. No doubt. In every other European league they would be (with the actual points) the leader. But because of Bayern München, not in Germany. They have a great players and score many goals. But there is one little weakness that cannot be unseen. Dortmund scored 40 goals but also has 19 goals against. Nineteen!!! – Wolfsburg (15), Hertha (17), Leverkusen (18), Hamburg (18), Köln (18), Ingolstadt (14) and of course Bayern (5) are better. The defence is without doubt the only weakness and Mats Hummels was very loud responding to his critics at the beginning of the season.
The words were not wisely chosen and through the press it was not clear if he included himself in these comments or not. It did not happen just once, Hummels criticised the defence and (I personally guess) his teammates more than twice. So far so good. He is the captain and has a right to act as a leader of the pack. But on the one hand his criticism was exaggerated and on the other hand his performance curve did fall like water at the Niagara Falls.
“Causa Hummels” and the yellow press
It was quite a story when Thomas Tuchel decided to let Sven Bender play against VfB Stuttgart on Sunday and of course this gave room for speculation. Mats Hummels leaves Dortmund? No one can answer this question right now and for me it is not even interesting. After his performances grew worse and worse the media tried to exploit the “causa Hummels”. Especially the yellow press acted like idiots and Hummels felt injustice. He said that “the press always needs to write about something. Bayern is too good right now, so they try to make me or Borussia Dortmund or (for example) Reus, Micky, ect. look bad”. He also defended himself via twitter and accused the exaggerated criticism.
Not bad, not good
In a nutshell – Hummels does not play like a star right now, but he does not play like an amateur either. The problems are generated out of his criticism at the beginning of the season and his (really, really) bad luck actions in the recent matches. If he would not have chosen such unwise words that seemed to attack his teammates, his recent mistakes would not have been treated and discussed so badly. The critics should not forget one thing. During the crisis of Borussia Dortmund last season Mats Hummels was already captain but did not chose to speak. It was Sebastian Kehl who still acted like the pack leader. And what happened? Hummels was criticised for being silent… Let’s think about this for a moment.
Still an important player
He is and will be (next to Boateng) the best defender in Germany. With this personal (mini)-crisis Hummels will grow, no doubt. Some last words about words spoken and the media. Some people sadly look bad to a time when players actually could talk freely and without a press agent around their necks. Hummels is not only blessed with talent but also with a certain intelligence and belongs among the few players who talk beyond the modern “catalogue of rules” made by press agents of the clubs. His words were not chosen wisely and “what goes around, comes around”. Nevertheless his remarks were a sign of dissatisfaction, frustration and a sign of his will to win.
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