March 22, 2017

Looking Ahead: What Will Borussia Dortmund Need to Do Differently Next Season?

As trophy sucess this season looks more tenuous, it's time to think about next season.

At 3rd place currently, Borussia Dortmund are having a bit of a disappointing Bundesliga season, and already trail Bayern Munich by 13 points, which is surely too many to make up between now and the season’s end. If they carry on playing the way they are, then BVB could even fall out of the top 4 altogether, which would mean a second Europa League trip in three years — something a club with BVB’s aspirations wants to avoid.

Dortmund were a force to be reckoned with when Jürgen Klopp oversaw the dugout, but since he has left, they haven’t been able to perform consistently, which could be attributed to an inferior mentality under boss Thomas Tuchel. This season, they have slumped in front of one of the best stadium crowds in the world, and it seems the fans are already growing tired of Tuchel’s approach. Rumors about a rift between Tuchel and the management have gained steam in recent weeks. It appears as if big results are not likely this season, so it’s already time to look ahead.

What will Borussia Dortmund have to do next season to ensure they are a much bigger threat?

They Will Have to Make Transfer Changes

First, Thomas Tuchel will need to have a good look at his squad and see which weak links are bringing down the dressing room. They still have quality players in Marco Reus, Aubemeyang (if the club can manage to hold onto him for another season), and others, but it seems the current squad is not clicking as well as it has been over recent years. Tuchel could make several additions to his squad in the summer transfer window and he could even look towards his youth setup to give him some fresh legs.

What changes can Dortmund make in the summer to make them more of a threat next year? Instead of me taking a guess at transfer targets, something fun you can do is have a look at Bookmaker Ratings, especially their “Tips” and “Knowledge” sections to track developments. Bookmaker Ratings continues to find reliable bookmakers, who offer the best odds when it comes to transfer betting.

They Need More Confidence

It’s clear the players are in a bit of a slump and aren’t enjoying their time on the pitch as much as they were under Klopp, and that has had a massive impact on their season this year. The crowd are still loud and right behind their team, but that isn’t enough to give Dortmund the confidence they need to kick on from a poor season so far. Dortmund still have the Champions League to play for this year, but they have to first clear the hurtle of being down 0-1 to SL Benfica in return leg at home. Tuchel will need to give his boys a confidence boost sooner rather than later — perhaps with a string of good Bundesliga results? — otherwise they could find themselves without Champions League football next season altogether, which could cost Tuchel his job.

Could a New Manager Be What Dortmund Need?

Thomas Tuchel obviously has the quality to succeed as manager of Dortmund, but if the fans express displeasure with him, and the rumored rift isn’t healed, the management could do something drastic like sacking Tuchel to bring new life into the club, especially as interest from elsewhere grows (e.g. Arsenal has been grabbing the latest rumor headlines).

Sometimes, a fresh face in the dugout is exactly what players need for a confidence boost, and if a top manager became available then Dortmund could sack Tuchel as early as the end of this season. Of course, even if Dortmund’s managers do not sack Tuchel, he could well leave himself by mutual consent if he does not feel he is the right man for the job, and that could really put the team in jeopardy of no Champions League football next year.

Are Borussia Dortmund just going through a bit of a bad spell under Tuchel and will it change for the better soon? Or do they really need to make drastic changes in management to ensure Dortmund do remain competitive next season? We will see how Dortmund fair over the course of their next few games but if they do fall out of the Champions League places altogether, then Tuchel will likely find himself looking for a job sooner rather than later.

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