By this point in the various domestic leagues of Europe, the contenders have begun to settle in for the long haul of a grueling campaign, and those who are legitimate challengers will have staked their claim to the crown.
That is, except for Borussia Dortmund. The giants of German soccer, two years removed from an appearance in the UEFA Champions League Final, currently sit in 14th place out of 18 in the Bundesliga with a one-game advantage.
Going off of this, after this weekend’s fixtures within the league Dortmund could very well slip into last place, a wildly unfamiliar position before this season. For comparison, Eintracht, who only have been in the top flight of German soccer for one season, lead Jurgen Klopp’s side by 6 points with a game in hand.
Two major reasons to this rough start can be considered, one out of the side’s control and one entirely within it.
For the former, Marco Reus, considered by many to be one of the brightest young talents in the world, has been out for ages, including his lack of appearance for World Cup winners Germany over the summer.
Fortunately, for fans of the club, he is expected to return to training in January, which should bode well. For the latter, Jurgen Klopp and company had plenty of opportunities to resign striker Robert Lewandowski as his contract grew nearer and nearer to expiring.
After having seen attacking midfielder Mario Gotze move to bitter rivals Bayern Munich, it became increasingly attractive for the Polish striker to follow his path, which was ultimately the case. To be fair, management did bring in the strike force duo of Ciro Immobile and Adrian Ramos in order to fill Lewandowski’s void, but so far those moves have not panned out.
On a similar transfer note, Shinji Kagawa, the Japanese fan favorite, was brought back from a disappointing spell at Manchester United, and he seems to be slowly regaining his old form. Interestingly enough, the German side has been in great form in international play, standing atop their UEFA group with an impressive 4-0-1 record and +10 goal differential.
For the optimists within the fan base, this is a major sign that things can and will change.
While the season is still fairly young, Borussia Dortmund needs to start getting its act together for the current Bundesliga campaign.
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