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Postseason Roundtable Half 2: Greatest Shock of the Season

When watching Borussia Dortmund, you’ll be able to by no means know what to anticipate. On a crew chock filled with unproven kids and wily veterans, each recreation can really feel like an journey. This season featured many surprises, each constructive and detrimental. Immediately, we’ve come to appoint the gamers or occasions that shocked us essentially the most.

Sean Keyser: Marco Reus Staying Wholesome

I virtually didn’t wish to say something whereas the season was happening, as a result of I knew that one thing may go incorrect at any second, however now that the season has ended I really feel secure saying this: we have been handled to virtually a complete season of a wholesome and in-form Marco Reus. Practically yearly over the previous decade, the Captain has come roaring out of the gates solely to have his seasons shortened by accidents. This wasn’t the case this yr. He was second solely to Mats Hummels in appearances, hitting the pitch in 32 of 34 Bundesliga matches, and throughout all competitions, performed the fourth-most minutes.

Because of this, we have been handled to week-in and week-out classic performances from Marco Reus. Whereas he didn’t mild up the scoresheet like Erling Haaland did, it wasn’t as a result of he wasn’t scientific, however due to his ridiculous work fee urgent, taking part within the buildup, and creating targets through secondary assists. That’s nothing to talk of his management as captain. Judging by his relationship with Haaland and Sancho, they admire his management as properly.

Zac Weilminster: The Return of Mo

In January, I wrote about Mahmoud Dahoud and his dwinding function within the crew at BVB. On the time, he had been dropped from the primary crew resulting from a small bust up in coaching, and given the switch window was open, it appeared possible that he could be looking for pastures anew. How rapidly issues change in soccer.

After basically 4 years on the bench, Dahoud sprang to life when an absence of midfield depth discovered him beginning towards Sevilla within the first leg of the Champions League spherical of 16. The remaining, as they are saying, is historical past.

With this purpose and an attractive recreation efficiency, Dahoud laid the groudwork for his path into the primary time and man, has he walked it in type. This season, Mo has gone from unplayed to unplayable, bringing imaginative and prescient and creativity to a midfield that has struggled with ball development and incisive passing. Dahoud has been drumming up curiosity from golf equipment round Europe, together with reward from Pep Guardiola himself. Regardless of this, reviews this week have urged that the mercurial midfielder is relaxed about his contract state of affairs, and is working with the Black and Yellow brass on a renewal.

The board must be able to pay up, as a result of Dahoud’s type within the Hindrunde has proven simply why he was so extremely rated all these years in the past.

Steve Zimmerman: Favre’s xG Magic Deserted Him

Like a cope with the satan that has run out of time, Lucien Favre’s magic contact left him unceremoniously this yr. For the previous decade Favre has educated his groups to shoot much less, and rating extra. At Borussia Monchengladbach and at Good, analysts struggled to elucidate how his groups scored so many targets greater than their xG fashions predicted. In his first yr at Dortmund his crew scored 23 targets greater than anticipated and practically gained a title. Maybe you keep in mind Paco Alcacer scoring each shot he took? In Favre’s second yr Sancho, Reus and a half-season with Haaland led a crew that scored 25 targets greater than anticipated and set a brand new membership scoring report. In his third season, with the perfect assortment of attacking expertise that he has ever had, every part went the wrong way up. Favre’s Dortmund couldn’t end. Jadon Sancho missed his first 25 photographs of the season. Marco Reus scored three targets for Favre. Solely Haaland saved scoring. However oddly, the crew was producing extra and higher possibilities than ever earlier than. As a substitute of targets we now had the xG the analysts have been searching for. Regardless of more and more poor outcomes, 538’s xG primarily based mannequin rated our crew larger than they ever had earlier than on the day Favre was fired! Stuttgart was the FIRST recreation of the season through which Dortmund had much less xG (non-penalty) than our opponent, together with two maddening losses to the Bavarians who appear to have stolen Favre’s magic.

Mike Solak: Julian Brandt’s dip in type

I recall feeling perplexed that 17 yr outdated English starlet Jude Bellingham was chosen to start out on matchday 1 for Lucien Favre towards Ruhr neighbors Borussia Mönchengladbach. Dortmund efficiently switched to a again three formation and Brandt excelled taking part in a “free 8” function subsequent to Axel Witsel in lots of matches in the course of the latter a part of his maiden marketing campaign with the membership. The German playmaker appeared to thrill in the midst of the park the place he may pull the strings, dictate the tempo, and stability attacking with among the defensive duties of a standard box-to-box participant. Nonetheless, BVB supporters rapidly realized precisely why Brandt was not beginning shortly into this seasons marketing campaign.

In line with, Brandt logged practically 900 much less minutes of motion in all competitions this previous season versus his first season with Borussia Dortmund. That’s as a result of Brandt’s manufacturing in purpose creating actions declined considerably within the 2020-21 season. In his first season with Die Schwarzgelben, Brandt recorded a purpose or help in 151 minutes of motion. Nevertheless, this previous season that quantity jumped as much as 332 minutes of motion for a purpose contribution. The assured younger man who commanded the center of the park with good imaginative and prescient appeared gone, and was changed with an error inclined midfielder of the identical identify. Brandt now struggled to make the proper choices on the pitch, and was spraying free passes in harmful areas consistently placing his backline at risk. Even when Brandt started taking part in additional ahead within the assault, he appeared unable to select the correct cross on the proper time and the assault seemingly stalled when the ball was at his toes.

Surprisingly, nevertheless, there’s hope for Brandt transferring ahead, although his purpose contribution plummeted. The previous Bayer Leverkusen academy graduate truly elevated his shot creating actions per 90 minutes by 25%, that means Brandt’s passing and dribbling created extra photographs than ever in a Dortmund shirt. With out all of the actions once more, it’s potential that the ending on the top of Brandt’s build-up was poor, or unfortunate. Though, it might be that the standard of the shot created was not practically pretty much as good which resulted in far much less completed possibilities. Nonetheless, with Brandt seemingly having completed the season robust, with a number of superb substitute appearances, a brand new coach and new system signifies that we may see Brandt again to his greatest once more subsequent season. Nevertheless, it was surprising to see how poor the German playmaker was this season, particularly when the squad wanted him to step up greater than ever.

Sarah Sekac: Marwin Hitz in Aim

The participant within the keeper place tends to be a continuing. Manuel Neuer, Yann Sommer and even Timo Horn come to thoughts as names synonymous with purpose keeper. Are you able to even consider who the quantity two is for these guys with out taking to the Google? Effectively, BVB followers certain know who the quantity two keeper is for Dortmund and {dollars} to doughnuts, a lot of others do too.

Hitz made a handful of appearances within the first half of the season, nevertheless it wasn’t till the second half when he actually had an opportunity to shine. Roman Bürki was out in January/February with a shoulder damage and it spoke volumes (initially extra so to Bürki’s efficiency) when Hitz remained in purpose even after Bürki was wholesome. It’s completely value noting that Bürki was wholesome for 16 of Hitz’s appearances.

Right here’s a have a look at the 2 by the numbers:

Marwin Hitz

  • 28 whole appearances (18 wins, 3 ties, 7 losses)
  • 33 targets conceded (16 league)
  • 12 clear sheets (8 league)

Roman Bürki

  • 24 whole appearances (14 wins, 3 attracts, 8 losses)
  • 32 targets conceded (30 league)
  • 7 clear sheets

Your Flip

What was essentially the most stunning growth of the season in your eyes? Go away your ideas beneath.

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