The good news is Bayern’s weaknesses mean there’s a chance for a title race in Germany this year. The bad news is the frustrating and inconsistent Borussia Dortmund are their main challengers…
When even Bayern Munich fans are despairing at how frustrating Borussia Dortmund are, you know it’s bad.
This is a team with the most exciting, vibrant attacking unit in Europe, with the 20-year-old grand old men of Erling Braut Haaland and Jadon Sancho leading Jude Bellingham and Gio Reyna, 17-years-old both of them. And because of them, it’s a team that struggle to find a place for Marco Reus, Thorgan Hazard and Julian Brandt.
But it’s also a team that does stupid things like lose 2-0 to Augsburg at the weekend, doubly irritating for those of us who are hoping for a title race in the Bundesliga given Bayern’s extraordinary 4-1 loss to Hoffenheim the following day.
“It’s so frustrating to see Dortmund do this,” said Rafa Honigstein on the European edition of The Totally Football Show. “There’s so much potential and so much entertainment in this team. We saw what they did against Gladbach the week before when they played some amazing stuff.
“But then they have these games where they don’t show up, they’re lifeless, they don’t defend properly, they’re really slow in attack. It’s like a slow-motion defeat which is really painful to watch, even if you don’t care much for them as a club – you care for them as a team. They should and could be doing so much better.
“Unfortunately for them, Lucien Favre is still in the job, because he’s done OK and done especially when it comes to developing young players, but when it comes to stabilising a team and giving them that final push and the little bit of aggression, that little bit of an idea of what to do when they’re up against it in a physical game as the one Augsburg provided, he always falls short.
“I don’t think Dortmund would be with him if they had any viable alternative last summer or this summer. But they didn’t, and he’s still there, he’s in his final year, everyone expects him to leave which in itself tells you the story of his reign. But you wonder how many more of those games they can afford to they throw away, especially when Bayern show a bit of weakness.”
Favre’s side face Bayern on Wednesday evening in the German Super Cup, and arguably it could be even more frustrating if they win it.
“Dortmund are traditionally really up for this, but the question is whether it’s another of those occasions when they raise their game against top opposition, only to go down a level when it matters more often, playing those lesser sides.
“I don’t think anyone expects them to be at Bayern’s level all season, but they’re not even at their own level in terms of where they should be performing more consistently.”
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