Even at the cut-price of £15 million, many unaware football fans were skeptical of Manchester City's move for Manuel Akanji. The thought was that he was an unreliable defender, who frequently made critical defensive errors leading to goals. This happened a few times in Akanji's early days at BVB, and painfully for us as fans, most crucially in the lead-up to Dortmund losing the title in Favre's first year. But what many failed to recognize despite my constant banging of the drum last year - Akanji had grown into one of the best defenders on the planet in his final two seasons at the club. Here is our analysis of Manuel Akanji's start to life at Manchester City.
As the name suggests, a 'Ball-Playing-Centre-Half' is a centre-back that excels in possession of the ball, from passing to long passing to carrying to dribbling. They can simultaneously exist as 'Sweepers' or 'Stoppers', providing another interesting asterisk to the role not found in many other positions. Unlike say a fullback or goalkeeper where we have created clearly defined separations and almost polarizations on a style scale, 'Ball-Playing-Centre-Halves' can also be 'Stoppers' or 'Sweepers'.
Rose had clear attacking intentions and tactical ideologies that he wanted to implement, but few of them seemed to pan out in application. While many individuals consistently performed to the highest level, very few of them gelled together as a cohesive unit, working toward an over-arching tactical plan. Here in lies Rose's greatest failure. Those who watched Dortmund once in a blue moon were able to see the exact same problem as those who watched Dortmund week in and week out. The Black & Yellows simply played like a team of individuals.
Famous for their stunningly sound recruitment of young players, Borussia Dortmund have carried on the trend of snapping up some of the Bundesliga's best with their latest signing of SC Freiburg's Nico Schlotterbeck. The 22-year-old has been one of the best defenders in Germany this season, growing immensely from his 2020-21 campaign with Union Berlin, and massively developing his all-around game. Now one of the most accomplished defenders in a variety of categories, Dortmund were right to swoop in for a minimal €20 million fee. So with that, we analyze what Nico Schlotterbeck will bring to Borussia Dortmund ahead of the 2022-23 campaign.
It's no secret. Manchester United are struggling defensively right now, despite having very capable players all over the pitch. In David De Gea, they have one of the best goalkeepers in the world. In Lindelof and Maguire, the Red Devils have a defensive pairing that spearheaded one of the league's sturdiest defensive structures last season, and led a Europa League charge. Ahead of them, they have two defensive warriors in Fred and McTominay, who will never be world beaters, but are very competent in what they offer. Despite that, Ralf Rangnick's team have conceded 10 goals in their last 5 games, floundering under the German's style of play. So what's amiss?
For the past few seasons, the attention on Manchester United's transfer business has surrounded their inability to sign a world class defensive midfielder. However, with United floundering under Ralf Rangnick's style of play, greater defensive concerns have been illuminated in the past few months.
Dortmund need to consider their centre-back options in the current market, and start planning for the future. We take a look at the very best defenders that could make for realistic and easy signings for the Black & Yellows to make this summer. Let's get into it.
Any time Borussia Dortmund look like they might be in with a shot of challenging Bayern for the Bundesliga title, they go and mess it up with an abysmal performance. Marco Rose's time in charge of the Black & Yellows has been characterized by a series of questionable tactical decisions (to say the least), and an utter lack of desire to fix the team's most pressing defensive concern - their disastrously poor positioning, speed and aptitude in transitions. After the club's shocking 5-2 loss to third place Bayer Leverkusen, we take an in-depth look at why Rose's Dortmund are so poor in defensive transitions, and what they can do to fix this.
The 2021 January Transfer Window is officially one week in! And with that, we’re continuing to take a look at clubs with a bit of a blackhole in their team, that desperately needs to be covered before the end of next summer. We’re going to match that blackhole up with one player who could potentially fill that void if a move were to be made in January, by assessing and analyzing a player that is a perfect match for the team’s style of play. Today, it’s all about Borussia Dortmund's Manuel Akanji, and why he’d be a perfect fit for Chelsea.
Four months on from Rose's first match in charge of the Black & Yellows, BVB continue to find their feet. They've already been knocked out of the UEFA Champions League, and recently failed to capitalize on a crucial chance to go top of the table ahead of Bayern Munich. For Dortmund fans, there can only be so much optimism that the club remain in second place, yet again. Sooner or later, they are going to have to start putting up a genuine challenge for the title again. If not, Marco Rose will end up just being another in a long line of Dortmund failures. So with that, we take an in-depth look at how Marco Rose's Borussia Dortmund have performed in 2021-22, and what needs to change if the Black & Yellows are to challenge for the title.
Borussia Dortmund are heading towards one of their worst seasons in years, and it is in large part due to the tactics of their new manager - Marco Rose. But quite confusingly, they continue to grind out wins. Rose has set his team up to play in a diamond midfield formation, that suits one single player in the squad, and nobody else, yet somehow they've escaped complete desperation two weeks in a row. The Black & Yellows currently sit second in the table as things stand, three points off the top, but they are very lucky to be anywhere near that.
SC Freiburg beat a bruised and battered Borussia Dortmund team on Saturday as part of Matchday 2 in the Bundesliga, with the Black & Yellows looking completely out of sorts in only their second league match under Marco Rose. Here is our analysis of the match!
Borussia Dortmund got off to a flying start in their opening matchday fixture against Eintracht Frankfurt, with Oliver Glasner's side looking completely out of sorts. Marco Rose's men on the other hand completely took the game to Frankfurt, with Haaland, Reus and co. in full flow. Here is our tactical analysis of Dortmund's first match and all the wonders they accomplished.