Now that Borussia Dortmund are out of the champions league, they now have more room to focus on winning their first bundesliga title in 11 years. The last time the famous black and yellow of Dortmund lifted the Meisterschale was in the 2011-12 season. During this period, players like Shinji Kagawa, Robert Lewandowski, and Ivan Perisic wore the famous colors for Dortmund. Now, a new group of players represent this club and have the opportunity to bring the title back to Dortmund.
Over the past few seasons, Dortmund have failed and sometimes woefully at replicating their title charge in 2012. Since their last title triumph, Dortmund have finished 2nd six times, 3rd twice, and also finished 7th and 4th in the 2014/15 and 2016/17 seasons respectively. Unsurprisingly, Dortmund have been playing catch up to their fierce rivals Bayern Munich during this period.
The 2018/19 season was the closest Dortmund came to winning the Bundesliga title since their last triumph. They finished the season with 76 points, just two points less than Bayern Munich’s 78. Many thought that they would finally be able to win the title again as they topped the table and also had a nine point lead at some point. However, the inexperience of that squad being in a title winning position began to show and eventually, they crumbled.
This current Dortmund squad find themselves in a similar position this season. They have had a great start to the second half of the season as they have won 8 out of 9 Bundesliga games this year. This streak has been able to place them within touching distance of the current champions Bayern Munich. They are currently in second position only two points behind Bayern Munich.
Losing Erling Haaland to Manchester City was definitely a big blow for Dortmund. However, a lot of players have stepped up their game in many ways and are contributing heavily to the team.
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Players like Bellingham and Moukoko have been heavily involved this season and have played their part in Dortmund being second.
The team in general has also made some little improvements as well. At this stage last season, they had conceded 37 goals, this season, they have conceded 30. Also, after 24 games this season, they have accumulated 52 points in comparison to last year’s 50 after the same amount of games. While these improvements are very minimal, it still puts them in a position to actually chase the title. But can they do it?
There is a very common saying that a league season is a marathon not a sprint. And this is very understandable as every point dropped could have a drastic effect on a team’s season. Dortmund have always been known to be a side filled with young talents but also supplemented with experienced players here and there. Dortmund’s current squad is filled with talented players. Some of which have the capacity to win a game single handedly.
However, in order to win a title, there are more requirements than talent. Dortmund have the second youngest squad in the bundesliga this season with an average age of 23.9. A lot of these players have not been in the current position they are in, chasing a league title. If one were to pick the title winners between Bayern and Dortmund, Bayern would be the most obvious choice. Simply because their players have done it before and they have won the last 10 titles.
Although, the current Liverpool coach, Jürgen Klopp, would like to disagree with this. He was the one at the helm of affairs when Dortmund won the title in the 2010/11 season. That was another young squad with an average age of 24.5.
At the end of the day, there is a possibility that Dortmund can win the title at the end of the season. They have a relatively young squad but they also have experienced players like Mats Hummels and Marco Reus to help guide them. At the same time you would not want to bet against Bayern who have won the title ten years in a row. Who wins it?