With a phenomenal winning streak, Borussia Dortmund has risen from mediocrity to the top of the Bundesliga. Some things are reminiscent of the last BVB title from 2011/12. That’s why the goal has to be the German championship – because there probably won’t be another chance that soon. A comment from SPOX editor Stefan Petri.
Champagne corks will not pop at BVB on Sunday evening, around 7:25 p.m. Nevertheless, at the final whistle of the duel between FC Bayern and Union Berlin (5:30 p.m. in the live ticker) a circumstance could occur that was several years ago in this form: If Bayern does not win, Dortmund would be after one for the first time since August 25, 2019 leaders again for the entire day.
Half a football miracle when you consider that BVB lost six of their first 15 league games: The spirit of optimism, thanks to top-class transfers and the return of Edin Terzic to the coaching chair, fizzled out. Borussia was nothing more than mediocrity.
Three and a half months later, the black and yellow have won nine games in a row and made a start to the 2023 calendar year that is unparalleled in Europe. The 2011/12 season saw a similar number of three-pointers at the start of the year and nine clean sheets after 22 match days. There’s no other way to put it – and the table confirms it: BVB are currently performing like a German champion.
Such words have so far been deliberately avoided by the protagonists. From the top of the club to the players, however, one thing should be clear: If BVB has the goal of celebrating again with the championship trophy at Borsigplatz in the foreseeable future, then it has to work out this year.
BVB as German champions: The current series is reminiscent of 2011/12
In US sports, one likes to speak of a “championship window”, the title window. If this is currently open because the signs are favorable, it must be used – because it usually closes faster than expected. Because your own top performers are aging, the rookie quarterback has to be paid or the superstar you are courting is about to drop out.
BVB is not subject to a salary cap like in US sport, but its own financial resources are organically limited. Therefore, the said title window could already be closed again next season: The signs at Jude Bellingham are saying goodbye, top performers like Gregor Kobel or now Julian Brandt will attract financially strong clubs from abroad.
In addition, the contracts of captain Marco Reus and Mats Hummels are running out: their farewells would tear big gaps – even if they are no longer irreplaceable for the starting eleven from a purely sporting point of view.
BVB competitor Bayern leaves the title window open
Even more serious is the fact that it is always up to FC Bayern whether the championship title is within reach for the competition or not. He has to allow a title race and this season he is doing it. There are many reasons for this, but a look at the goal difference is enough to see that the record champions with by far the best offense AND the best defense should actually have surpassed their pursuers.
Means: Bayern have significantly fewer points than they should have – and how often does that happen? In the summer, the time deposit account on the Isar should be tapped again, for example for a new world-class striker. There will also be no more World Cup hangovers in 2023/24. And who knows, maybe the Bavarians will also approach one or the other BVB star, who is currently recommended for larger tasks.
It is therefore more than questionable whether it will be as bumpy for Bayern from autumn onwards as it was last time. The league seems to be just a chore at the moment, but things could go far in the Champions League and the Cup this time. Somehow understandable that after ten championships in a row the focus is more on the cup competitions – but that has to be exploited by the competition.
Bundesliga championship race: ten Bayern titles in a row can become 20
In the first place, it is clear that Borussia is responsible, given that they are four points behind RB Leipzig. Union Berlin and SC Freiburg are also at the top, but one couldn’t call it disappointment if they can’t maintain this level until June.
Even if Aki Watzke, Sebastian Kehl and Co. don’t like to hear it: it’s up to them to finally stop Bayern again. If the current title window is not used, the ten championships in a row can easily become 20.
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