Three insights into Borussia Dortmund after the thrashing of Wolfsburg
Published1 month ago
With Borussia Dortmund beating VfL Wolfsburg 6-0, Mats Hummels made strong arguments for a contract extension. Karim Adeyemi has become the X factor in the Westphalian game – and Jude Bellingham is defying the rumor mill. Three insights into BVB’s overwhelming victory.
BVB: Dortmund should extend with Mats Hummels
Mats Hummels’ season has taken a similarly strange course to the one that BVB has had so far. When Dortmund fell short of their expectations in the first half of the season, Hummels was one of the few players who stood out with consistently good performances.
While Borussia then won victory after victory at the start of the new year, Hummels just sat on the bench. Between January and March, the centre-back played just 104 minutes in seven straight games. And now, thanks to the downtime of Niklas Süle and especially Nico Schlotterbeck, Hummels has been part of the starting eleven again five times in a row.
What he is thinking about his personal development in 2023, however, is not known. Hummels has imposed a ban on speaking, after the games others have been speaking for months. Of course, this also has to do with the fact that it is still unclear how the 34-year-old will continue in Dortmund.
His contract expires in a few weeks, and talks about a future together are said to be taking place with a lot of respect and tolerance. BVB gives the deserving player the necessary time to think about the further path of his career.
Meanwhile, on the pitch, it shows that Hummels has suffered no loss of quality despite his longer and surprising reserve existence after the strong impression of the first half of the season. On the contrary: Hummels was one of the best Dortmunders in the two home victories against Frankfurt (4-0) and now Wolfsburg (6-0). He also showed an appealing performance in the draw in Bochum.
BVB: Mats Hummels reaches 200 wins for Dortmund
“Mats played an outstanding game in all areas: in goal defense, in pressing, in creating pressure, in winning balls,” praised BVB coach Edin Terzic on Sunday evening. Keeper Gregor Kobel also agreed: “Mats played very well. He’s doing outstandingly this year. It’s certainly not always easy when you don’t play every game, but he’s always there for the team. He’s an outstanding central defender.”
The Westphalians would do well to extend the contract with Hummels by a year at reduced amounts, similar to Marco Reus. The defender can still help the team with his skills in the coming season, his standing in the dressing room as an opinionated, critical veteran is a real added value for the still fickle team.
Hummels still has a strong anticipation, with which he wins duels early on – like before the important 2-0 win against the wolves. His timing in direct duels and the game intelligence with the ball at his feet are other qualities that can make Hummels valuable in the future. Especially when the faster Süle or Schlotterbeck play at his side, who can absorb Hummels’ speed deficits in the defense of the depth.
The win against Wolfsburg was Hummels’ 200th Bundesliga win in 339 games for Dortmund. Only Michael Zorc (206) had previously reached this mark. The 76-time national player is also a guarantee of success – BVB should therefore do everything possible to steer Hummels’ thoughts regarding the new season in the right direction.
Karim Adeyemi has become the X factor in the BVB game
Strange course of the season? In addition to Hummels, Karim Adeyemi also fits into this category. After moving from Salzburg, he barely got a foot on the ground in the first half of the season, and he didn’t score in the Bundesliga.
In 2023, the attacking winger is transformed – and involved in a goal every 65 minutes. In eleven competitive games he has already scored seven goals and five assists. Adeyemi also shone against Wolfsburg, his missed penalty in no way diminished his performance with two goals and countless strong scenes.
“The actions he had were extraordinary. How he accelerates in one-on-ones, how difficult it is to defend against him – that’s exactly what we want,” said Terzic.
With his tremendous pace and the confidence Adeyemi has built thanks to his run, he has become the X factor in Dortmund’s game. The deep running paths that the 21-year-old regularly offers can hardly be defended. In addition, there is a high level of efficiency in front of the box, Adeyemi always finds a good solution at the moment.
The almost more important component he has added to his game, which helps Borussia enormously, is the biliousness that Adeyemi exudes both ways. “Karim has worked on himself, he has a better mindset,” said BVB sports director Sebastian Kehl. Adeyemi is eager not only to score and provide assists, but also to work off the ball and win balls.
BVB: Difference between the “new” and “old” Adeyemi
This was evident on Sunday evening, for example, before his second goal to make it 5-0, when he aggressively chased Sebastiaan Bornauw into a mistake and then scored himself shortly afterwards. “He never gave up, never stopped. That’s how we imagine it,” said Terzic.
The coach also reiterated the difference between the ‘new’ and ‘old’ Adeyemi: “It’s always a weapon to have 36.5km/h on the pitch. When you’re at 36.5km/h When you run into your opponent, they might also get a little more nervous, like when you jog along.”
Adeyemi was often accused of being too lax in the first half of the year. Hummels in particular criticized too much “hoe, tip, one, two, three” and passes for social media on two occasions – Adeyemi provided the reason for his displeasure in each case.
That’s history now, instead of the Larifari, a greed has stepped in that one would hardly have believed the 30 million euro new purchase after the performance of the first half of the season. In addition to his excellent record in the second half of the season, it is precisely this quality that causes the spectators in Dortmund to celebrate Adeyemi with chants.
BVB: Jude Bellingham defies the rumor mill
It was remarkable how Jude Bellingham celebrated his second goal to make it 6-0 against VfL. More often than not, he does it in a standing pose, but this time the anger was clearly speaking out of him.
Bellingham made a movement with his hand as if to paraphrase a former BVB coach: ‘It’s all blah blah blah, all this talk.’ The Englishman looked grim, punched an air hole with his arm and looked downright pissed off.
Bellingham has not explained what this strange kind of celebration is all about. But it takes little imagination to interpret it in the context of the rumors that have been circulating over the past week.
It was said from Spain that the 19-year-old had agreed a contract with Real Madrid until 2029. “I will not fuel any discussions and I will not give any numbers either. It is not surprising that the rumors are picking up steam at the end of a season. There is currently no new status, there is no offer,” sporting director Kehl clarified before the game.
The probability that Bellingham played his third last home game for BVB on Sunday is still greater than the chance of staying. But his performance against VfL was a good reaction to the rumor mill that was churning with him and Borussia until the end of the season.
Bellingham omitted the unnecessary frills in his game on Sunday evening, acted tactically disciplined and concentrated. He had the most ball actions, the most frequent passes in the opposing half and the most shots on goal for BVB. He was rewarded with two goals. Especially his long-range shot with his weaker left foot, which luckily found its way into the goal, deserved the hit. His conclusion to 6:0, on the other hand, was technically strong and well thought out.
BVB: Jude Bellingham deserves a lot of credit for that
To Bellingham’s credit is how he is handling the constant hype surrounding his future. After the strong first half of the season, in which he sometimes carried the team alone with his goals and unyielding style of play, he went through a small bottom in the past few weeks. Bellingham wasn’t as dominant as before, but you have to admit that to the frequent player at this young age.
Above all, he did not fuel the rumors of a possible departure. This differs significantly from the approach taken by Erling Haaland in the previous year, who in the meantime caused unnecessary trouble with a surprising frustration interview.
“Jude comes here every day and gives everything to become German champion. I haven’t even heard him say to me: ‘Yes, I work for another club.'” Terzic said recently. That work ethic has quickly made Bellingham a crowd pleaser – and like Haaland’s many goals, it will help him gain understanding from the BVB attachment should he decide to make an early move.
BVB vs. Bayern: The rest of the program in the Bundesliga
|32||Borussia M’Gladbach (H)||Schalke 04 (H)|
|33||FC Augsburg (A)||RB Leipzig (H)|
|34||Mainz 05 (H)||1. FC Cologne (A)|
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