With the DFL Supercup coming up on Saturday, we sat down with our friends over at our sister site Fear The Wall to discuss the match. FTW head honcho Brian Myers took time out of his day to answer some questions for us.
1) Are you disappointed that you won’t be able to see all of Dortmund’s new pieces in action (Brandt is out, Hazard was doubtful)?
Missing Brandt and Hazard definitely will hurt. The hype around those two is very high. However BVB has been busy this off season so we still have other new players to keep an eye on. Even without Hazard and Brandt our team feels more stacked then it has been in awhile. Schulz and Hummels were great additions for our backline. Of course we are all nervous how the team will receive Hummels. Fun times!
2) How have the new players integrated into the squad at this point? Who has been the best and who still have a lot of work to do to get up to speed?
Well here is our new players doing their forced hazing ritual where they have to sing a song to the rest of the team.
Ton an: Hier kommen unsere Neuzugänge!— Borussia Dortmund (@BVB) August 1, 2019
Welcher Song kommt euch bekannt vor? pic.twitter.com/a5KCs4kPTV
I don’t think we’ve seen enough of any player yet to have a definitive answer for who’s looking best yet. Mateu Morey was looking great but now he is out for a few weeks. We’ll see who out of the new players is even healthy for us to start the season with.
3) How important is the veteran presence and experience of Mats Hummels going to be as this team attempts to break Bayern’s stronghold on the Bundesliga?
It seems the team has accepted Hummels pretty quickly. He was given the captains armband during one of our US tour friendlies so Favre and the team leadership trust him. Hummels as a leader will be huge for this team. While his play isn’t what it needs to be we need someone at the back who will keep the team calm when things don;t go our way. The only reason BVB didn’t finish at the top of the table last year is because they fell apart in any game where the momentum started to go against them. Hopefully Hummels prevents any of that this year. My only concern with Hummels is the way the fans treat him will become a distraction for him and the rest of the team. Gotze was accepted back pretty quickly by the BVB faithful. Mats may take more time.
4) Do you think Lucien Favre is going to have any issues keeping all of the talent on the roster happy or does the versatility of players like Marco Reus, Mario Gotze, Julian Brandt, etc make it easier to keep all of the big egos in check?
Favre has always specialized in keeping players with huge egos in check. I mean this is the guy that had Mario Balotelli looking like his old self. He has more talent then he has ever had before, but with ego-less leaders like Reus and Witsel on this team I am confident things will go alright. Most of BVBs team drama from the past few years comes from a coaches incompetence(Bosz) or mishandling the media(Tuchel) , I don’t think Favre is the type to rock the boat in these sort of ways.
5) Is Dortmund’s midfield the weak link of the squad this season?
Dortmund’s fullbacks are our weak point yet again this year. With Witsel, Weigl, Delaney and newly promoted youth teamer Raschl our center midfield is in a god place. With guys like Brandt, Gotze and Reus as options to put in front of them, i don;t think the center of the pitch. Our fullback situation is far less solid. The addition of Schulz was nice but we are pretty lost after that. Raphael is probably going to be gone by the end of the window, Marcel Schmelzer has been out of the squad under Favre and Piszczek isn’t getting any younger. With Diallo leaving as well, Dortmund could find themselves comically thin at the fullback positions as the year carries on.