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Borussia Dortmund roasted in German media for alleged veteran flops

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Sport Bild’s Jochen Coenen took no prisoners in bashing Borussia Dortmund.

1. FC Union Berlin v Borussia Dortmund - Bundesliga Photo by Alexandre Simoes/Borussia Dortmund via Getty Images

Sport Bild’s Jochen Coenen used his space in the publication to take a flamethrower to Borussia Dortmund. Specifically, Coenen went after Mats Hummels, Emre Can, and Axel Witsel.

Regarding Hummels, Coenen wrote: “Would (Bayern Munich) have given him up to a competitor if they had seen that as a threat? No!”

As for Can, Coenen insinuated the reason that he moved to Dortmund was because he “fled from the Juve grandstand.” Obviously, that is implying that Can was not good enough to break into the lineup with Juventus.

Regarding Witsel, Coenen said that the Belgian, “would also have no chance at Bayern.”

Ouch.

Moreover, Coenen compared the Borussia Dortmund bosses to Trüffelschweine. If you are unfamiliar with Truffle hogs, well, here you go (per Wikipedia):

A truffle hog is any domestic pig used for locating and extracting the fruit bodies of the fungi known as truffles from temperate forests in Europe and North America. Pigs have a great sense of smell, and are able to identify truffles from as deep as three feet underground.

Take that for what you will, but at least it appears that Coenen thinks Borussia Dortmund is doing a good job of identifying and bringing in young players. Dortmund’s recent successes with Christian Pulisic, Jadon Sancho, Erling Haaland, Gio Reyna, and Youssoufa Moukoko are good examples of BVB’s ability to identify and procure young talent.

The issue with personnel decisions, however, relates to Borussia Dortmund’s veteran signings. Coenen insinuated that the veteran players that Dortmund has signed just aren’t good enough to threaten Bayern Munich, which seems kind of obvious after what he wrote about Hummels, Witsel, and Can:

That’s where the problem begins. The last championship title was in 2012, and after 13 match days, Borussia is already eight points behind Bayern again. That’s a question of quality. Precisely the experienced players Dortmund has signed are ultimately too bad for the Bayern hunt.

Regardless, the criticism of Hummels seems unwarranted. Aside of the defender’s leadership and skill-set, there does not appear to have been a drastic drop-off in his play. Can and Witsel, meanwhile, have not been great this season.

Witsel was more consistent last season and could just be in a slump. It could be a little premature to banish him. Can, meanwhile, really appears to have lost a step or two.

Is all of that related to Lucien Favre’s poor managing or are some of Borussia Dortmund’s veteran players just regressing more rapidly as time goes on?

Whatever the case, if Dortmund does not turn things around, Bayern Munich might not be the only club the Black and Yellows are chasing in the coming years.