EDortmund could hardly have wished for a better opponent than TSV 1860 Munich to check the status of the intended self-renewal project. It will be uncomfortable, intense and energetic on Grünwalder Strasse, where there is a lot to lose and little to gain for BVB.
He feels “the greatest anticipation that things are finally starting,” says coach Edin Terzic, but some supporters are looking forward to the start of the competitive season this Friday (8.45 p.m. in the FAZ live ticker for the DFB Cup, on ZDF and at DAZN) look. Because in just such games in the recent past, an old Dortmund problem regularly became apparent: the weakness to play games against passionately defending outsiders with the necessary energy and seriousness and with real joy in defending work.
This is exactly where the focus of the summer preparatory work lay. “We try to exemplify the mentality that we want to stand for throughout the club,” says Terzic. “We want to put this issue behind us and make it a habit to always go full throttle.”
No new mentality debate
Character traits were also explicitly considered when selecting the newcomers. With Nico Schlotterbeck (formerly SC Freiburg) and Salih Özcan (1. FC Köln), two players were signed who are extremely strong-willed and who were able to inspire colleagues with this characteristic at their previous clubs.
In addition, the new coach promoted the still only 19-year-old Jew Bellingham, who not only plays every game with his foot down, but also every training session, into the group of chief players led by Mats Hummels and Marco Reus. “We want to create a certain performance culture,” says Terzic.
No one wants to experience defeats, as a result of which the mentality debate flares up. This is one of the reasons why the intensity of the training camp was so high that even Schlotterbeck, who is used to the notoriously high training demands of Freiburg, says he has never experienced anything like it. And Hummels roared after a duel with young midfield colleague Abdoulaye Kamara: “My face, how are you all going in, you idiots? Serious.”
Get out of the comfort zone
Terzic only has to smile wearily when asked about this supposed conflict. Such a saying is an everyday trifle in the training of a professional team. Maybe he’s even secretly happy when the well-deserved top players are taken out of their comfort zone by younger colleagues.
In any case, such incidents are irrelevant for the mood, says Terzic, the trainer collected reliable information about the internal climate during the training camp “at the table tennis table and at the billiard table”, where “there was a lot going on before and after every meal”, he says. The group grows together, even if it is not yet entirely clear what effect Sébastien Haller’s depressing testicular tumor diagnosis will have on the atmosphere.
The sick attacker has since been operated on. It has to be expected that he will “certainly be absent for a few months”, says sporting director Sebastian Kehl. Now the Dortmunders are dealing with the question of whether they will sign a replacement, but all the parameters have to fit. However, Luis Suárez, who was initially traded, is no longer among the candidates. The Uruguayan superstar has returned to his home country and joined Nacional Montevideo.
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