Derby HumiliationBy: Shane | September 19th, 2010
Dortmund 3:1 Schalke
That was agonizing to watch. Utterly dominated from the first whistle. It looked like two teams who shouldn’t even be in the same division, Varsity vs. Junior Varsity. 3:1 is a flattering score line. It should have been 6-0. The only thing that kept this slightly close was Neuer who as usual had an excellent match. Our entire team was too slow for the speed and quick thinking of Dortmund’s midfield and attackers. Kagawa was incredible, Barrios rampant, and whether it was Gotze or Kuba they manhandled us. Sahin and Bender shut down any type of attacks we could start and if it somehow got through them then Hummels/Subotic mopped up with ease.
We continue to be overrun in central midfield and it has been a theme for this season. Just as our defense had somewhat been stabilized with the absence of Metzelder the next glaring problem has been identified. There is absolutely 0 link play or creativity to bridge our midfield and forward attackers. We cannot possess the ball adequately because the distribution from Rakitic has been woeful. I don’t know what has happened to him, but he cannot even complete simple passes right now and is completely incapable of any attacking through balls. Kluge equally was bad. Tactically, Dortmund’s formation was almost the same as ours except Kagawa played closer to the midfield than Raul. This created constant situations where Kluge/Rakitic were overrun 3 vs 2 by Sahin, Bender and Kagawa. We had no answer for runs by Kagawa in and out of the center.
Offensively, we are so static. There are no dynamic runs. The outside players sit at the touch line. The two forward players sit up front and our DM’s sit back. Nobody moves, shifts, overlaps or crosses. Nothing happens. We have two methods of attack:
1. Our DM’s pass the ball to our wingers sitting on the touch line. Then everyone stops and waits for them to do something. At best this results in a low percentage cross into the center that is easily stopped.
2. Our defenders or Neuer hoof the ball long which is easily handled by the towering CB’s (Subotic and Hummels stopped these all day with no issues) and never reaches its target.
And that is IT. We have no ideas. There is no creativity. You know how sad it is when the only time we look dangerous is on set pieces from 35 yards out? Tactically, Magath seems to have no idea what to do. He’s lost. It reminds me of a quote from his days at Bayern. Magath was angrily berating his players during a game about a lack of formation and tactics, to which Van Bommel responded “Tactics!? What tactics? We have no tactics!” The team we have built is completely in Magath’s image. He’s made all the off-season signings and removals and now we’re left with a team that makes no sense. Where is the creativity supposed to come from? Oh yea, Jurado but Magath refuses to play him. Not like 1 player is going to be a magic band-aid either. Everything is so disorganized and aimless. The players clearly seem to lack direction. Is Magath going to step up from being a fitness trainer with his medicine balls to actually figuring out our tactics and formation?
All over the pitch we are weak. A sub-par defense with a struggling midfield in front of them and two forwards who get no service and when they do get it they squander their chances. Nobody wants to target Raul, but seriously has he done anything in 5 matches? He’s done nothing. Part of it is not his fault for seeing the ball so little, but really we might as well have played a ghost instead of him and nobody would’ve known the difference.
Right now we are Hertha Berlin 2.0. Completely and utterly embarrassed by our biggest rivals. I’ve never seen the Veltins arena so quiet. Every fan was shell-shocked like we’d been drinking “the Koo-laid” for the last month thinking somewhere inside we had a decent team only to realize today that we are simply awful. It is embarrassing to be a fan right now. We spend all this money and we are 100x worse. We have to seriously consider that we might battle relegation. From supposed title contenders to relegation candidate. Oh, the irony is splendid.
We have Freiburg away on Wednesday. If we lose that match I don’t even know what to say. At least the match comes soon so we don’t have an entire week to dwell on this atrocity.