Borus­sia Dort­mund

New boss Bosz brings calm

World Soccer - - Contents -

Will a sum­mer of dis­trac­tions and set­backs take their toll?

It was a close sea­son of head-spin­ning tur­moil with the sack­ing of coach Thomas Tuchel, sev­eral key play­ers be­gin­ning long pe­ri­ods of re­hab, the on-off trans­fer of marks­man Pierre-Em­er­ick Aubameyang and the loss of French for­ward Ous­mane Dem­bele to Bare­clona.

Will new boss Bosz set­tle quickly?

Al­though not the first-choice to re­place Tuchel – that was Lu­cien Favre – Peter Bosz, who was pre­vi­ously coach of Ajax, looks a good fit. Youth de­vel­op­ment and at­tack­ing foot­ball are the or­der of the day, and in marked con­trast to the grumpy Tuchel his re­laxed man-man­age­ment style is hav­ing a pos­i­tive ef­fect.

Has the bomb at­tack on the team bus last sea­son had any last­ing ef­fect?

The play­ers were un­happy at be­ing forced to play the first leg of their quar­ter-fi­nal against Monaco just 24 hours after the as­sault. “Un­fin­ished busi­ness” is the phrase which comes to mind. In the last five years, they have made the knock-out stage four times and al­ways have the bit be­tween their teeth on Euro­pean nights.

TAC­TICS

Bosz’s game plan is a mix of his two pre­de­ces­sors’ philoso­phies, com­bin­ing the whirl­wind press­ing of Jur­gen Klopp with the care in pos­ses­sion en­cour­aged by Tuchel. With­out the ball, Bosz’s side will press the op­po­si­tion deep in their own half, while their cre­ative im­pulses take var­ied forms: the range of pass of Ju­lian Weigl, the fi­nal-third imag­i­na­tion of Mario Gotze, the pace and fin­ish­ing power of Aubameyang, and the in­tel­li­gence of teenage for­ward Chris­tian Pulisic. They keep a very high line de­fen­sively, with the fine blend of Sokratis Pa­pas­tathopou­los’ phys­i­cal­ity and Marc Bar­tra’s abil­ity to bring the ball out from the back. One po­ten­tial prob­lem is their sus­cep­ti­bil­ity to swift coun­ter­at­tacks.

Re­laxed...Peter Bosz (in black)

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