The week gone by so
fast and I’m back with another edition of Doppelpass. Since my last post Roberto
Mancini has been fired, Wayne Rooney handed in a transfer request and Sir Alex Ferguson
went into retirement.
What a week that was. In this week’s Doppelpass I’d like
to focus on a recently much discussed topic that is “the new strength of
As it may have come
to everyone’s attention, we have an all-German, high-stakes Champions League final at
Wembley in about two weeks time and the question that has been raised is if
this season marks a turning point. Bayern Munich reached the final for the
third time in the last five years and have always been a force in European club
football. But this season, a new force in the shape of Borussia Dortmund
arised. Dortmund are not an unfamiliar figure in Europe. They won the Champions
League in 1997 and dominated German club football over the last two seasons and
were unlucky to be eliminated from last year’s Champions League group stage
after playing well without being rewarded for it.
But is this really
the end of English and Spanish domination? Is this the start of a new era? I
don’t think so.
Of course we can’t
predict what’s happening especially with big investors pushing into the
beautiful game and with a transfer market that is a crazy place most of the
time. But if you look at it closely the situation hasn’t changed that much. As
I mentioned before Munich has been a force for years now. They simply failed to
win it which basically means nothing has changed on that front. They will be
among the title contenders each and every season. And with Dortmund? Dortmund
is my local club so I’m not the most neutral in that discussion but my fear is
that Munich will hamper Dortmund’s recent dominance by simply buying all of their
good players. That has been Munich’s tactic for years now. If you can’t beat
them, buy them. Sounds simple but is the most effective procedure in club
football. And as you might have read it already became reality.
The Mario Götze
deal was announced a few weeks ago which was a big blow for Dortmund’s ambition
to build a new dynasty. But not only Götze has been on Munich’s radar. With Robert
Lewandowski, they seem to have snatched another Dortmund player from under
their nose. It’s not official yet but if the German press is to be believed
Lewandowski won’t head Manchester City, Manchester United or Chelsea. He will
be drinking Weißbier and wearing Lederhosen next year. The news is based on a
report of German newspaper Bild which also broke the Götze story. So the
chances of a transfer confirmation are quite high.
So as sad as it
sounds for everyone who is sympathetic to Dortmund it will be very hard to
maintain the level they play at the moment which means the power structure in
Europe will probably stay the same as it has been for years now. We will have
the Spanish teams (basically Real Madrid and Barcelona), the English teams with
us hopefully involved and the Italians. As you can see by simple analysis of
Bayern transfer politics the power won’t shift. At least not this season….
As we are at it,
let’s take a quick look at this week’s Bundesliga transfer activities regarding
Premier League players/targets.
With the need to
strengthen, Dortmund are in the centre of attention. BVB sport director Michael
Zorc was at Villa Park on Saturday to scout Christian Benteke who has also been
a possible target for Arsenal. Dortmund’s coaching staff scouted Jackson
Martinez the same day. The Porto striker with 25 goals in 29 games to his belt
has been on several transfer wishlists I suppose. Another interesting player is
Christian Eriksen. The Danish midfielder, currently under contract with Ajax, has
been a possible Arsenal target for two seasons now but he may well head to
Dortmund this summer. Eriksen already stated that Dortmund is a club he likes a
lot plus, Jurgen Kloop has already phoned Ajax coach Frank de Boer. But on the
other hand that has been said about Arsenal a million times. As from today,
Bild reports that BVB have reached an agreement with Kevin de Bruyne currently
on loan at Werder Bremen from Chelsea. The influential midfielder/striker
seemed to be part of Chelsea’s Andre Schürrle deal. But as it seems things
could get complicated.
Dortmund may face a further exodus with right-back Lukas Piszczek
being subject to transfer speculations. He has been named as an Arsenal target
and would fit the bill quality wise. He has been a regular at international
level for Poland. His pace gives him the perfect offence and defensive
balance. If you saw Dortmund’s Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid
the other week you will have noticed how good he was up against Cristiano Ronaldo.
And that wasn’t been a one-off match performance; he does it on a consistent
Compared to Carl Jenkinson, he’s miles ahead in my opinion
simply based on his experience on top level. Jenko can get there but he needs
to be calmer on the ball and work on his technique. That’s what makes Piszczek
the better choice. But as things stand there is no need for Dortmund to sell
and I don’t see them doing so. So don’t get your hopes high on a new signing
from Dortmund. But I will keep my eyes open that’s for sure.
For now let’s just
focus on qualifying for next seasons Champions League. I hope it will still be
in our hands when you read this.
Come on you Gunners,