More questions than answers in the back line
Borussia Dortmund’s defensive decision making left everyone scratching their heads once again. Right from the first whistle, it appeared that the back four wasn’t in sync. The Stuttgart overloads meant that the BVB defenders had to play catch-up time and time again, and they simply weren’t quick enough to react.
Following Mats Hummels’s injury early in the match, Ramy Bensebaini was brought on. This meant that the entire back four had to be reshuffled, with Niklas Süle moving to centre-back and Julian Ryerson going to right-back to make way for Bensebaini at left-back.
Switching roles mid-game is certainly not easy, especially in defence. And the task was made even more difficult by Edin Terzic’s decision to reshuffle the entire back-line, which left the team looking very disjointed. This improvisation can only be explained by the lack of depth in the squad, which is a serious issue.
Had Borussia Dortmund signed a centre-back in the summer, perhaps a wholesale back-line reshuffle could have been avoided. It would have meant that a natural centre-back could have replaced Hummels, and Süle and Ryerson would not have had to switch positions.
Terzic’s reluctance to rotate the players at his disposal, especially in defence, is certainly not helping as some are not getting enough rest and others often look undercooked when they come on after being limited to sporadic appearances. The performance and the line-up further showed that that the 41 year old has fewer certainties than he wished he had.