A lack of minutes frustrates Borussia Dortmund’s Jamie Bynoe-Gittens and Youssoufa Moukoko

According to reports, Borussia Dortmund youngsters Jamie Bynoe- Gittens and Youssoufa Moukoko are becoming frustrated due to their lack of playing time. 
Sport-Club Freiburg v Borussia Dortmund - Bundesliga
Sport-Club Freiburg v Borussia Dortmund - Bundesliga / Alex Grimm/GettyImages

Borussia Dortmund’s season, in many ways, has been a series of backwards steps that are contrary to what we’ve expected to see from the club. For over a decade, the club has styled itself as a youth-driven, vibrant and attack minded club that has produced some of the most attractive football in Europe over that period of time. 

Since Edin Terzić’s appointment as head coach however, this image of the club has begun to shift a bit, with Terzić employing a more conservative approach, curtailing the “sexy football” the club has become known for on the process. The results unfortunately have failed to underscore the benefits of these changes however. 

In employing these changes, the team’s focus has seemingly turned toward survival, with Terzić doing what he can to stabilize the team’s performances. One such measure has been the focus on playing seasoned veterans and limiting the minutes of the club’s talented, youthful players that in any other season may have bend tasked with more prominent roles in deciding the fate of the club’s season. 

According to Ruhr Nachrichten, reports have begun to come in that both Youssoufa Moukoko and Jamie Bynoe-Gittens have grown frustrated with their lack of time on the pitch. Both players have been on limited minutes, and to them this certainly could seem as a stumbling block in their development. 

According to the report, Terzić’s apprehension in terms of playing these two young talents, including others, is their lack of tactical astuteness which represents a risk from a results standpoint for Terzić. The team have entered a phase of the season where unnecessary loss of points could be catastrophic. 

While I perhaps understand the reasoning behind wanting to play the seasoned veterans (security), Terzić’s unwillingness to bend and change things during games, or rather his very slow reaction to change things at times, is in many way just as dangerous as perhaps taking the risk to play two talented youngsters that could have (and have shown to have) an impact off the bench. Moukoko in particular has been with the senior team for a few seasons now and has shown that he can certainly be an impact player. His style of play changes the way Dortmund seek to attack when he replaces Niclas Füllkrug. His performances have certainly warranted more than 44 minutes in the last four games (off the bench).

In JBG’s case, there’s certainly more of an argument to be made in terms of how raw the player is, coupled with the uptick in form from Jadon Sancho, Donyell Malen and Karim Adeyemi. Even so, he too is player that can come on, take on opponents and contribute to dangerous attacking situations. In the grand scheme of things there should be a way for Terzić to squeeze in some additional time for these players when rotating, and especially when the team appears stagnant as they have at times for long stretches of games. 

In Füllkrug’s case in particular, while he’s shown that he can be a big difference maker for Dortmund, there are games where the German international goes completely missing and has less than 20 touches over the course of 70+ minutes. Moments like this call for change in tactics (because clearly his teammates aren’t finding him) and a change in personnel to employ a new approach - something that Moukoko has shown is very capable of doing. 

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Terzić growing tensions with players also extends to the older players as well, with Mats Hummels allegedly also having an “icy relationship” with the head coach. Marco Reus was also rumored to be leading a “coup” against Terzić in December (later denied by Reus) but these sort of rumblings surrounding locker room distress can’t bode well for Terzić and the team should he continue to remain in charge beyond this season. The tension itself is of course speculation, but the factors to cause such tension are clearly there for all to see when one takes into account the situations of various players at the club currently.