Doubting Dortmund? BVB must show they can cope under pressure, says Van Buyten

By Sports Desk September 23, 2019

Daniel Van Buyten believes Borussia Dortmund still must prove they can stay the course in a potential Bundesliga title race, despite strengthening their squad.

After a busy close season that included the return of Mats Hummels from Bayern Munich, Dortmund are tipped to push the reigning champions all the way in the 2019-20 season.

Thorgan Hazard, Julian Brandt and Nico Schulz have also arrived to bolster Lucien Favre's options, with Van Buyten impressed by the way they performed in the 0-0 Champions League draw against Barcelona last week.

However, while he expects them to challenge Bayern once again after finishing second in the previous campaign, the Belgian needs to see if BVB have the depth required to cope when their resources are stretched.

"Borussia Dortmund made very good transfers and they are a good team on the pitch," Van Buyten told Omnisport.

"They will definitely be a team that will fight for the championship in the Bundesliga until the end. But there are still one or two other teams that will also play for the title.

"Against Barcelona they [Dortmund] have also shown in the Champions League that they can play good games there – but they have to show that in Barcelona as well.

"As I said, things are looking good at the moment, but you have to see how things go from there.

"If there are injuries or illnesses, then you have to show that the squad is there and that the other players can also be successful."

Bayern strengthened their squad by signing Philippe Coutinho on a season-long loan from Barcelona – and the Brazilian scored his first goal in Saturday's 4-0 triumph over Cologne.

Van Buyten, though, has warned his old club not to expect too much from Coutinho, with any success in the Champions League down to teamwork, rather than relying on individual talent.

"For me, it is always a work of the whole team. You have top players like [Robert] Lewandowski and many others, but you can't think that if you hire a player like Coutinho, he has this magic wand to do something special," he said.

"I think it's teamwork and you have to get a top performance every time. No matter which team you have to play on the weekend, it's always the same process. If you ever think that it's easy, it's a negative process.

"It's about your mentality and from my time back then, I know very well that we had a lot of players as far as the character was concerned, they were very concentrated and really had the focus in their heads to win the championship, and also to go far in the Champions League.

"They're all top teams [in the Champions League] and it's not easy to make your way there. Bayern already needs a team at the top level."

Related items

  • Dortmund's 15-year-old prodigy Moukoko wanted in first team by Favre Dortmund's 15-year-old prodigy Moukoko wanted in first team by Favre

    Youssoufa Moukoko has proven prolific in Borussia Dortmund's youth ranks and head coach Lucien Favre wants to promote the 15-year-old striker to the first team.

    The Dortmund prodigy was selected for duty with Germany Under-19s last week, returning to the international fold after making his U16 bow at the age of 12.

    Moukoko, who turned 15 in November, scored 50 goals and supplied nine assists in 28 appearances as BVB finished as runners-up in the U17 Bundesliga last season and has maintained his stunning form at U19 level.

    He has netted 31 times in 18 league outings and has another four in seven in the UEFA Youth League.

    Ahead of Dortmund's Bundesliga meeting with Freiburg on Saturday, Favre revealed he hopes to have Moukoko involved with the first team before the end of the season.

    "We have a plan with him, but I can't say exactly when he'll be with us," said Favre on Thursday. "Maybe in March, but we still have to wait for a few things."

    Moukoko could make his bow for Germany U19s in a European Championship qualifier against Wales on March 25. They play Austria three days later and Serbia on March 31.

    Nuri Sahin became Dortmund's youngest player at 16 years, 11 months and one day when he made his debut in August 2005.

  • Anything can happen in El Clasico – former Real Madrid captain Hierro Anything can happen in El Clasico – former Real Madrid captain Hierro

    Anything can happen when Real Madrid host Barcelona in El Clasico on Sunday, according to Fernando Hierro. 

    Barca head into the clash at the Santiago Bernabeu top of LaLiga, having capitalised on Madrid drawing with Celta Vigo and losing to Levante in their previous two matches to go two points clear. 

    Following a 2-1 home loss in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie with Manchester City on Wednesday, Zinedine Zidane's side have won just one of their past five games in all competitions. 

    While the form book therefore suggests Barca have the upper hand, Hierro – a five-time LaLiga and three-time Champions League winner with Madrid – believes it is impossible to anticipate the outcome of any match between the clubs. 

    "The most important thing, given the rivalry, is the joy everyone feels: the club, the fans. And how it really gives you a boost. But anything can happen in El Clasico, as we've seen," said Hierro, courtesy of LaLiga. 

    "We lost when we were LaLiga champions, we lost at home when we virtually had LaLiga wrapped up, we've won in Barcelona when nobody expected us to. There are no guarantees in El Clasico. 

    "The standings don't matter; your form doesn't matter. It doesn't matter if you're top of the table, or if you're LaLiga champions. 

    "They're special games. Anything can happen, and that's fantastic." 

  • Former Waterhouse, Jamaica player Irvino English shot dead on Ash Wednesday Former Waterhouse, Jamaica player Irvino English shot dead on Ash Wednesday

    Former Reggae Boy and Waterhouse midfielder, Irvino English, was killed in a drive-by shooting in Waterhouse on Wednesday night.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.