Why Borussia Dortmund Have not won the Bundesliga Title Since 2012

Jacob Walstow

Why Borussia Dortmund Have not won the Bundesliga Title Since 2012

On Saturday, the season’s second Der Klassiker takes place in Bavaria as Bayern host Dortmund.

A win for the home side would give Julian Nagelsmann’s side their 10th consecutive title. With no end to Bayern’s dominance insight, why have Borussia Dortmund not been able to stop the monopoly Bayern hold in Germany?

It’s been ten years since Borussia Dortmund were last champions of Germany. That side, led by now Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, eased to their eighth German title, beating rivals Bayern by 8 points.

When looking at this side, it’s clear to see why Klopp’s side was unstoppable in Germany. Robert Lewandowski was the league’s third top goal scorer with 22 goals as Dortmund was the league’s most prolific scorers with 80.

Lewandowski was helped upfront by the talented Shinji Kagawa, Mario Gotze, Ivan Perisic and newcomer Ilkay Gundogan. The defence, which was the third-best in the Bundesliga, had the centre-back partnership of Mats Hummels and Neven Subotic.

The next season may not have been the greatest title defence in the Bundesliga, losing to Bayern by 25 points. The Champions League however almost proved to be the perfect end to this era of Dortmund dominance. Bayern had other ideas, with Arjen Robben netting the winner at Wembley in a 2-1 win.

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Dortmund’s Transfer Policy

The success that Borussia Dortmund and Klopp had in North Rhine-Westphalia had seen Die Borussen conquer Germany and almost Europe. Teams further afield and closer to home wanted a piece of their success.

Shinji Kagawa’s move to Manchester United after the title success was the start of the domino effect of players leaving the Westfalenstadion. Mario Gotze left the following year for Bayern.

Bayern was not done in their ransacking of Dortmund, with Mats Hummels leaving in the summer of 2016. The free transfer of Robert Lewandowski however to Die Roten in 2014 was the nail in the coffin of competitiveness in Germany.

In the years since Dortmund has tussled over being Germany’s 2nd best team and even flirted with relegation in the 2014/15 season, being bottom in February.

The selling of big stars has led to the entrusting of youth in Dortmund. This was seen most noticeably under former manager, Lucien Favre.

The Swiss manager left the Cote D’Azur with Nice to take the role at Dortmund. In his first full season in charge, Borussia Dortmund gave Bayern Munich the greatest title fight Germany has seen in the last decade.

Not only was their the new starlets who were making their mark in Germany, such as Jadon Sancho and Achraf Hakimi but also experience was brought in through the forms of Axel Witsel and Paco Alcacer. Joining the likes of Marco Reus who had stayed loyal to Dortmund, Favre’s side had a chance.

Losing only one of their first 23 games and beating Bayern Munich for only the second time in five years in the league, Dortmund had the ascendancy. Like in most cases, however, experience counts for a lot in football.

Costly defeats to Augsburg and bitter rivals Schalke halted Dortmund’s charge to the title. It was a meeting at the Allianz Arena where Favre’s side crumbled. A humiliating 5-0 defeat was ultimately the reason Dortmund finished 2nd, two points behind Bayern.

Since then, star players such as Sancho has been sold on, Hakimi and Alcacer have returned from their loans. Even the arrival of Erling Haaland has not got Dortmund close to the title since. The Norwegian now looks close to leaving for Manchester City.

Bundesliga Tips

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Could Dortmund win the Title Again in the Near Future?

11 years in the dark for Dortmund has been hard for the fans in the famous Yellow Wall. The meeting on Saturday however could be the chance for Dortmund to stamp theory authority on a title charge next season.

The money that Dortmund will receive from Haaland’s sale could be used to help manager, Marco Rose, to not only replace their star striker, but reassure their brittle defence. The 43 goals conceded, only the eigth best in the league, is the catalyst behind Dortmund trailing Bayern by nine points with three games to go.

Bayern’s vulnerabilities however could be the biggest factor in a decent title fight in the Bundesliga. With many sources claiming that Bayern will have to become a selling club, and Lewandowski hinting at leaving at the end of the season. Bayern’s new reliance on developing youth will be Dortmund’s biggest chance to take back the crown.

Der Klassiker has been dormant too long in the Bundesliga. Dortmund needs to take their biggest chance to end Bayern’s control of German football.

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