Fussball90, Exclusive interview with Luca Gierl: Tuchel seems to do a lot of the convincing nowadays; It’s going to be a very tough season for Borussia Dortmund

Thursday, September 1, 2016، 07:13 PM ، 1 years and 22 days 23 hours and 57 minutes before

Luca Gierl answered our few questions.


Fussball90. Which teams performances mostly surprised you in the last season of Bundesliga? What about the promoted side's (SV Darmstadt 98 and FC Ingolstadt 04) performance?

The biggest surprise for me was Hertha BSC. Before the season I had them down as one of the contenders for relegation and they finished surprisingly well as seventh, after even flirting with the Champions League for a long time.

Ingolstadt and Darmstadt staying up was a surprise for me. Although in Darmstadt’s case it was more surprising how bad teams adjusted to them rather than how good Darmstadt were.

Fussball90. What was the main reasons of Stuttgart and Hanover's relegation? Will RB Leipzig and Freiburg survive like last season promoted sides or they can do even better?

In Stuttgart’s case it was mostly a problem of Zorniger’s extreme pressing style which left the team very vulnerable at the back at times. Adding to that they had a woeful time at finishing chances and even under the new coach Kramny they never fully recovered. Stuttgart’s fall from grace is especially surprising when you consider the incredible offensive talent at their disposal. You can make a case for them having a top five offensive on paper last season and they still managed to go down. That’s almost impressive in a bad way from their coaches.

Hannover is a different case. Next to some questionable tactical decision there also wasn’t that much quality within the squad and the Hannover’s relegation didn’t come as much of a surprise to me.

I expect the newly promoted sides in Freiburg and especially Leipzig to play a good role in the Bundesliga next season. Leipzig has an enormous amount of money coming from Red Bull. Especially enormous for a newly promoted side. In Naby Keita and Timo Werner they signed two very talented and already very good players and with a little luck I could see them compete for the European spots under the guidance of Hasenhüttl, who did an amazing job with Ingolstadt last season.

For Freiburg it’s going to be tougher to stay in the league. They can’t rely as much on incoming talent from other clubs because of a lack of funds but they have a great youth academy at their disposal. Nevertheless they’ve made some shrewd business in signing the likes of Janik Haberer and Aleksandar Ignjovski. In Christian Streich they also have a very good coach and I could see them survive in the Bundesliga although they probably won’t do as well as Ingolstadt did last season.

Fussball90. Pep Guardiola leave the club for Manchester City after 3 season in Munich. Now Carlo Ancelotti will be the new head coach at Bayern Munich. Is there any chance by this transition for other Bundesliga teams to hold back Bayern from 5 times in a row championships?

Well there might be a chance but the chance is very slim. Dortmund have a major squad overhaul themselves to deal with and Leverkusen might not be ready to challenge Bayern just yet. With Guardiola an undoubtedly great coach left the Bundesliga but in Ancelotti Bayern got in the second best “thing“. They will remain to be the absolute clear cut favorites to run away with the league title.

Fussball90. Which teams did better job than other Bundesliga teams in transfer market so far? BVB sold three important players with good price and bought six new players. Are they going to have a good season like previous one with so much change like this or not?

The transfer window is still open for a long time so it’s tough to judge the transfer activity as of now but you can say that all of Bayern, Leverkusen and Dortmund made some nice business considering the circumstances. Bayern managed to snap up Mats Hummels from Dortmund and at least on paper they now have one of the best if not the best defense in the world. Leverkusen have added some quality in Kevin Volland and Julian Baumgartlinger and only lost Christoph Kramer so far, who they weren’t too sad about giving up. After Dortmund lost their three best players it was always going to be a tough summer but they managed to bring in some outstanding young talents and are still working on a few big name signings like André Schürrle and Mario Götze. Another team that made some nice signings is Gladbach, most noticeably they re-signed Kramer and also brought in Jannik Vestergaard. On the other hand there are Schalke who made an odd move in signing an aging Naldo but managed to captured the highly touted Breel Embolo. A bit of a mixed bag for them.

It’s going to be a very tough season for Borussia Dortmund but depending on who else might join the club and how well the team gels they should be able to finish on a Champions League place. More than that would be a surprise to me.

Fussball90. Does Mannschaft’s performance in the Euro 2016 satisfy you or not? How about Joachim Löw final player list for this tournament? Is there anyone who is missing?

Personally I don’t care too much about the German national team or international football in general. I thought Germany played a reasonably well tournament and could’ve won the thing on another day. I didn’t like Löw taking Lukas Podolski to the tournament, obviously. I think he should’ve kept the likes of Julian Brandt or Karim Bellarabi in the squad instead of  Podolski or calling up Jonathan Tah after Antonio Rüdiger’s injury.

Fussball90. What expectations in the next season from BVB are logical? A major trophy after 5 years or we can still live with super Cup trophy every seasons?

This is now rebuilding phase and while a major trophy would certainly be nice, it can’t be expected after a summer like this. As always with a little luck in the draw a Pokal final and win is possible but in the league and Champions League a title seems very much out of reach.

Fussball90. Which positions Borussia Dortmund is still needs to improve in the remaining transfer window period? Big transfer news in the coming days finally or not? Which players do you think will leave the clubs in the current transfer window?

BVB probably need another proven winger, since it isn’t clear how many games Marco Reus will be able to play this season and that leaves Ousmane Dembélé, Emre Mor and Christian Pulisic for the wing right now. All undoubtedly huge talents but another good winger would make sense. The club and Tuchel seem to have found him in Schürrle, who is likely to join the club (maybe it’s already official once you read this). The same goes for the central mid position where Ilkay Gündogan and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who occasionally played there, left a huge void in creativity. The clubs solution here seems to be a return of Mario Götze from Bayern (this also might be official once you read this).

Meanwhile Neven Subotic’s move to Middlesborough seems to be a matter of days and Jakub Blaszczykowski is also expected to leave the club, although playing a great Euro 2016. The like of Joo-Ho Park and Moritz Leitner might also leave the club if they find a new club. It looks like Matthias Ginter will only leave the club should Dortmund sign another centre-back, but it’s unsure whether that might happen.

Fussball90. Are there any special players do you want to join BVB? How do you rate Hans-Joachim Watzke and his management? Is he convincing enough for BVB or he can do better? What about Michael Zorc?

I would’ve like Mateo Kovacic to join Dortmund, but that seems very unlikely as of now. Other than that I’m happy with the business they’ve done, especially the young players are very promising. Watzke’s and Zorc’s management has been great and they’ve been doing a great job to convince players joining the club without paying insane fees or wages, although Tuchel seems to do a lot of the convincing nowadays. Dortmund can’t afford the real big stars in football and those players won’t come to a club like BVB either, which is undoubtedly a great club but not one of the absolute biggest and best in the world. Considering all that the management has done a great job so far.

Fussball90. Is it a risk to invest so much on the young talents after such a great season by BVB or it's an opportunity?

It’s probably a bit of both but there was basically no alternative. When you see for how much average players change clubs in England for example, Dortmund can’t compete with that. The best way to go about it was signing young and not as expensive players with world class talent, while adding some good and still somewhat young players the really big clubs couldn’t give enough playing time.

Fussball90. What was the best and the worst BVB match in the last season? Who were the best and the worst players?

The best match I can remember right now was the home win against Leverkusen, the worst might have been the away match in Hamburg or Cologne. The best player was without a doubt Henrikh Mkhitaryan and it’s tough to pick out the “worst“ player but Park was certainly a disappointment.

Fussball90. How will the Bundesliga TV new deal affect on Teams? Are the clubs finally can hold their important players from abroad transfer or not?

Generally that’s impossible to answer because it always depends on what the player wants and which clubs want him. The Bundesliga won’t be able to compete with the English clubs, the big Spanish clubs, PSG and maybe even some of the Italian clubs, except for Bayern. It’ll be interesting how the Bundesliga utilizes the new money, hopefully with more investment in the youth system rather than expensive transfers from abroad.

Fussball90. Second place again in the next season for Borussia Dortmund or we will see another story?

I could see Dortmund finishing second if they have a good season but it will be a tough battle against Leverkusen and maybe even Gladbach or Schalke.

Fussball90. Do you have any memories of Iranian players in Bundesliga?

The player that comes to mind first is Vahid Hashemian, who played for Bochum and Bayern among others. I remember that he was called “the helicopter“ due to his jumping ability. Another player would be Mehdi Mahdavikia, who played over 200 games for Hamburg. I’ve also heard about Ali Daei but I’m too young to really remember seeing him play. And last but not least the most recent Iranian in the Bundesliga, at least that I can remember, Ashkan Dejagah.

Fussball90. Last words to our website viewers and all the Iranian Bundesliga fans

I think it’s great there are many Iranian Bundesliga fans and even if the league seems a bit dull at the top right now, I think that could change in a few seasons when Dortmund’s young players develop accordingly. In the end there’s only one thing left to say: Heja BVB!


You can follow Luca Gierl on Twitter: @LucaGierl and read all his works at http://www.tyw.bundesligalounge.com/

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