The word 'bizarre' could be one used to describe the scenes at Borussia Dortmund this year. However 'disastrous', 'catastrophic' or 'self-destructive' would probably be a lot more fitting considering the 2013/14 Bundesliga and 2012 Champions League finalists have found themselves treading water at the foot of the table for the majority of the season.
The season had started so promisingly, with a 2-0 victory over rivals and league minnows Bayern Munich in the DFB Supercup indicating that the club were going to challenge for their title back.
However, an abundance of disappointing defeats against sides like Hamburg, fellow stragglers Stuttgart and league new-comers SC Paderborn; one of the most impressive and creative teams in European football had found themselves officially bottom of the Bundesliga after 13 games.
What was going wrong?
What pundits believed had started as a blip on the radar at Dortmund, had become a much larger threat to the reputation and credibility of one of Europe's most aesthetically pleasing teams to watch.
The big summer signings were under performing to say the least, with Adrian Ramos's big move from league counterparts Hertha BSC providing little of the goals he had delivered in Berlin, and Ciro Immobile failing to replicate the goal scoring form he had built up in his native Italy.
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Mikhytaryan's performances aren't even worth mentioning since his ominous move in 2013 and it also didn't help that Shinji Kagawa had returned to Dortmund a broken man, feeling washed up and wasted at Old Trafford, his return to the club that created him had promised to return the Japanese to his former glory. It didn't.
That said, no one was performing well, the papers knew it, the team knew it and most importantly the fans knew it.
The Yellow Wall
The South Terrace of Dortmunds Signal Iduna Park, otherwise known as the Yellow Wall is known to fans as one of the most impressive and demanding home to football Ultras all across Europe, and a stand that boasts an incomparable connection with the players on the pitch.
This connection had been weakened to say the least, and the Yellow Wall was starting to crack. For so long the team had tried to pave over the mistakes with promises of retribution. But on February 4th, a defeat to surprise package FC Augsburg at home, had been a step too far.
You've seen the footage, all the clips, the boos and jeers after another gruesome embarrassment at the hand of what should've been a comfortable win, had drawn a reaction from the fans like no other, one that prompted Captain Mats Hummels of the sinking ship and his trusty vice Roman Weidenfeller scaling the Yellow Wall to try and find reason and forgiveness within the faithful.
The results that followed have been two hard fought successive wins, reviving the team at last. The message from the supporters one of 'we love you, but you dare not lose again'. Some point to that faithful night as the kick in the right direction that BVB needed, others look to the work of individuals as motivators for the Dortmund fightback.
Marco Reus had been linked with the biggest clubs in Europe, with the likes of Real Madrid, Chelsea and Manchester United chomping at the bit for his signature. This season's results would appear to have been the perfect time to snatch away what should've been a disillusioned and disheartened Reus.
However quite the opposite happened, and Reus shocked the masses by recently signing a contract that will keep him at Die Schwarzgelben until 2019.
The motivation by Reus' return looks to have instilled confidence in the shaky Dortmund midfield
Reus' season has been hampered with injury, with the 2012 German footballer of the Year only returning to full fitness in January amidst the turmoil at his boyhood club.
Things didn't turn around straight away, but it's no coincidence that the return of Borussia's favourite son has revitalised the depleted Dortmund as back to back wins have helped spur on the side that have dazzled Europe with it's attractive football in recent times.
The motivation by Reus' return looks to have instilled confidence in the shaky Dortmund midfield, as the January acquisition of Kampl has helped solidify and motivate the midfield, coming to a side without any emotional baggage that has hampered his new teammates all season, Aubameyang leading the line is starting to prove his worth and also feels reenergised by the return of Marco Reus.
Moving forward, things look to be on the up for Dortmund, as back to back wins brought them safely out of the dreaded drop zone, and now the club sit 10 points adrift of European football. A feat that although seems out of reach, is one that the heavyweights of German football can set their sights on.
It is clear to see that the turnaround has maybe come a little too late, but the motivation from the Dortmund faithful has been infused with the return of Dortmund's Golden Boy, has restored belief and confidence in a clearly scarred and wounded BVB side.
Keep an eye on the Bundesliga from here on in though, surely we're set to see one of the great comeback fights of modern football.
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