The wind has changed. By no means was Borussia Dortmund’s 1-1 draw against Anderlecht in their last Champions League game a special event.
With qualification secured, under-fire manager Jurgen Klopp showed a glimpse of what he is about to do for the rest of the season. Experiment to his heart’s content.
Defender’s Erik Durm and Matthias Ginter, two players who have so far this campaign failed to demonstrate their worth were brought into the fold, whilst club favourite Kevin Grosskreutz was also given a chance to prove his ability.
At half-time both teams disappeared through the tunnel amongst boos from the home fans who had hoped to see their side follow on from Saturday’s customary 1-0 victory against TSG Hoffenheim.
In the end it was up to Ciro Immobile who is reported to be on the way out of the club in January, who gave the Westfalenstadion something to cheer about by blasting the Yellow and Blacks into the lead.
However, Mitchel Langerak, who for the second time in under week was given the nod ahead of Roman Weidenfeller, best summarised the mood of the end result as he bellowed at his backline for allowing the Belgian champions to score an 84th minute leveller.
Weidenfeller, who has been put under the spot-light for Dortmund’s torrid start to the 2014-15 Bundesliga season, walked past Jϋrgen Klopp at the final whistle without a single word spoken to each other.
The situation involving the 34-year-old goalkeeper who has served the club for the past 12 years, and the young Australian goalkeeper has been blown out of all proportions in the past week with the rest of the first team alongside the fans and the German media ruffled by the latest slander.
Whilst Klopp denied that he had chosen Langerak based on Weidenfeller’s recent poor performances, he did say that there were two quality goalkeeper’s at the club and he needed to ensure that both had equal opportunities to prove themselves in times of hardship.
The 26-year-old Australian who for the past four years has been left in the dark only to occasionally win the odd cap when the German international was injured or needed a rest, has swallowed up every ounce of pressure to prove that he has a right to compete with Weidenfeller.
Although the Black and Yellows have somehow qualified for the last-16 of the Champions League, their recent domestic performances are worrying to say the least with the club having already lost eight of their last 14 games.
What the German and European powerhouse needs at the moment above all is stability, and although changes to keep the line-up fresh as a daisy can be seen as a short term fix, Klopp must make sure that he doesn’t alienate any of his player’s any further than he already has done.
Marquee signings such as Immobile, Henrik Mkhitaryan, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have so far not had the desired effect wished upon them when they arrived, with the trio fluctuating between the starting line-up and the bench.
Tensions are soaring in Dortmund with the club desperate to do anything in order to reassert themselves, and although they have been more than unlucky with multiple injuries bestowed on poster-boy Marco Reus, Klopp has a job of making everyone happy and ticking over.
The best thing for the highly-praised manager at the moment is to access the situation with his markee signings including Weidenfeller during the Christmas period and if any are unhappy with his decisions they should be allowed to leave for a decent fee.
Indeed, the last thing that the 47-year-old needs at the moment is ill feelings around the club which might lead to player revolts, something which alongside bad results ends in implosion.
If the German manager fails to do this, then he will be facing a very difficult job until the end of the season with chairman, Hans-Joachim Watzke insisting that nothing other than Champions League qualification would be good enough.
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