I see that you have Borussia Dortmund among your favorite teams, so I feel I can ask you this question. Could you possibly provide me with some details as to why BVB has been so mediocre in the league so far? I have often heard the mention of injuries, but I get the feeling that there's a lot more to it than that since BVB seems to have pretty good depth. What exactly are the problems in your opinion, Nick?
Thank you for the fan add :-) good luck for the upcoming season hopefully it will be a Bayern BVB final in Berlin.
Actually, thinking about it, after Weidenfeller retires, who do you think the vice-captain should be (assuming Hummels gets the captaincy and is still at the club)? I was thinking Sahin, particularly since he embodies the statement that the grass is not always greener elsewhere. This is just for fun, mind you. Haha.
Kehl is standing down as Dortmund captain... Seems to me like the perfect opportunity to fast-track Hummels into that role (no disrespect to Weidenfeller, of course)...
Hi Nick, thank you very much for your message. I am happy to hear that Ligue 1 is starting to make you curious about it.
Firstly, speaking as a fan of both leagues, I honestly rate Ligue 1 above Serie A right now. One of the best things about Le Championnat is that it is so competitive. I do not understand football fans who moan about how unfair and lopsided competition is and then turn their nose up at the most competitive league in Europe (6 different champions in the last 7 seasons, with only PSG winning it twice & defending their title).
Admittedly, Ligue 1 does not have the same glamour that Calcio is afforded because of its golden period in the 90's and early 2000's, but the playing field is more even (despite PSG and now Monaco doing their best to make it unbalanced).
Quality-wise, it varies. However, France produces so much young, domestic talent. The balance of competition means that anybody can beat almost anybody else. Stye of play is often defensive, but what this means is that only the best players truly excel. Ligue 1 takes no prisoners and that is why you see players like Ibrahimovic (a real winner and true great) shining and dominating the league and players like Falcao and Cavani (talented players, but weaker characters) struggling to impose themselves to the same degree.
Attendances are hugely hit or miss, it depends on which clubs are playing. PSG, Marseille, Saint-Etienne, Lens, Lille, Lyon, Bordeaux and Bastia are just a few of the Ligue 1 clubs with great support bases. Some of the smaller teams (Ajaccio, Sochaux etc) can get pretty depressing though. If I was to recommend a team to follow in Ligue 1, outside of PSG or Monaco, I'd say Saint-Etienne. You get the best of everything there. Great fans, good history, good stadium and talented players with a great coach. They are a club going places and need just that little bit extra to get over the hump and return to the UCL places and get back onto the European stage.
The overall package is good. It is entertaining, you will find yourself enjoying the games and how tight some of the matches between the big sides and the smaller ones can be. However, you will get a little frustrated by the inconsistency. The cups are great too. There is always at least one minnow that goes really far in the French Cup (Cannes - now in the 4th tier - reached the QF's before being knocked out) and one amateur side - Quevilly - even reached the final in 2012.
French football is a great type of football to get into and it is growing all the time. I really recommend following it.
As for Marseille and Bielsa, it is difficult to say. Unfortunately, it looks as if Bielsa's hands are tied regarding the likes of Valbuena, so he will be deprived of some talented players, but they still have a pretty exciting team. Despite their recent under-achievements, I think OM will rise again under Bielsa and this year will be pretty spectacular. I'd advise you to tune in!
Thanks again for the message. I hope that this answers your questions clearly enough.
With my Dortmund hypothesis I was thinking of having Reus as CAM like this:
Thus he'll be able to use his pace and trickery to drive into dangerous areas and thus free up space for your strikers.
Also with the 4-4-2 diamond which is as i'm sure you know a 4-1-2-1-2, the first '2' whose starting position would at CM (but would actually be central winger e.g Di Maria) would able to attack more directly and vertically this will make your counter-attacking style much more efficient and dangerous to the opposition and it's incredibly difficult to stop a fast player driving at you.
If it were to happen rather than gegenpressing which Jurgen uses he would have to employ a more 'disciplined' version which involves the use of traps ala Guardiola i.e forcing players wide and blocking off options or man-marking style of Bielsa. This addition to a high line to force play into a tighter area will make it easier and less energy expedient to press effectively. Not saying any of this would actually occur but it's interesting to consider.
Moving away from Dortmund and to Manchester I truly have no clue what Van Gaal will do. He's so tactically flexible that it's impossible to guess what may actually occur. However I do think Kagawa will be sold, although he may be able to play at LW in a 4-3-3 I don't think Roney will be sold this summer and a comprise will be made in which he plays at LW for the meantime. In addition to that Mata is at the moment better than him at CAM as unfourtunatley hasn't been given a chance there.
In addition to that it depends on the signings he makes, with the rumours of Vidal and whispers about a new CB- probably De Vrij we will probably for now play a 4-3-3 like this:
But this could all change depending on the signings.
Lastly what do you think is going to happen with Barcelona? Neymar, Suarez and Messi klooks mouthwatering on paper but they're all very individualistic and don't suit the philisophy.
Yeah, the leaked away kit is definitely better than the home one, but that's not really all that hard to be honest, haha.
Hmmm... That's a bit difficult, really. I don't think it would hurt to sign one more creative midfielder (Roberto Firmino would be ideal, if perhaps not particularly likely) to provide competition for Miki and to help take some of the pressure off of Reus to always be the major creative force in the team, but that would really be more of a luxury than anything else. I still think that Miki will be able to step up his consistency next season, and with Kuba finally coming back should help the midfield as well. But I do have to say that I'd love it if Shinji would come back, if only perhaps for sentimental reasons. Hey, Schieber has just kindly vacated his #23 shirt, of course!
Regarding Ginter though, while signing him should absolutely be a top priority, I don't think it would necessarily have to be done this summer. He's a boyhood Dortmund fan and has already said that for him there is no other option besides Dortmund, so it's pretty clear that we'd be able to sign him. It sounds like the only thing stopping the move is Freiburg, who want another season from him. If we were to sign Ginter this summer and then avoid having another ridiculous number of injuries again next season, then we'd have four quality center back options all vying for regular first-team football, which might become a bit of an issue. If we don't sign Ginter this summer, Sokratis has more than proven that he's a capable defender, Subotic should hopefully be getting back to his best, and we still have Sarr for cover should the injury gods strike again. Essentially, I don't think it'd necessarily be the end of the world if we had to wait another year to sign him.
Apart from Ginter and a creative midfielder, I'm not so sure we really NEED anything else. Any other signings would, in my opinion, sort of be a luxury after that.
What do you think about further signings?
No, I'm not German, actually. Why do you ask? If you're asking because of all of the language stuff in some of my comments and my profile, that's just a hobby of mine. I just really like learning languages, haha. That's how I found out about Dortmund to begin with, actually: I wanted to improve my listening comprehension for German back when I was studying it, and I figured that one way to do it that would be entertaining and provide context for new vocabulary words would be to watch football with German commentary. Naturally, the Bundesliga was the best source for this, and after watching the BL for a while Dortmund emerged as the team I liked by far the most from what I gathered about its history and ethos from the commentary. Klopp helped quite a bit too, of course. ;-) So essentially my efforts to improve my German listening comprehension turned into me following Dortmund "egal wohin es geht".
Hey man, looking at you're comments you seems to like me have a real interest in football tactics. I was thinking about Dortmund recently and was wondering do you think they could thrive using a 4-4-2 diamond liverpool style?
I predict record sales of the away/winter/UCL kits, hahaha. I wonder, will the club change the kit if the fans make a big enough protest?...
And yeah, I mean we all pretty much knew Germany would win, but four goals in six minutes? Jeez. Really happy for Klose, though. And, I'll be honest, I'm kind of happy that Brazil won't be in the final after the way they've performed in this tournament (particularly against Colombia.... Poor James...). I've thought so since the beginning: Germany have a huge chance of winning this. At this stage, it's definitely their World Cup to lose. The only thing is that I feel horrible for Reus, since if Germany do win the WC, he'll know that he was so close to being able to be a starter in that squad. I really hope that doesn't affect him too much... Hope his recovery's going okay, too.
Thanks for answering. I know it is natural but i just can't believe that the goals have decreased at such a drastic rate. So disappointing.