Borussia Dortmund’s Head of the Licensed Player Division Sebastian Kehl has shunned speculation that manager Lucien Favre’s position is in doubt after a challenging start to the season, via quotes by Bulinews.
Favre oversaw 23 victories in his maiden Bundesliga campaign at the Signal Iduna Park, but the Westfalenstadion natives have won just one of their last four top flight fixtures and head into their Champions League meeting with Slavia Prague bottom of Group F.
Favre’s position at Dortmund was cast into doubt recently, when Bild (via Bulinews) suggested the 61-year-old is ‘no longer untouchable’, and Kicker claimed that club chiefs were becoming unconvinced in his ability to motivate players, as BVB endure their worst start to a Bundesliga campaign in five years.
Collapsing from the lead twice against Eintracht Frankfurt in a game that would end 2-2 also led to questions being raised over the mentality of the Dortmund first team, which left captain Marco Reus irate (Sky Germany, via Mirror).
The pressure from outside has continued to grow on Favre after BVB again let slip a lead, when Marco Friedl hit Werder Bremen’s equaliser on Saturday to see that Dortmund ended matchday six in eighth place, three points down on title-rivals Bayern Munich.
Head of the Licensed Player Division Kehl is insistent that the pressure is only from outside, though, and told reporters ahead of Dortmund’s Champions League clash with Slavia Prague: “This discussion is just ridiculous.
“I don’t think it’s fair. We have played six games and are three points behind the league leaders. It’s still all very early, but of course we know that we’re not playing our best football at the moment, and we’re not happy with how the table looks. We all have to deal with that now. We set an ambitious goal at the beginning of the season [to challenge for the title], so it’s normal for criticism to appear. We are asking more of ourselves.
“After two draws in a row and an unsatisfactory match against Werder Bremen, which we absolutely wanted to win, the atmosphere isn’t good, of course. But it’s not the first time that we are in a situation like this. We now have the opportunity to turn things around, and with a successful match in Prague, we know that the world will look completely different afterwards.”
Kehl is absolutely right that it is still very early for speculation to rise on the future of Favre, but the Dortmund chief hits the nail on the head in that the performance against Werder Bremen was ‘unsatisfactory’, which will naturally spark debate over the head coach’s position.
Things right now are also a stark contrast to BVB’s short-lived time under former manager Peter Bosz, who won six of his opening nine games before going on to lose six of his last nine matches in charge (TransferMarkt).
Only a continued run like that or cracks appearing in the dressing room morale among the leaders like Reus, Mats Hummels and Lukasz Piszczek should see that Favre’s position is up for firm debate.
Dortmund fans, does Favre have your backing or should BVB start searching for his replacement? Let us know in the comments below…
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