When Borussia Dortmund beat Werder Bremen 3-2 in their final home fixture last season after an unusually difficult Bundesliga campaign for the team, it was a final game at the Signal-Iduna Park for legendary manager Jurgen Klopp. He received rapturous applause that day and although he team was later beaten 3-1 in the DFB Cup final by Wolfsburg, it was talked about as the end of an era at Dortmund. Klopp’s replacement was announced as Thomas Tuchel who had stabilised Mainz as a top flight team before resigning and citing the need for a one year break from management as his reason. As such, there were doubts as to whether Tuchel would possess the necessary appetite and skills for such a demanding job at Dortmund but early results this season appeared to have dispelled those concerns.
Having competed in several pre-season friendlies, Tuchel began his competitive career as first team manager of Borussia Dortmund by completing a 6-0 aggregate victory in the Europa League against Austrian team Wolfsberger by winning both legs. Tuchel has won every game since then including victory in the opening round DFB Cup for 2015-16 and claiming a 11-5 win over two legs in the playoff round prior to the Europa League group stage.
Dortmund had won that first leg 4-3 against a team from Norway called Odds Ballklubb but more commonly known as Odd. However, that match probably offers an insight into the motivational powers of Tuchel as his team trailed 3-0 in Norway inside 23 minutes after which four goals were netted in reply. A 7-2 victory was registered in the second leg.
The goalscoring has continued at domestic level with Dortmund winning their first two Bundesliga games of the season by 4-0 scorelines before a more sober performance when beating Hertha Berlin 3-1 at the weekend with the team now top of the Bundesliga ahead of reigning champions Bayern Munich.
Yet there has been no significant investment by Dortmund during the summer with most of the players of last season retained. It just appears that the departure of Klopp and the arrival of Tuchel has heralded the beginning of another new era within the club, with more purposeful attacking play evident in the first few weeks of the new campaign. New ideas and a new man at the managerial helm can help to freshen training days and induce more confidence amongst the playing staff as witnessed by victory in all eight competitive matches since his appointment.
It is still early days at Dortmund for Tuchel with difficult months ahead while it is also worth noting that during his final season at Mainz, the 42 year old manager won his first three league games before claiming only one point from the next six matches. Do not expect the same results from Borussia Dortmund’s following games but Tuchel will be aware that his very promising start will count for nothing should he fail to achieve the success enjoyed by predecessor Klopp in the months and years ahead.