Berlin: Gusty winds provide an unpleasant atmosphere as a heavy storm has hit main parts of Northern-Westphalia. The Dortmund suburb of Brackel is no exception. But not only progress in daily life seemed harder than usual, and the Blacks and Yellows condition in an ominous way seem to fit the unpleasant atmosphere.
With the last-16-round duel against Paris in the Champions League only a week away, an entire football club has been thrown into unrest.
Having gambled away the chance to reach the German Cup final and losing a crucial league game against Leverkusen has again triggered a controversial debate about the future of one of the country's most prominent sides and its coach.
32 conceived goals in 21 games point at the gist of the matter. While Borussia's highly talented squad has scored the league's most goals (59), the 2012 German champion is suffering from a somewhat strange disease.
"Since I am a coach, I have rarely been coaching a team with similar difficulties," coach Lucien Favre complained. Mysterious setbacks follow enchanting performances. Season goals seem to get out of hands.
Having invested around 50 million euro's in the recent winter break for Erling Haaland (Salzburg) and Emre Can (Juventus) hasn't solved the problems.
Long-term injuries of vital figures such as Marco Reus and Julian Brandt have increased the turmoil; both German internationals are to miss the Paris game next week.
Swiss coach Favre failed to find a solution to the team's inconsistency despite several attempts to change tactical systems. In three away games in 2020, Dortmund conceived ten goals. "We need someone to organize the thing," sports director Sebastian Kehl stressed.
It might be expecting too much from new arrival Can, acquired as the team's new warrior, to get down to the team's weakness after only a few weeks. But answers nevertheless seem needed quickly.
"The team has enormous potential but has to learn to play games much more recklessly," Can commented. The German international demanded a "dirty approach" as "you have to sweep the place at times."
"We can be a top international side. But we are not if we leave things to our opponent every time, "Mats Hummels underlined.
Dortmund's managing director Michael Zorc is talking about "a familiar problem" and described the team as "drippy, too convenient and slow."
While Favre appears helpless, the tabloid Bild assumed the 62-year-old manager might be approaching his dismissal latest at the end of the season if no significant upswing can be achieved shortly. The sports magazine Sport-Bild said the decision has already been made to end collaboration with Favre.
With Favre under fire, unpleasant balance sheets drop back on the players' shoulders. "It's a matter of the entire team; we don't only talk about the back-row," Kehl added, demanding "awareness from everyone to return to the required fighting spirit."
Considering the fact that Dortmund in the past decade only managed to stay below the mark of 30 conceived season goals when winning its two national Championships (2011/2012), might tell the story of the 2019/2020 campaign at an early stage.
According to several media reports, Dortmund officials refused to comment on Favre's future.
The Swiss is facing two assumedly decisive games as Borussia is crossing swords with Eintracht Frankfurt this Friday evening before meeting its former coach Thomas Tuchel in charge of Paris St Germain.
Favre recommended keeping the ball instead of thoughtlessly rushing forward might be a good idea. Whether or not the coach's advice is the solution would seem doubtful.