This season has been called as a ‘transition period’ by many Bundesliga followers. Its a break from their usual best, with players now falling away from being at their peak and new talent slowly breaking into the first team.
With Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery leaving at the end of the season, many other players are past their best at the Bavarian club. Mats Hummels is not the player he was. Thomas Muller isn’t at his best. Manuel Neuer’s injury issues have seen him fall of a cliff. Jerome Boateng has lost his abilities and Javi Martinez has age catching up too. Xabi Alonso and Phillip Lahm has retired.
The side has upcoming players in the team now. And they’re seen as the future of the club. But the transition has not been smooth, as Bayern struggled in the Champions League and early on in the season. Niklas Sule, Kingsley Coman and Leon Goretzka represent a new era in the club, but Bayern have already signed Benjamin Pavard and Lucas Hernandez to shore up the transition. And are being linked with Kai Havertz, Julian Brandt and Timo Werner.
It seems certain that the transition will smoothen out by next season, but the Bundesliga finale on Saturday will be enough to prove to many that Bayern will still be the dominant team in Germany even during a period of transition.
While Bayern themselves have not done as well as they should have, Borussia Dortmund have not helped themselves at all. They let big leads slip even when they have been in big winning positions. Their soft underbelly has been exposed on so many occasions. And the 5-0 loss to Bayern was a clear reflection of that.
The lack of experience and the ability to grind out results has affected BVB. Not just that, injuries to key players has not helped at all. Even when the biggest opposition was in transition and was enduring tough times, Dortmund could never taken advantage of their weaknesses. They were brilliant going forward, with Jadon Sancho, Christian Pulisic and Marco Reus in full flow. But as soon as Abdou Diallo sustained an injury, Dortmund began slipping up in the title race. They got trounced 4-0 on aggregate by even finalists Tottenham in the Round of 16 of the Champions League and that was a clear proof of that.
They will be presented with one big chance today though, to prove that they can be the best in the country only when the other side is in transition. Dortmund have the foundation to go far by the time Bayern completely develop into a beast from the next season on. But the time can’t be as good as this to regain the crown ever since Jurgen Klopp helped them do so with a talented bunch of players of his own.
But Bayern will have a chance to prove that even in what has been dubbed as transition, they have the ability to be good enough to be the Champions of Germany.