Borussia Dortmund might soon be facing major changes being eliminated in the Champions League quarterfinals after 5-2 loss on aggregate to AS Monaco. The future of head coach Thomas Tuchel will soon have to be discussed along with the club's squad. But before the BVB management take action, two vital problems will have to be solved.
The club needs to develop a strategy to deal with the consequences of the bomb attack on the team bus ten days ago which could lead to a widespread change as far as staff policy is concerned. Most important on the sporting side is whether Tuchel's team can qualify for the next season's Champions League?
If yes, club, team and coach have time to actively shape their future by introducing new players which could mean a new perspective for the future. If not, Tuchel could well leave the club as early as next summer as the 47-year-old is said to be on the list of several European clubs.
Two chances are left after the club for the club having to deal with the consequences of the brutal attack that has shaken the entire club to the bone.
Next Wednesday, Dortmund will meet Bayern Munich in the semifinal of the German Cup. Reaching the final would lead to a motivation boost and be helpful as a therapy. By winning the cup final Dortmund would directly qualify for the Europa League - good but not good enough for a club of its stature.
In the German Bundesliga, five games are left and Dortmund will have to beat their rival for third place TSG Hoffenheim in their home game on May 6 to secure direct Champions League qualification. Coming fourth would mean the club would have to go through an energy-sapping qualifying round with all its uncertainties.
Not being a part of the Champions League would cause substantial problems as the club needs the revenue to run the expensive team and they need the international perspective to develop its highly-talented team. Dortmund' s recent results are a clear indication that they will also have to make changes to the often unsatisfactory defense in order to find a balance with the excellent attacking abilities.
Dortmund's bosses like CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke and director Michael Zorc will have to find additional quality in addition to the new arrivals in summer, Oemer Toprak (Bayer Leverkusen) and Mahmoud Dahoud (Borussia Moenchengladbach),.
The fact, that German football, for the first time in eight years, is not represented in the Champions League semi-finals only affects Borussia marginally - it is more of a problem for ambitious Bayern Munich. Dortmund's campaign can be seen as a success considering the consequences of the bomb attack. To be eliminated in the last eight meets expectations.
The circumstances remain curious and tragic. Dortmund had to play the first leg 23 hours after having the bomb attack leaving Spanish defender Marc Bartra badly injured. Coach Tuchel called that game the most redundant game of Champions League history.
In Monaco, it became obvious that the therapy measures the club initiated are not over. As the team intended to take off from the team hotel in Monaco to face the second leg game, it was stopped by police and had to remain in the bus for 17 minutes being left in uncertainty about the reasons. French authorities only explained it was due to security reasons.
Tuchel called the incident in advance of the club's 100th Champions League match highly insensible. "When we thought about football before, nobody was thinking about football afterwards. The incident made dark memories come up again, we were left alone with mixed feelings," said the Dortmund coach. Considering the circumstances the team deserves a compliment Tuchel added.
The second leg strategy chosen by coach Tuchel turned out to be wrong one as Tuchel left key-figures such as Ousmane Dembele and Cristian Pulisic on the bench for kick-off to substitute them later in the game. In as early as the 26th minute Tuchel had to revise his strategy. But it was already too late as Monaco were 2-0 up. Therefore, the second leg was not a good omen when it comes to Tuchel's future in Dortmund.
Meanwhile, the Director of Sport Zorc made an appeal to club and team to accept the difficult situation and concentrate on the future. Things could not be changed or reset Zorc said. Therefore club and team would have to face the remaining challenges for the season and prepare their minds for the future.