Six weeks ago, Manchester City played host to Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League, and we got the scoop on the Black & Yellow from Anders Meincke from Fear the Wall. Now City are headed for the return match at Westfalenstadion. Now we reconnect with Anders to see how Dortmund have fared since.
CITYZENDuck: Since last Dortmund saw City they’ve had mixed results, but they are coming off a 5-0 romp against Stuttgart. How do you feel the season is going for the Yellow Wall?
Anders Meinke: To be honest, Dortmund’s performances have been night and day this season. Some of the new players like Karim Adeyemi and Niklas Süle are still settling in, and it is arguable that Dortmund haven’t quite yet found their playing philosophy under Edin Terzic. The latest 5-0 win against Stuttgart is only the second league match this season that we’ve managed to win by more than one goal.
Quite frankly, our squad has underperformed, but we still have a lot of quality in the team, and especially players Youssoufa Moukoko and Julian Brandt have stepped up as of late. We’ve been having some bad games this season (3-0 loss to Leipzig and 2-0 loss to Union Berlin), but I’m hopeful for the future of this season, and I’m confident that we’ll still be able to make at least top 3.
CD: Jude Bellingham got Dortmund’s lone goal in the first meeting, and his future has been a hot topic for some time. How do the fans feel about the speculation surrounding their young star’s future?
AM: I feel like you’ve gotten used to it at this point. It was the same with Erling Haaland, and it will be the same with whatever star player Dortmund scouts next. I think some fans are quite confident that Jude will be able to stay for at least one more season. The board seem to want to build a team around Jude, and it would not surprise me, if he got offered the captain’s armband from next season.
From my point of view, Jude really likes to be at the club, and he seems like a very genuine and grounded person. You can’t be mad at him, no matter what he chooses. He gives his all for the shirt every game, and he’s our most consistent performer and has been for quite a while.
You can compare it to the Jadon Sancho saga. Everyone knew that Sancho was eventually going to leave, but he always stayed professional on and off the field, and that’s all we can ask for.
CD: Along the same lines, what has been the reaction among supporters to Erling Haaland’s exploits at Man City so far?
AM: I don’t think anyone would have expected Erling Haaland to blow up the Premier League like he has. No player has ever done what he’s currently doing, but I think most fans are happy for him.
Sporting Director Sebastian Kehl has spoken about the tense situation around Haaland, and how it seemingly affected the locker room in the time leading up to the transfer window. Everyone was talking about Haaland at the time, and I think, despite his absolute freakish nature, that it was good that he left, because everyone knew there would be a future without Erling scoring at least 1 goal every match.
CD: And finally, what are your predictions for the second match?
AM: This is a tough one. Manchester City is undoubtedly one of the greatest teams in the world, but they have shown cracks as of late. The boys of Dortmund are still very inconsistent in their performances, so it will probably be a coinflip whether they fight home a heroic result or get run over. The spirits are high after the win against Stuttgart, and if we can get a draw against Bayern Munich, we certainly can manage something similar against the mighty Cityzens. I predict a 2-2 draw at the Westfalenstadion.
There you have it Cityzens. Thanks once again to Anders and everyone at Fear the Wall. You can keep up with all things Borussia Dortmund, including the exploits of young Jude Bellingham, by following @FearTheWall.