The warning signs were there since last season itself, and Lucien Favre’s time at Borussia Dortmund has finally come to an end. The club announced that they had parted ways with the manager after the team lost 5-1 to Stuttgart at home.
“It is very difficult to take this step,” sporting director Michael Zorc said. “But we believe because of the negative developments lately that there is a need to act.”
“We are all grateful to Lucien Favre for his excellent work over the past two-and-a-half-year, in which he and his team won two runner-up championships. As a professional and as a person, Lucien Favre is beyond any doubt,” Dortmund chairman Hans-Joachim Watzke said in a statement.
Favre’s version of the black and yellow club has been a very steady one, and the club have managed to build on their reputation as the nice guys in Germany during the Swiss coach’s time in charge. Despite managing to bring through many prolific young talents through, Favre’s Dortmund clearly lacked the killer instinct to win the bigger, much more evenly contested matches.
They regularly had a tough time breaking down defensively resolute sides who sat deep and didn’t get on the ball at all. Furthermore, the team also slipped up rather often to the underdogs going into the game.
While Favre has managed to get the squad somewhere, the next step is to kill off matches that must be won in order to win silverware. That is something that coaches like Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp and Hansi Flick have regularly shown during their time in Deutschland.
On the back of three consecutive home defeats, and only one win in their last five league games, the decision was right for the long-term project. With world-class young players like Haaland, Sancho, Brandt, Reyna and Thorgan Hazard at the club, there is plenty of reason to expect more. And that will no doubt be the most important lookout for the higher authorities at the club.