Possibly the biggest story in European football this weekend was Borussia Dortmund’s fall to bottom of the Bundesliga.
Given the team’s massive support, substantial recent success and as being one of the few real challengers to Bayern Munich over recent years, it is not surprising this has been big news.
This is even more so with Jurgen Klopp’s high profile and rumours of interest from Premier League clubs.
All of that has led to some rather strong (almost gleeful) attacks at Klopp and his reputation.
So here’s the Bundesliga table, not very pretty reading for Dortmund fans:
|Position||Team||Played||Won||Drawn||Lost||Goals For||Goals Against||Goal Difference||Points|
But let’s have a look at the underlying stats to see if we can pick out anything that’s going wrong at Dortmund.
Can anyone spot the problem?
(Incidentally, this graph was plotted on my standard dimensions for this and so dominant have Bayern been that they don’t fit on it in EITHER direction!)
So yeah, Dortmund’s PDO is so low they barely fit on the graph. It's just brutal.
I’ve not really seen much of Dortmund this season, so can’t comment too much on whether this is a systems thing of just sheer bad luck, but it’s highly unlikely that the PDO stays THIS low for the rest of the season.
Given how dominant Dortmund are in terms of shots, Klopp's assessment that it’s pretty well governed by bad luck is fairly pragmatic, even sensible, approach to take.
Being a smaller league and shorter season though means teams are much more vulnerable to being devastated by short term slumps like this over the course of a season.
Dortmund’s title hopes are (one would imagine) pretty much shot now, but if they get a rebound of PDO as strong as the fall has been and they could yet challenge for a Champions League spot.
The rest of their underlying numbers are good enough – a sparkling shot share (Corsi/TSR) of 64.4% (third behind Bayern’s 72.7% and Leverkusen’s 69.2%) is testament to that.
The problem is that current second place team Wolfsberg are doing a pretty tidy job themselves too. If they can make up the 12 point gap on Leverkusen in third that would be a remarkable end to the season – though Klopp’s employers may just settle for avoiding relegation at the moment.
|Position||Team||Shots for total||Shots against total||Corsi/TSR||shots on target for total||shots on target against total||Shots on target share||Shooting % For||Save %||PDO|