By Oliver Trust
BERLIN, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) — Most Borussia Dortmund fans go into raptures about the year 2012 and April 11 in particular. They talk about a heavenly feeling and a unique atmosphere amongst the 80,000 crowd.
Six years ago, the Black and Yellow supporters felt as if they were in paradise as their club not only won the German title for the last time but managed to beat Bayern Munich 1-0 in the vital home game. The clash is said to have finally decided the tight title race.
Now in 2018 fans feel reminded of the glorious era ahead of the first leg of this season’s German Clasico that will be played on Saturday evening in Dortmund. Like back in 2012, their team is top of the Bundesliga table when crossing swords with their closest rivals.
The fans of the 2012 champions have been dreaming of a revival since 2103 but have always been disappointed. Coaches came and were sacked after they failed to lead the team back to success. Now the club seems to have found a coach that can make the dreams come true.
Lucien Favre might be the total contrast to the emotional Juergen Klopp who is currently the Liverpool manager. The 61-year-old Swiss appears more like a learned professor. When praised for his work, the two-time Swiss Champion answers with a shy smile.
But Favre seems to be the man club and fans have been waiting for after Thomas Tuchel, Peter Bosz and Peter Stoeger failed to come up with the goods.
“He is the man behind our current successful and inspiring football,” commented Dortmund’s sports director Michael Zorc.
When Favre came “he had visions, and he still has. Everyone was impressed by his football thinking and getting things done”. Favre, Zorc says, has given the team confidence.
In contrast to Klopp, who can erupt like a volcano, Favre is the modest type of coach but is no less obsessed with football and coaching. But he follows a different approach.
The Liverpool coach tries to provoke as much emotion as possible. Favre seems to pay close attention to every little detail.
After watching a video clip, he told one of his defenders to open his hands when defending. Clenching them made players tight and less flexible when moving around.
“When we get the ball from the right he tells us to take it with the left foot to save time and react quicker,” midfielder and former Chinese Super League player Axel Witsel reports.
Getting the basics right is vital in Favre’s world. He is at one and the same time both a highly demanding coach and a caring father figure. The Swiss has convinced the team of the importance of a well-structured defense and one that “allows us as much freedom in our attacking game as we need” striker Marco Reus emphasized.
Their coach’s character seems to be rubbing off on all the Dortmund players.
“Everyone listens when he explains things because he always goes into detail. You have the impression it helps, and it does, it helps you to improve,” Belgian international Witsel stated.
Belief has returned to Borussia Dortmund. “The team follows the coach unconditionally,” Zorc commented.
Favre says he always has the big picture in mind. If winning a title should become a possibility, his players have to be aware that they have a lot of work ahead of them before they can lift the trophy.
In advance of the clash against Bayern, Favre is far from bubbling over with enthusiasm. He rarely spoke about beating the side that has reigned German football for the last six years. Instead he talked about “defending cleverly, pressing cleverly and counter attacking cleverly.”