Borussia Dortmund | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 12.08.2008
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Borussia Dortmund

Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp at a press conference

Can "Kloppo" breathe life back into Dortmund?

Dortmund has the most passionate fans in the league, and this season they have arguably its most passionate coach: Juergen Klopp. "Kloppo," as he's known to supporters, led tiny Mainz to the first division and kept them there for a few years -- no small achievement. Now he'll have to show he can have similar success and one of the league's largest and most contentious clubs.

Klopp should be able to engineer an improvement on last season's desultory 13th place finish. Midfielder Tamas Hajnal will be a good addition, if he continues the form he showed last season in Karlsruhe. Defenders Neven Subotic and Felipe Santana have also been brought in to address Dortmund's main weakness.

But Dortmund's back four weren't just bad last year. They were dire, letting in a league-worst 62 goals and fixing a hole that big is likely to take more than one season. Also their strikers are nowhere near what they were when Dortmund was winning titles. Expect respectable progress but no miraculous return to greatness from Klopp's charges.

Major arrivals: Neven Subotic, Felipe Santana, Patrick Owomoyela, Tamas Hajnal, Nuri Sahin

Major departures: Martin Amedick, Philipp Degen, Christian Woerns