After a mediocre first half, Dortmund are hoping new coach Jürgen Röber can breath some life into a promising, but inexperienced squad.
Ebi Smolarek has been typical of Dortmund's stop-start season
Röber, whose contract only runs until the end of the season, claims he doesn't mind being a stop-gap measure. "I'm trying to achieve some short-term success," Röber said. "It's all right if [current Bielefeld coach] Thomas von Heesen takes over in the summer.
Dortmund limped to ninth place in December amidst a series of squabbles between players management and the coaching staff. Röber has to change that.
"I've heard that there are some cliques," Röber said. "They don't have to go out for coffee with each other, but they do need to support each other on the field."
As if to illustrate how difficult Röber's job will be, striker Ebi Smolarek complained this January about having to take a seat on the bench for a friendly in favor of his luckless teammate Nelson Valdez.
Röber worked wonders a few years back at Hertha Berlin, but it's unlikely he will be able to lead Dortmund anywhere near back to its past glory.
Goal: Roman Weidenfeller, Bernd Meier
Defense: Christoph Metzelder, Markus Brzenska, Philipp Degen, Christian Wörns, Marc-André Kruska, Dede, Uwe Hünemeier, Marc Heitmeier
Midfield: Lars Ricken, Florian Kringe, Sebastian Kehl, Mehmet Akgün, Nuri Sahin, Sascha Rammel, Steven Pienaar, Martin Amedick
Strikers: Ebi Smolarek, Matthew Amoah, Sebastian Tyrala, Alexander Frei, Nelson Valdez
(as of January 2007)