Lucien Favre is coaching for his future at Borussia Dortmund. Entering his third season with the Black and Yellows, the 62-year-old is starting his final contract year. According to Sport Bild, the Dortmund front office is only ready to offer the Swiss an extension if he wins the championship this season.
If the reporting is true, it raises an important question: Have Dortmund already made up their mind about Favre? After all, Bayern Munich, who CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke dubbed “perhaps the best Bayern team of all time”, are once again the team to beat after they secured the treble with frightening dominance. Bookmakers SBD say that FCB’s probability to win their ninth consecutive Bundesliga crown is at 85.7%. Meanwhile, BVB remain right behind with odds at 9/2 to win their first title since 2012. An implied probability of 18.2%.
Thus, it is unsurprising that Favre is making his own demands public, asking for essentially two competitive starting XIs. Dortmund would need another centre-back, left-back, winger and centre-forward for his “B-Team”.
Nico Schulz, Marius Wolf are available as left-back and winger respectively at press time, however, fail the “competitive” descriptor in the coach’s eyes. Though his sporting director is unlikely to fulfil his wishes. “The situation in the transfer market isn’t a bowl of cherries due to the corona-crisis. We especially have to keep an eye on the economic aspects of the club,” Micheal Zorc said, adding: “I think we’re set up well. It’s now on the coach on how he deals with this squad.”
Are Dortmund setting themselves up for drama?
Considering that Bayern Munich are likely to become stronger in their second year under Hansi Flick, BVB may have deliberately set an impossible benchmark for their coach.
Favre, meanwhile, is publicly pushing for players of higher quality — with the side-effect of having an excuse should he not get the players he seeks. Will he continue to publicly air his grievances in the likely case of Bayern once again running away with the Bundesliga, knowing his own fate is sealed? Will Dortmund look to install a new coach before the end of the season to give the next candidate a headstart? Setting outsized expectations is hardly ever a healthy practice. Schalke 04 stand as a deterring example.
BVB may be well-advised to refute the claim of an ultimatum for Favre. After all, they’re a serious club that evaluates the performance of the head coach with a sound perspective, right?