Borussia Dortmund coach Peter Stoger suggested that the hammering his team suffered in Saturday’s 6-0 loss away to Bayern Munich may have been for the best.
Second-placed Schalke’s win earlier in the day meant Bayern could not seal the title against Dortmund, but they showed no sign of any disappointment as they netted five times before half-time alone.
Having beaten Dortmund at home 5-1 and 4-1 in the league in the previous two seasons, Bayern’s margin of victory was even greater this time as James Rodriguez, Thomas Muller and Franck Ribery also scored with Robert Lewandowski claiming a hat-trick in a 6-0 triumph.
Dortmund are focusing on securing Champions League for next season, and Stoger said the result would at least provide a good learning experience in the months to come.
“The ambition of this team is to be second, to secure a Champions League spot but it will be very tight until the end this season,” Stoger told Sky after the game. “Maybe the shellacking was a good thing for the sake of assessing the situation correctly [in regards to the summer] so that no stone will be left unturned.”
Asked whether he would include his own position as manager being up for discussion, the Austrian replied: “[The club] has to figure out which adjustments to make and there are big adjustments to be made, in my opinion. The position of the coach is certainly part of the equation and it eventually has to be assessed as well.
“The club has to define which sort of football it should stand for, determine what the philosophy is and then take a detailed look at what kind of players are needed for that philosophy. We have many ways to play successfully. We have technically gifted players, we have pacey players that can play on the break.
“I’m just saying what has to happen in order to build a team that will meet the ambition and to achieve the Champions League qualification. If that assessment means that another guy is necessary for the job then that’s fine by me. It’s not really about me.
“I’m glad and proud to be working here but my life isn’t completely defined by me standing on the sideline at BVB. I’ve done so many things in my life, I’m a very serene, happy person.”
Stoger agreed the Black and Yellows were comprehensively outplayed by the hosts, lacking the individual class, attitude and tactical finesse to keep the league leaders at bay.
“It wasn’t the first time this season that the basic virtues, on which former successes were built, lacked entirely,” Stoger said. “Bayern pounced on every mistake we made. They intentionally let us have the ball to lurk for errors. Additionally, we committed individual errors where we gifted goals to Bayern.”
It was Gonzalo Castro who had failed to track Rodriguez and when the Dortmund midfielder attempted to nutmeg the same player, Bayern broke to score a 23rd-minute third. Castro was substituted for Julian Weigl shortly afterwards but there was to be no let-up from the hosts as they scored twice more on the stroke of half-time.
“It’s not just about those situations, though,” Stoger said. “Such a result unveils the underlying issues. This is a team with the ambition to be in second place but at the moment they do not match that at all.”
Stefan Buczko covers Borussia Dortmund for ESPN FC. Twitter: @StefanBuczko.