Faithful observers of BVB have their timers set for İlkay Gündoğan and Neven Subotić’s eventual return to action, but do not count on the duo to lead the Die Borussen anywhere close to the Promised Land.

It should come as no surprise that the abilities of the duo were missed immensely last night against Bayern. The fundamental link the two would provide to this BVB team was non-existent; the link between the defense and the first person to take charge of the midfield.

Then again, the erratic Jürgen Klopp would try to play the card of either Sahin, Grosskreutz or Bender could replace Gündoğan’s even if his arms and legs were all chopped off the previous evening.

Klopp’s relentless urge for prominence is not well suited when you have 4 attacking minded midfielders, and that on-pitch agitation is not at all pacified by his team’s current streak. But it was entertaining to see his men consistently test Guardiola’s defense.

Moreover, Nuri Sahin’s minimal contribution in recent games probably does not justify his true capabilities, especially when compared to his role in the similar fixture earlier in the year.

Nuri Sahin's was a standout against Bayern at home last season.
Nuri Sahin’s was a standout against Bayern at home last season.

Last season, Sahin somehow found a way to make most of his second spell in the club. With a 77 percent pass completion rate, going along with 5 attempted shots on goal, he was the most effective person on the field for BVB.

Not the Sahin we saw last season.
Not the Sahin we saw last season.

However, it would seem foolish to bet against Sahin, as his persona suggests he can will his way through any defense and perform better than ever upon taking the pitch.

It’s reasonable to at least expect some sort of fatigue from a team that has reached new heights in global football, which means vintage BVB might not truly grace us with its stimulating style of play in each and every game. However, we can say that the level of orchestrated and systematic play that the Germans are displaying is quite pleasing to the eye.

Now, contradicting my earlier statement, it’s fun to envision Gündoğan and Subotić eviscerating Bundesliga to add BVB as legit title contenders, and surely there presence will drive that ambition towards the title.

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