What do Jürgen Klopp, Thomas Tuchel and Lucien Favre have in common? One, they’re top of their respective leagues with Liverpool, Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund. Two, all three have starred in the BVB dugout.
The Signal Iduna Park has undoubtedly been the cradle for some of Europe’s top coaches, but, as bundesliga.com explains, Die Schwarzgelben may just have unearthed their best one yet…
Dortmund's coaching cradle
Klopp’s Liverpool side occupy top spot of the English Premier League, while Tuchel’s Paris Saint-Germain already look to have the title sealed after just 16 matches where they find themselves 10 points clear of second in France’s Ligue 1.
Both made their mark at Dortmund after working their magic at Mainz. Incumbent coach Favre is now doing the same, the only difference is his path took him to BVB via the Swiss leagues, Hertha Berlin, Borussia Mönchengladbach and Ligue 1's Nice - but the short-term results have been the same, if not better.
Free-scoring and watertight
A champion of rampant attacking football from the Klopp and Tuchel school, Favre has overseen a club record 15-match unbeaten start to the Bundesliga season.
Dortmund have scored 41 goals in that time - Liverpool have 37, a PSG side boasting Neymar and Kylian Mbappe have 49 - and they top the standings, some nine points clear of second-placed Gladbach. They're no slackers at the back either, having conceded just 15 times in as many games.
Favre hasn't won any silverware yet, but the fact he's already outdoing his highly successful predecessors in the Dortmund dugout in terms of raw points bodes very well indeed.
Statistically better than Klopp and Tuchel
With 12 wins and three draws from his first 15 matches as Dortmund chief, Favre has a win percentage of 80 that trumps that of Tuchel (71 per cent) and dwarfs Klopp’s record (43) at the same stage of their debut campaigns at the club.
Tuchel’s Dortmund sat in second, five points behind Bayern Munich after the first 15 games of the 2015/16 season. That was despite notching up 11 wins and two draws of their own, a record that would surely have seen them rein in any other side other than Pep Guardiola’s Bayern who had 13 wins and a draw from their first 15 matches that year.
But they would still have been playing catch-up with Favre’s current team, and Klopp’s men would have been even further back.
Favre's Dortmund: champions elect?
At that stage of their burgeoning existence, Klopp’s Dortmund had lost just three times but struggled to convert draws into victories, with six wins and a further six stalemates positioning them in seventh place.
Both outfits would close the season out in the same position - in sixth and second respectively - which is an encouraging omen for Favre’s consistently brilliant pacesetters in their pursuit of a first league triumph since Klopp led the club to successive crowns between 2010 and 2012.
Dortmund are also going great guns in the UEFA Champions League and DFB Cup. And given the way they have been ruthlessly going about their business on all fronts, there could be more than just the domestic cup Tuchel got his hands on in his final game in charge, in 2017, to celebrate come May.