BVB's 1-0 defeat to Hamburger SV on Matchday 7 was just the latest in a string of below-par domestic displays, and with the side currently down in 13th place, bundesliga.com explores why things are not quite clicking as they should at the Signal Iduna Park…
Dortmund have taken 127 shots on goal over the first seven matchdays - more than anybody else in the league - yet still a whopping 36 shots fewer than at the same stage last season. Of more pressing concern, though, is the fact only 39 have been on target. In other words, only every 14th shot is finding the back of the net for BVB this season and only four clubs (Hannover, Stuttgart, Köln, Hamburg) have needed more efforts to mark their card.
Dortmund's efficiency is certainly not what it was last season, when one in three of their shots on target rippled the net, while this year it is only one in four.
Dortmund's game continues to be characterised by a high amount of effort and intensive pressing. The team have even stepped things up compared to last season, with an average of 121.9 km covered per game in their first seven matches, compared to 117.3 km at the same stage last term. Their average of 258 sprints is also the highest in the league. All this has had to be done with rather limited resources, however, due to the ongoing spate of injuries to high-profile players.
At times Klopp has had to field players who were not 100 per cent fit in order to make up the numbers, such as when he selected (pictured) against Hamburg.
The effort may be spot on, but there has been a noticeable lack of inspiration and creativity in Dortmund's play. Without the ideas and magical touches of the injured , for example, turning defence into attack in the blink of an eye is hard to deliver, particularly when you are faced with compact, deep-lying defences. Against HSV, Dortmund had 60 per cent of the possession, yet most of the time they were keeping the ball among their ranks without really getting anywhere.
Against HSV there were too few players willing to get the ball forward quickly, and the only dangerous moments came when the game was nearing its conclusion - Dortmund's first real chance came in the 72nd minute.
With little coming in the way of captivating build-up play, Dortmund chose an altogether different approach against Hamburg, playing an extraordinary number of high balls. It was a tactic also employed in the Revierderby defeat in which Klopp emphasised his side's attacks down the flanks with crosses fed in to the forwards. However, Dortmund don't do crossing. In the 2014 calendar year they have only scored one goal in the Bundesliga from a cross.
Against Hamburg, this was an approach they attempted 20 times without any success.
As Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang suggested in an exclusive interview with bundesliga.com, Dortmund are currently struggling to keep their focus, and the consequences have frequently been devastating. BVB are giving away possession far too cheaply. For example, against HSV Erik Durm had a pass success rate of just 40 per cent, which meant the majority of his passes resulted in possession being given to a red shirt.
Furthermore, Dortmund tend to lose the ball too frequently when the team are moving forward, an example being , whose misplaced pass near the halfway line led directly to HSV's winner. Individual mistakes have haunted BVB all season, resulting in a third of the goals they have conceded. Prone to mistakes as Klopp's charges currently are, they have yet to keep a single clean sheet this term.
Compiled by Dietmar Nolte