Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels did not hold back on his disappointment following BVB’s 1-1 draw with Sevilla in the Champions League and the missed opportunity to qualify early for the next stage. The Schwarzgelben captain openly criticised his team- something he should be free to do according to club advisor Matthias Sammer.
Despite winning the reverse fixture 4-1 last week at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium, Dortmund struggled at times at the Signal Iduna Park and could only emerge with a 1-1 draw. A win would have seen them through to the next stage with two games to spare alongside Manchester City.
“It was not a good game from us” Hummels moaned after the final whistle. “After going 1-0 down, we started to press and pressed better at some point. In this phase, we forced Sevilla into many simple possession giveaways and were dominant for a few minutes.
“After half-time, we gave at least 20 balls away easily again and allowed the game to become completely open – completely unnecessary against an unsettled team in front of 80,000 at home, because we simply gave away the ball unnecessarily. They were happy with the 1-1 here. We didn’t manage to apply pressure with the ball and instead lost the ball all the time; we always played into tight spaces rather than making them run.
“Football is actually a very simple game, and we always ruin it for ourselves. Some need to get it out of their heads that football needs to be sexy, that successful football needs to be flick-touch-one-two-three in the space of five minutes; instead, a player needs to the right thing all the time and not just the special thing sometimes. I felt it got a bit hectic towards the end and we became passive instead of continuing to apply pressure.”
Without naming names, Hummels has called out his teammates who kept giving the ball away and trying to unnecessarily play “sexy football.” There will be some who feel he should keep his criticism ‘in-house,’ but Borussia Dortmund advisor Matthias Sammer is not one of them.
“The fact is that one or the other player, one has been there a little longer, the other came after the 2-2 win against Bayern thought that we had five points in our account. But there was only one. In the end we only drew twice at home. The question then is how to deal with it and how you act.
“In sporting terms, we missed a lot of things. We didn’t follow certain paths with the ball. It wasn’t a homogeneous line-up in terms of togetherness.
“Mats Hummels is a world champion and a leading player, he has to be able to speak freely here and he’s dissatisfied – and not just him, us too.”