Sven Bender is starting his sixth season and Marcel Schmelzer is even going into his seventh season with Borussia Dortmund. The new manager will bring about some changes, which will apply to the way the two defensive specialists play. Both are back again in full swing after a season that was marred by a few injury set-backs.

Boris Rupert reports from Bad Ragaz

Sven Bender has this to say about Thomas Tuchel: “before training he makes it all seem like fun and then it’s our job to make that happen. The Head Coach goes into real detail and at the same time he tries to show us everything. It is a lot of fun, but it is also strenuous. He does not hold back with criticism if he sees that you can improve on something.”

This is because there are some new changes within the system. Schmelzer explains: “we try to position ourselves further up the pitch with the two outside defenders, so that this creates space for the holding player and the two midfielders. This means that they can move the ball from the back to the front.” Bender is then the sole defensive holding player in a 4-1-4-1 formation or in a 4-4-2 with a diamond shaped midfield. This is after the 4-2-3-1 system was the BVB system dating back to the autumn of 2008. “There is more responsibility to be in control of the centre of the pitch than if you have a player playing beside you. It is a different system, but the basics don’t change: challenging for the ball in front of the defense and joining in the play. The game is the same, it’s just a different approach.”

It doesn’t have to be a disadvantage that Borussia Dortmund have their first competitive match again in six days. Sven Bender said: “we can also use these games to make sure we feel more secure. In addition, this very early start to the season can also be positive for us.” They travel to Klagenfurt next Thursday. Marcel Schmelzer: “Our aim is to get to the group stage, so it doesn’t really matter who you play against. But of course the trip to Austria will be easier than a trip to Belarus”


BVB total!-Video: The complete press conference with Marcel Schmelzer and Sven Bender, FOC for everyone