Borussia Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp is not happy with the state of his side ahead of the clash against Arsenal in the Champions League next week.
BVB have been hit by a string of unfortunate injuries at the start of this season, which have placed Klopp under pressure to churn out results to stop the German giants from falling behind their main rivals.
Marco Reus, arguably Dortmund’s best player, has an ankle injury and Ciro Immobile is touch and go to be fit for a Bundesliga game against Freiburg tomorrow.
The aim as Klopp sees it ahead of the Arsenal match is to secure some stability.
“Everything is far from perfect but we've got to stabilise our game while we collect results. Most likely we have to do that with a new player in the starting line-up who will have to reclaim his self-assurance as well,” said Klopp.
Add to the mix the fact Arsenal have a very positive recent record in Germany and Klopp is staring at huge pressure before the season has even really got going.
The Gunners have recent wins in Germany against Bayern Munich and Klopp’s Dortmund, which will give them confidence heading to the country next week.
Klopp has suggested that Shinji Kagawa is the man who will replace Marco Reus while he’s out injured, but even using the former Manchester United midfielder creates a problem for Klopp.
“Now we could have had the time for it, but now Marco Reus is injured. Of course we've got Shinji Kagawa as well but he hasn't played with the team yet.”
Kagawa gained a move to United for his performances in central midfield but he barely featured under Louis van Gaal, which led to his return and also means he’s likely to be below required match fitness levels.
Which ever side Dortmund put out against Arsenal next week, the match won’t be easy because Klopp has instilled certain values onto his current crop of players such as the value of hard work and a good team spirit.
That has the ability to inspire Dortmund’s stars to stay one level ahead of their European rivals even if they are missing a key player or players for the visit of Arsene Wenger’s side.