Hi Adam! You’re one of a few that are a supporter of Sunderland AND Dortmund – how did you come to follow both sides?
I came to support Sunderland in a normal, natural way - I was born in Seaham and the rest of the family supported us. I have been a ‘massive lads fan’ for all of my life.
With Borussia Dortmund, some of my extended family moved to North-West Germany when I was young so I have been visiting that area for a long time. I love Germany, and as I got older, I got more and more interested in the Bundesliga.
During the 2011/12 season, I remember willing Dortmund on. It wasn’t just Jürgen Klopp’s entertaining squad that pulled me in, it was the sheer ‘bright yellow’ passion that surrounds the club. Since that season, I have followed them very keenly. Watching most of their games on TV and occasionally making it to games.
BVB and SAFC are similar in more ways than one. Two historic clubs, deeply connected to their working class roots, with passionate fans. Both have rivals nearby who they absolutely despise (Schalke 04, not Bayern Munich for those that aren’t aware).
Dortmund have been decimated somewhat across the summer by other clubs signing some of their top players. Just how much of an impact has this had on them?
It was disappointing to lose the captain, a long-serving playmaker and arguably the previous campaign’s player of the season all in a short amount of time. Especially Mats Hummels leaving for Bayern, it was hard to take as we seemed to be finally closing the gap on the Bavarians.
In saying that, the club has reinvested that money extremely well. Signing lots of very promising young players as well as the likes of Marc Bartra, Andre Schürrle and, the much-publicised return of Mario Götze. I think the squad is actually stronger than it was last season.
Ji Dong Won… what on earth happened there? Who decided it was a good idea to buy him, and how unsurprised were you that it all went to pot for the South Korean in Germany? I suppose you knew better than most Dortmund fans about what to expect.
I think Klopp signed Ji just to bolster the squad as a third or fourth choice striker. He was on a free and had just finished a successful loan spell at Augsburg, so he looked more suited to the Bundesliga than the Premier League.
He never seemed fit when he signed though; it was like he was carrying a persistent, niggling injury. It didn’t work out but, as mentioned, it was on a free so not much harm done – although I’d have loved another Jiiiiiii moment!
Dortmund have become pioneers in Europe for safe standing. Do you ever see it making a return to English football?
I think the Süd tribune (the yellow wall) shows that safe-standing is exactly that – safe. The atmosphere in the Bundesliga is unrivaled and a major factor of that is the safe-standing. Celtic have introduced it, so it looks like it could return someday. Although you guys should know all the problems SAFC have had with standing in the South Stand etc.
We need players – badly. Who from the Bundesliga could you realistically see moving to a club like Sunderland? Jakub Błaszczykowski was linked last month but he’s just left to join Wolfsburg.
Kuba, as he is affectionately known in Dortmund, would have been a great signing for us. Although I think SAFC are pretty strong in midfield so my suggestions are based on strikers to help Jermain Defoe.
Bas Dost has been linked with the Mags in the past and a move away this summer – Wolfsburg aren’t overly keen on selling him though. The Dutchman has a lot of good attributes for a striker although there are questions about his consistency.
Onto the game on Friday - just how badly are Sunderland going to be tortured?
Ha - I don’t think it will be as bad as you think. While I think both teams will field competitive sides, it will be a week before the season starts so the players may be wary of getting injured.
It will not be quite as intense as a competitive game, which suits Sunderland. BVB have played well so far this pre-season but have looked vulnerable to counter-attacks.
Who are going to be the key players for Dortmund on Friday?
I think most people will be aware of the danger that the likes of Schürrle and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will pose.
However, a name perhaps less known is young, new striker Ousmane Dembélé – he has looked a real handful and scored a great goal against Man United in China. Quick, skillful and not afraid to shoot – Team Kone et al will need all the support they can get keeping him under control if he features.
Similarly, who from Sunderland’s side do you think might cause issues for our opponents?
As I said, I think Dortmund are susceptible to counter attacks so the likes of Fabio Borini and Wahbi Khazri could exploit that.
I know it’s hard to judge pre-season games properly, but can we have a score prediction please?
I think Dortmund’s fire power will be too much for SAFC. My heart wants an entertaining draw my head says 2-1 to the Germans. I desperately wanted to go but rue the fact it’s in bloody rural western Austria at a busy time for me personally.