Auburn Hills, MI USA
Teams: A.S. Roma, FC Barcelona, Bayer Leverkusen
I think there are several reasons. At first, I can mention the players who failed this season: Fredi Bobic, Victor Ikpeba, Dédé, Evanilson and in the recent games Jens Lehmann.
Fredi Bobic for me was the biggest disappointment of this season - hew was acquired as top goalscorer by Dortmund, he played awfully almost all season long.
About Victor Ikpeba you have to say, that he never was given a fair chance, even when all the other strikers (Bobic, Herrlich, Reina) were completely out of form.
Dédé played a great season 1998/99, but he completely lost his form during the summer. Dédé together with Evanilson should form a dangerous pair on the wing, but all they produced were defensive mistakes. People in Germany think, the cause for their failure are integration problem, but why did Dédé play perfectly in 1998/99?
Another reason for Dortmund's desaster is the lack of a playmaker in the squad. Since Matthias Sammer's injury, they have a clear vacancy on that position. Micky Stevic was acquired from 1860 in January 1999, but he failed. During the summer break, Dortmund manager Michael Maier tried to bring Ciriaco Sforza from Kaiserslautern to Dortmund - without success; so no playmaker in the squad!
One thing I have to add: I had the impression, Dortmund never acted like a team on the field, all the season long. The Dortmund team always looked like a team of eleven individuals. And coach Michael Skibbe was too young to handle this situation. With the age of 33, he was not capable to lead a team of 25 superstars.