And there you have it folks, Borussia Dortmund head into the winter break with two consecutive losses. I could just make this article into one big pile of jokes and irony, but I honestly think the situation is currently a bit too delicate for that. The Black and Yellows were outclassed by Daniel Farke’s men yesterday, and Edin Terzic will surely have something to think about in the coming months.
The whole team seemed very disjointed today, and it almost felt like some players were already boarding the plane to Qatar. I want to give a quick shout out to Marcus Thuram. As bad as our defense was today, he was brilliant. Yes - he should have had another goal, or maybe even two, but he put himself in dangerous situations time and time again - something Youssoufa Moukoko wasn’t able to.
Here are my observations from yesterday’s loss.
A Telling End to a Very Mediocre Hinrunde
There are no excuses for the fact that Dortmund now find themselves in 6th place at the end of Matchday 15. In my eyes, the team has had mediocre showings week in and week out this Hindrunde, and apart from a few good games (against Manchester City and Stuttgart), the team hasn’t been able to find any consistency so far this season.
I don’t want to press the eject button on Edin Terzic’s seat just yet, and I don’t want to go full code red either, but let me say this - it’s pretty damn close. The board has never spent as much money as they did in the previous transfer window, and yes, I know that Sebastien Haller is out, and sure things could have been different with him, but I’m also 100% certain that he can’t fix what seems to be a structural problem in the way we approach matches, which leads me to my next point.
The Team is Making Football Harder Than It Has To Be
One player I still fully trust in this team is Mats Hummels, and you want to know why? Because he clearly knows that the problem that BVB is currently facing is structural. In a recent interview with Amazon Prime, Hummels made the following comment:
“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.”
The “playing into tight spaces” has been on full display for half a season now, and I personally believe it’s one the reasons why BVB aren’t able to score as many goals as they probably should. It’s also the reason why we conceded four goals today. We commit so many players to see out our attacks, but it’s hard to utilize these players when you’re playing 3 foot passes all the time. Many of the players have been primed to play this style of football (Reus, Brandt and Guerreiro in particular), but players like Malen, Adeyemi and Modeste don’t fit that model at all.
I think every BVB fan can recognize this, and what bothers me the most is that it is the job of the coach to fix these things. I don’t think Terzic is stupid. He clearly knows that something is wrong. The question is whether he is capable of fixing the issue. We’ve lost games to Köln, Werder Bremen, Union Berlin, Wolfsburg and Gladbach this season, and while none of these teams are straight up bad, many of them have had very rough seasons themselves before eventually winning against Dortmund. In my opinion, this can’t be a coincidence.
And now onto something that has nothing to do with our coach.
Trash Individual Performances Makes a Trash Result
This was probably the worst collection of individual performances that BVB have put together all season. Almost no players held their own, and I personally think that only Malen, Brandt and Kobel put in a shift. Bellingham was totally gassed, and Schlotti was already on the desert-bound airplane. Our whole defensive line was more than disjointed, and Marcus Thuram was able to make a run through to goal whenever he felt like it.
I don’t think the xG of 2.53 - 3.35 can be held against the performance. Yes - Malen could have had that goal on another day, but when the team decides to check out after 45 minutes, you have got to ask questions about the players and the coach’s ability to motivate them.
At this point, I think the break comes at the right time. Something clearly needs to be discussed internally, because this Hinrunde has been below par according to almost every metric out there.
I want to apologize for this being a poop-post. I’ll always support this team until the end, and I actually like Terzic very much. But liking Terzic and him being a good coach are two separate things. I want him to succeed more than anyone, but I also won’t allow myself to be blinded by “The Terzic Story”, because no player or coach is greater than the club.
Give me your thoughts in the comments! I don’t want to hear anything about the game, because we all know it was a stinker. How long until your Terzic Tolerance Meter runs out?