When Dortmund lost 2-1 to Stuttgart in the Bundesliga three weeks ago, I think many of us had a hard time believing what we saw. A side that was almost relegated last season dominated Dortmund from start to finish. Edin Terzic, rightfully so, claimed that his side wasn’t good enough in his post match press conference. Therefore, many of us had probably hoped that he had done some homework for a chance of revenge against Stuttgart in the DFB Pokal. Sadly, history seemed to repeat itself as Dortmund once again were played off the field 2-0 by an aggressive, quick-playing Stuttgart side with seemingly no breaks.
Here are my reactions from tonight’s Pokal exit:
How Will Terzic Explain This?
You know what I’m tired of? Hearing about how “we weren’t hungry enough” and that “we weren’t good against the ball” and that “we have to do better”. What I miss from Terzic at this point in time is some honesty, no matter how brutal it might be. It can’t be a coincidence that his team rarely can string more than three non-backwards passes together over 180 minutes of football against Stuttgart. I’m tired of Terzic seemingly gaslighting the entire fanbase by claiming that his team should have gotten away with something, being it against Stuttgart last time out or Leverkusen on the weekend. Being 10 points behind the league leaders and out of the DFB Pokal before Christmas is dreadful, there’s no way around it. Terzic has been with this side for too long for it to still be an absolute Jekyll & Hyde team, and with performances like these, having advanced in the Champions League fills me with imposter syndrome. I don’t know how Terzic is planning on explaining this or which narrative he’ll use, but for starters, it would suit him to take some direct responsibility.
Injuries, Injuries, Injuries
Losing the match in this manner is bad, but it’s even worse when several players are injured. Moukoko, Sabitzer, Wolf and Julian Ryerson all appeared to be injured to some degree. Only Ryerson’s injury looked somewhat severe (based on how he limped off), but this squad is already thin enough as it is. Let’s just hope that Terzic doesn’t need to call up the entire youth team to sit on the bench against Leipzig on Saturday. Speaking of Leipzig...
This Level Won’t Hold up Against RB Leipzig
Currently, RB Leipzig seems to be Dortmund’s direct competitor for the 4th Champions League spot. I don’t see Leverkusen trailing off at all, Bayern is Bayern, and while Stuttgart could potentially begin to show some weaknesses, their stats aren’t really pointing in that direction. This means that the match against Leipzig is a real six pointer, and while Leipzig are only one point ahead of BVB, they are better in every metric. I named this run the run of death for a reason, because it might be the death any leftover optimism in the BVB camp if the team can’t manage to grind out some better performances before we all head home for the Christmas holidays.
Other Small Observations
- Malen was completely invisible after being subbed on. Some rumors suggest that he want out of Dortmund. Let’s hope that he can at least contribute until the summer then.
- Playing Salih Özcan and Emre Can clearly is very revealing in terms of how Terzic wanted to approach this game, and with that I mean by not attacking. The setup reminded me very much of the one against PSG. That’s kinda sad.
- I don’t think we need better players as much as we need a new tactical approach. If it comes from Terzic binning his current concept (whatever it is?) or a new coach, I don’t care. Because currently, Dortmund are playing the worst football (also statistically) that they've played for since Stögerball.
I don’t even know man. Let out your thoughts in the comments below. I’ll join and we’ll be angry together. It’ll be fun!