How much influence Edin Terzic (39) has on Borussia Dortmund’s success with his decisions is best seen on the sidelines. If the BVB coach intervenes from outside, the game and especially the result changes like no other Bundesliga coach. He has already replaced four goals and two assists in his first seven league games, as well as another two assists in two Champions League games. In second place and three points ahead of Bayern, BVB is right in the middle of the title race. Because Terzic has a masterful touch!
He was most recently spot on in the derby against Schalke when he brought Youssoufa Moukoko (17) off the bench to score the 1-0 win for Anthony Modeste (34) in the 64th minute. Terzic had planned this wildcard success long before kick-off. As so often, he ordered the talented striker into a one-on-one meeting and explained to him why he would only leave him on the bench for the eighth time in a row – and what he would ask of him after the substitution.
“We want to see Youssoufa in the big stadium that we see every day in training in Brackel,” were the words Terzic addressed to Moukoko. The order: don’t think too much and look for the direct route into the penalty area. He struck 15 minutes after being substituted (79th minute) – also because Moukoko had repeatedly worked extra shifts in training and honed his header technique with experienced assistant coach Peter Hermann (70).
Does he have what they need?
Discussion on Zidane and Bayern!
Moukoko has been the most reliable player off the bench with two wildcard goals and an assist. He was most valuable in the 3-1 win in Freiburg. Terzic replaced Marius Wolf (27), Jamie Bynoe-Gittens (18), Moukoko and Julian Brandt (26) one after the other when the score was 0-1. Result: Moukoko first served Bynoe-Gittens, scored himself after a Brandt pass and eventually won the ball for Schütze Wolf.
When Thorgan Hazard (29) was injured after 23 minutes in the Champions League match against Copenhagen, Terzic also reacted correctly and brought in Giovanni Reyna (19). First he made it 2-0 for Raphaël Guerreiro (28), then 3-0 for Jude Bellingham (19).
Terzic’s Joker was sweating, although he was never able to use his full bench potential due to numerous injuries. The coach made only 30 changes in the league. For comparison: Urs Fischer (56) from Union Berlin comes in at 34.
In the first balance after ten competitive matches this season, Terzic is already himself devising wrong decisions: for example, because he decided to replace Emre Can (28), who played in the late three goals against so bad. And because he left the flat Bellingham on the track to finish.
How else has he changed BVB? And where is the problem?
► Play style: He stopped the flow of 52 goals conceded last season with new defensive personnel. 9:7 goals in seven games may seem like pure minimalism, but they represent the desired stability. Crucial to this: Terzic moderated the competition between defensive stars Mats Hummels (33), Niklas Süle (27) and Nico Schlotterbeck (22) internally from the start without background noise – even managing to turn Hummels into a reliable top player again after numerous mistakes last season to form. Terzic also bolstered the currently injured captain Marco Reus (33), who scored the important 1-0 in three competitive matches. However, he has not yet completed the exciting offensive football that has been announced.
► Mentality: The long-term debate at Dortmund is becoming increasingly obsolete due to Terzic’s hard-fought football with many sprints and duels, but it has not yet been definitively eliminated. At the beginning of the season, Terzic said: “If at the end of the day a team is better – regardless of the competition – then we have to accept it. But what we find difficult to accept is when someone is more hungry or harder work – that cannot happen to us, and we will remind the team of that every day in training.” The latter happened after the 2-3 win against Bremen and the 0-3 win in Leipzig, when Terzic confronted his stars directly with their mistakes, especially in one-on-one conversations.