1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Opinion: Stöger announcement reveals Dortmund's desperation

December 10, 2017

Borussia Dortmund have fired Peter Bosz, who hadn't won a game since October, and replaced him with Peter Stöger, who hasn't won all season. DW's Michael Da Silva thinks it's a bad move.

Borussia Dortmund - Vorstellung Peter Stöger, neuer Trainer
Image: Getty Images/Bongarts/C. Koepsel

Modern football takes no prisoners and the firing of Peter Bosz comes as little surprise.

Bosz had led Borussia Dortmund to just one win in 13 in all competitions and was without a Bundesliga victory since the end of September. The sole win was against third-tier Magdeburg in the German Cup. They were also booted out of the Champions League without winning any of their six games.

The stats are damning and, for a club as big as Dortmund something had to give. By dispensing with the Dutchman, they are attempting to start afresh and salvage their season, even if they are ignoring the deeper problems that exist at the club.

Read more:

Dortmund fire Bosz and appoint Stöger

The numbers that added up to Bosz's dismissal

Opinion: Watzke is Dortmund's problem

In Stöger, Dortmund are hiring a guy who hasn't won a Bundesliga game since May. That was when his Cologne team beat Mainz on the final day of last season and, incidentally, Mainz will be Stöger's first opponents as Dortmund coach when the Bundesliga resumes on Tuesday evening.

Kommentarbild Da Silva Michael
DW Sport's Michael Da Silva

Stöger won plenty of hearts during his four years at Cologne and it was a difficult decision for the Billy Goats to fire him last week. He steadied the ship after their relegation, brought them into the Bundesliga and secured European football for the first time in 25 years. A respectable achievement.

But the worst start to a season in Bundesliga history is also some achievement, and not the kind that would usually attract a club of Dortmund's stature. Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke is clearly gambling on Stöger being the same coach they considered hiring in the summer when they took Bosz, but many Dortmund fans will have misgivings that Watzke considers Stöger the answer to their problems.

While a few bad results do not make a bad coach, Cologne's season has been little short of catastrophic, and turning to Stöger reveals the depths of Dortmund's desperation. When the going really got tough in Cologne, Stöger showed himself incapable of bringing his team back to basics and grinding out a few results that might have seen them turn the corner. Now that would have been an achievement that would have deserved real credit.

Stöger has had to contend with a cruel injury list at a time when he was still trying to find an answer to losing striker Anthony Modeste, but being unable to motivate a squad that finished fifth last season to win a single game should worry Dortmund fans.

Stöger did a decent job at Cologne, but he was ultimately unable to re-establish them in the Bundesliga and their almost certain return to the second tier will be a stain on his resume — and further evidence that he remains unproven at the highest level. Perhaps he had just taken them as far as he could.

Taking Stöger on, even on an interim basis, is a risk. Watzke, more than anyone, will be praying it pays off.