The start of the season is a premiere even for BVB favorite and cup winners coach Edin Terzic. When Borussia Dortmund plays Bayer Leverkusen for the first top Bundesliga game on Saturday evening (6.30 p.m. / Sky), Terzic will experience a full stadium for the first time as BVB head coach.
"I'm really looking forward to it, it's going to be a special day," said the 39-year-old Dortmund fan since childhood. After the separation from Lucien Favre at the end of 2020, Terzic had trained Borussia exclusively in empty stadiums during his time as interim coach due to the corona and still led to the cup victory. Ever since then, the sunny boy has been everyone's darling in Dortmund. Since Jürgen Klopp, no BVB coach in the area has had more credit than the Westphalian, who was born in Menden in the Sauerland.
Terzic, a coach for the soul
The hopes in Terzic are huge. "Rightly so," said club president Reinhard Rauball. "Not only because of sympathy, but because he has already proven with a title as BVB coach in a very short time that confidence is appropriate," Rauball recently told the "Ruhr Nachrichten".
And Terzic is now determined to satisfy the longings of the fans for ten FC Bayern Munich championships in a row with the fans, who can generate more power in the stadium in Dortmund than almost anywhere else in Germany. "We're ready to set the first exclamation mark," said Terzic, referring to the duel with Leverkusen, which has always offered plenty of spectacle.
Under Terzic, Dortmund should go back to their roots. It's a new start for BVB, the umpteenth since the departure of the trainer icon Klopp, who is particularly loved by club boss Hans-Joachim Watzke, seven years ago. Neither Favre nor Marco Rose recently worked in one of the most complicated coaching jobs in the league. Terzic seems to be a coach for the soul for the Dortmund audience, which has tended to be constantly grumbling in recent years. The BVB growth has repeatedly emphasized the importance of the attachment in recent weeks.
"More seriousness in goal defence"
In terms of sport, Terzic has to improve the sometimes outrageous defense work of the Westphalians, which several coaches have not been able to get a grip on in recent years. "We definitely want that. We need more seriousness in defending goals," said the BVB coach, who was given two national players in Niklas Süle from Bayern Munich and Nico Schlotterbeck from SC Freiburg by the new sports director Sebastian Kehl.
"It's just not enough to get two new guys for central defence," warned Terzic. "We have to improve significantly as a whole team." Dortmund are particularly challenged against the offensively strong Leverkusen team. It's stupid that Süle is out due to a muscle injury from the cup game at 1860 Munich (3-0). But Terzic, who has a quality replacement in world champion Mats Hummels, accepts this without complaint. This also applies to the in many ways more severe failure of Sturm access Sébastien Haller, who has been missing for months due to a testicular tumor.
"My job is to work with the available players first. I'm also convinced that I'll have a decent season with these players," said Terzic, who at least publicly refrained from calling for a replacement. That also goes down well in the club and in the annex. Nevertheless, Kehl's search for a short-term replacement for Haller is of course in full swing. Haller, who was signed by Ajax Amsterdam for around 30 million euros, was actually supposed to replace the goalscorer Erling Haaland, who had switched to Manchester City. At least against Leverkusen there will be no other alternative in the storm. Karim Adeyemi, Donyell Malen and Youssoufa Moukoko should and must judge. And Terzic.