Was Edin Terzic a success at Dortmund?

Was Edin Terzic a success at Dortmund?

Nuri Sahin was announced as the new manager of Borussia Dortmund earlier this month.

The former Turkey international replaced Edin Terzic at the helm at Signal Iduna Park.

He had previously been his assistant for the past six months.

BVB’s 2023/24 campaign ended in defeat at Wembley in the Champions League final.

Not long after that, Terzic announced that he was resigning from his post as head coach.

Throughout his tenure as boss, the boyhood ‘Borusse’ split opinion among the Yellow Wall and also among the club’s hierarchy.

But was his time as Dortmund manager a success?

The interim spell

A former assistant to Slaven Bilic at Besiktas and West Ham United, Terzic joined the coaching set up with ‘die Schwarzgelben’ in 2018, as assistant to Lucien Favre.

Equipped with a UEFA Pro Licence, the German-Croatian took his first managerial role with the Black and Yellows on an interim basis when Favre was sacked in December 2020.

This was when Terzic first proved his capabilities.

In his first match against Werder Bremen, he got off to a winning start thanks to a late Marco Reus goal.

After a somewhat rocky start, the 41-year-old helped ‘die Borussen’ finish the season strongly.

The club won 10 of their final 13 Bundesliga matches.

Along the way, they enjoyed an emphatic Revierderby win at Schalke and won their final seven matches of the season.

Amongst that spell, BVB also reached the Champions League quarter-finals, where they were unfortunate to crash out at the hands of eventual runners-up Manchester City.

But that fantastic spell of form to close out the campaign provided the perfect momentum for the club to take into their first DFB-Pokal final since 2017.

In Berlin, Terzic became the first Dortmund manager since Thomas Tuchel to win a major honour.

Braces for Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland saw ‘die Schwarzgelben’ romp to a 4-1 win over RB Leipzig.

This was the perfect way to end the season and to end a very successful interim spell.

Sadly for Terzic, Hans-Joachim Watzke and the board still opted to appoint Marco Rose as manager for the 2021/22 season.

But early exits from the Pokal and the Europa League saw Rose axed after just a year, and the Black and Yellows found themselves back at Terzic’s doorstep.

On the edge of glory

Ahead of the 2022/23 campaign, the former German lower leagues striker was appointed head coach again, this time on a permanent basis.

This was a time of great change for Borussia Dortmund.

Niklas Süle and Sébastien Haller were recruited to provide some valuable experience.

And with a 39-year-old manager in the dugout, the club made signings for the future, with the hope of building long-term success.

Two of German football’s hottest prospects Karim Adeyemi and Nico Schlotterbeck followed Süle and Haller (along with Salih Özcan and Anthony Modeste) through the door in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Despite all the anticipation, Terzic delivered a rather hit and miss first half of the term.

But things all changed after the winter break.

The title charge

Starting with a dramatic 4-3 win over Augsburg, ‘die Schwarzgelben’ won their opening eight matches of 2023.

A draw at Schalke and a 6-1 win over Cologne saw the club extend their unbeaten streak to 10 games.

It would stay at 10, as Bayern Munich triumphed in a pretty humiliating April ‘Klassiker’.

This saw the Bavarian giants reclaim top spot in the Bundesliga, leaving the gap at two points with eight games remaining.

What followed was extraordinary.

In a title race of unrivalled twists and turns, Dortmund and Bayern swapped places multiple times.

Terzic’s side beat Union Berlin. But then drew with Stuttgart.

They went top after thrashing Frankfurt. But then drew with Bochum.

It seemed as though ‘die Borussen’ were destined to fall short.

But three straight wins and a Bayern slip up against Leipzig saw the ‘Meisterschale’ back in BVB’s hands heading into the final day.

Despite winning every single match at Signal Iduna Park since October, the team couldn’t overturn a two-goal deficit against Mainz.

Jamal Musiala’s late goal for Bayern sealed their 11th straight title and more heartache for the Yellow Wall.

Edin Terzic stood crestfallen before the Westfalenstadion’s Südtribune.

It was a season to be proud of for the Black and Yellows but one that yielded no reward.

They had come so close, yet fallen short again.

On the edge of glory… again

That final day heartbreak left a sour taste in the mouths of the Borussia Dortmund faithful.

But this was the closest the club had come to Bundesliga glory since the Jürgen Klopp days.

They had shown that it was possible to push Bayern to the wire.

With the right additions, the Yellow Wall hoped their team would be challenging again.

However, they would have to deal with two key departures first.

Bundesliga player of the season Jude Bellingham completed his move to Real Madrid for €103m.

He followed the player with the most assists in the league from the previous term out the door; Raphael Guerreiro moved to the Allianz Arena on a free transfer.

Inbound in North-Rhine Westphalia were Ramy Bensebaini, Felix Nmecha, Marcel Sabitzer and Niclas Füllkrug.

Terzic’s side made an indifferent start to the season.

A 4-0 home drubbing in ‘der Klassiker’ in November only confirmed the team’s frailties.

That match was the second of a spell of eight games in which the Black and Yellows only won once from the end of October until January in the Bundesliga.

The loan acquisitions of a returning Jadon Sancho and Ian Maatsen brought an upturn in fortunes for BVB.

And while they were struggling domestically, ‘die Borussen’ were thriving on the continent.

Despite opening with a 2-0 defeat to PSG and a 0-0 draw with Milan, Terzic managed to navigate his side out of a group of death in the Champions League as group winners.

That European run

Having knocked out PSV in the round of 16, the quarter-finals were about as far as most people thought Dortmund would go, given the quality remaining in the competition.

After being two goals down at Atletico Madrid, a late Haller goal left the quarter-final tie nicely poised heading back to Signal Iduna Park.

In front of the Yellow Wall, another European classic was delivered.

Goals from Maatsen and Brandt saw ‘die Schwarzgelben’ go 3-2 up, only for Atletico to flip the game back on its head, making it 4-3 on aggregate with 20 minutes to play.

But two quick fire goals from Sabitzer and Füllkrug sent the Westfalenstadion into oblivion, and sent Terzic and his team to the UCL semi-finals.

A familiar face from the group stages awaited in Paris Saint-Germain.

Two Mats Hummels masterclasses followed. Niclas Füllkrug’s goal settled the first leg in Germany, before Hummels himself headed his club into the final at the Parc des Princes.

BVB had their chances at Wembley and gave a good account of themselves, but couldn’t quite give Marco Reus his fairytale goodbye.

Late goals from Dani Carvajal and Vinicius Junior sealed what seemed an inevitable 15th European Cup for Real Madrid.


Champions League quarter-finals and a DFB-Pokal in his interim spell.

Bundesliga runners-up by the nearest of margins in his first year as permanent boss.

Champions League runners-up in his second year as boss.

Listing out Edin Terzic’s achievements, you would be inclined to argue that his time as head coach was successful.

There’s no denying that he did many good things as BVB manager.

Taking charge of a young, unproven squad, he did a very good job in leading that title charge.

In doing so, he brought a sense of belief back to the Yellow Wall that hadn’t existed for years.

However, fitting in with Dortmund’s reputation of the last decade, his team snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

There were question marks over some of his substitution choices, meanwhile there were always reports of tensions between himself and the board.

Add to that an awful league campaign, in which the club finished 27 points behind the champions Bayer Leverkusen, and it’s probably fair to suggest that the time was right for a change in the dugout at Signal Iduna Park.

His side’s tally of 63 points was the club’s lowest for 14 years.

Terzic also underperformed in the Pokal during his tenure as permanent head coach, exiting at the quarter-finals and the round of 16 in his two years at the helm.

While BVB ultimately fell short under Terzic, meaning he can’t be categorically classed as a success, he has done a lot better than many previous managers and deserves immense credit.

Edin Terzic made Dortmund believe again, and that’s something they can take forward under Nuri Sahin.

(Featured Image: Borussia Dortmund)