After sacking Peter Bosz, Borussia Dortmund made the somewhat surprising step of appointing a manager, who had himself been sacked last week.
Peter Stoger takes up the mantle of Dortmund boss after FC Cologne sacked him last week. Given that Stoger left Cologne with the side firmly cemented at the bottom of The Bundesliga table, with just three points from their first 15 games, Dortmund’s appointment is fairly questionable.
It is undoubtedly clear that Dortmund need a new sense of confidence which often a new appointment can bring when attempting to galvanise the players with a sense of freshness. Dortmund’s 2-1 loss at home to Werder Bremen on Saturday, a side sitting in 17th place in the table, was the final straw for Bosz. Yet, Stoger himself is winless this season.
The Black and Yellows are without a league win since September, with this barren run stretching 12 matches without a win. For a club of Dortmund’s stature with their highly vocal Signal Iduna Park supporters, and boasting players such as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Shinji Kagawa, it is clear that the club’s recent plight is just not acceptable.
Dortmund fans expect to be challenging for the title, but they have fallen 13 points behind Bayern Munich at the summit of the table, and are now fighting for a place in Europe. With just two points from their last five games, it is ironic that only Stoger’s former club Cologne have a recent record as bad as this, as they picked up a solitary point from their last five.
With Stoger out of the way, Cologne lost 4-3 in devastating fashion to SC Freidburg yesterday after conceding in the 96th minute. Cologne were 3-0 up at half-time.
✌️ Gestatten, Stöger! Angenehm! pic.twitter.com/9NVcKrkE34
— Borussia Dortmund (@BVB) December 10, 2017
Whilst Cologne’s abysmal form does not reflect well on Dortmund’s new manager, Stoger had previously done a sterling job at Cologne before the current campaign. Indeed, Cologne finished last season in a highly impressive fifth position, enabling them to compete in the Europa League this campaign.
Having just been promoted, Stoger’s side enjoyed a honeymoon period in which expectations were elevated massively. These expectations have been ruptured this season, and now Stoger will have to rediscover that winning feeling from last season now that he finds himself in the Dortmund hot seat.
— 1. FC Cologne (@fckoeln_en) December 3, 2017
After being knocked out of the Champions League without a win from their six group games, Dortmund and Stoger will now be able to increase their focus on re-discovering their league form. There is plenty of work to do if Dortmund are to be in the Champions League again next season after all.
Stoger won the Austrian league with Austria Wien in 2012-13, earning a record points total in the process, as the Austrian earnt himself a move to Cologne in 2013. Now, the 51-year-old and his Cologne assistant coach, Manfred Scmidt, are readying themselves for their first Dortmund game away to Mainz 05 on Tuesday night.
Mainz themselves are without a win in three games, but they earned a highly credible 2-2 draw at Lepzig on Saturday, who are 2nd in the table. Mainz twice came from behind against Leipzig with Emil Berggreen snatching a late equaliser in the 86th minute to leave Mainz with a welcome boost ahead of Tuesday’s match. They will be looking to spoil Stoger’s first game in charge, and ensure that both Dortmund and Stoger continue their poor recent form.