Time’s Up for Stöger at Dortmund. Who’s Next for the BVB Hot Seat?

Going into der Klassiker at the weekend, Borussia Dortmund trainer Peter Stöger was saying all the right things about wanting to keep his name in the frame for the BVB trainer’s job next season. After the mauling at the hands of Bayern Munich however, he sounded like a man who knew his time was up.

“The club has to figure out which adjustments to make and there are big adjustments to be made, in my opinion” he said after the match on Saturday. “The position of the coach is certainly part of the equation and it eventually has to be assessed as well.”

“The club has to define which sort of football it should stand for, determine what the philosophy is and then take a detailed look at what kind of players are needed for that philosophy.”

“I’m glad and proud to be working here but my life isn’t completely defined by me standing on the sideline at BVB. I’ve done so many things in my life, I’m a very serene, happy person.”

It is fair to say that Peter Stöger has to a large extent done exactly what he was brought into Borussia Dortmund to do – namely steady a very wobbly ship. The summer appointment of Peter Bosz as Thomas Tuchel’s successor looked during the opening weeks of the season to have been a very astute one from the club.  However, as history now shows, the wheels came flying off in spectacular style leading to the Dutchman being unceremoniously jettisoned.

The appointment of Stöger (who had overseen an abysmal Hinrunde at Köln) came from way out of left field (despite some summer talks with BVB leadership) but to his credit the former Geißbock coach did steady things at the Signal Iduna Park – albeit in unspectacular style. In fact the hammering at the hands of Bayern was the first Bundesliga defeat in Stöger’s 13 match tenure. However, five draws (against the likes of Wolfsburg, Hertha Berlin, Freiburg and Augsburg) disappointed as did the exit from the Europa League at the hands of Red Bull Salzburg.

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The safety first/ cautious/ boring approach from Stöger has not gone down well with large sections of the BVB faithful and new slate next season under a new trainer seems all the more likely.  The recent appointment of Matthias Sammer to an external consultant role at the club also seems to point towards a new course.

“We need someone like Matthias Sammer, his ability to analyse, his passion, his identification, his clear view from outside” explained Chief Executive Hans-Joachim Watzke.

Could Sammer’s ‘outside view’ be about to be used to find Stöger’s replacement? Just who would be in contention bearing in mind that Bayern Munich are also going to appoint a new trainer at the end of the season?

Julian Nagelsmann

The young Hoffenheim boss was being linked with the Bayern job when Carlo Ancelotti left the Allianz Arena earlier in the season, but the rumours have seriously cooled with a more experienced coach seemingly favoured by the Bavarians.

That said, Dortmund have also been linked and his name will certainly be in the hat once again. The success of Domenico Tedesco over at rivals Schalke will have given BVB confidence that youth can be trusted, as will the fact that Nagelsmann would bring style in contrast to the fare being served up right now at the Signal Iduna Park.

Dietmar Hopp has stated that Nagelsmann is going nowhere and will be expected to fulfil his contract which runs to 2021, but we all know that contracts mean very little and there are talks that Nagelsmann has an exit clause in 2019 for 10 million Euros. A young, energetic trainer overseeing the restructuring of a young, energetic side looks to be a match made in heaven.

It would be a gamble, but the bookmakers (who know a thing or two about gambling) have Nagelsmann as one of the favourites to take over at Dortmund, so chucking a few euros/pounds/ dollars on the 30-year-old being the next BVB boss could be worth a punt.

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Ralph Hasenhüttl

The Austrian has also been mentioned for the Bayern job, but if he does get overlooked, then Dortmund could well plump for Bayern’s leftovers. He has shown in his time at RB Leipzig that he can build a side capable of playing very attractive and effective football – something that will be high on the wish-list of the Dortmund board.

Rumours abound that his situation at the Red Bull Arena is far from perfect and should there be a separation, BVB would have to seriously consider him. Matthias Sammer is a big fan of Hasenhüttl and has not shied away from heaping huge praise on him from his role as a pundit for Eurosport.  It could well be that there is a three-way fight for his services this summer with Bayern, Dortmund and Leipzig all offering him a deal. Watch this space.

Lucien Favre

Before Dortmund appointed Peter Bosz in the summer, Favre’s name was being strongly linked with the Dortmund job, but his French employers Nice put the brakes firmly on any approach.

However, reports in France Football claim that the Ligue 1 club are becoming resigned to the fact that the 60-year-old won’t be fulfilling his current contract, which expires in 2019 and would be prepared to do a deal involving a compensation payment of around €3 million.

The Swiss trainer has shown at Hertha Berlin, Borussia Mönchengladbach and at Nice that he can develop and mould a young team into a successful unit, but question marks remain over his durability under pressure.

A.N Other

Could there be a further option for die Schwarzgelben? David Wagner has worked wonders over in England taking Huddersfield into the Premier League and seemingly keeping them up in their debut season. Could the former Dortmund amateur coach be an option?

Hannes Wolf is another young coach, who has links with the club. He coached Borussia Dortmund II back in 2011 and is reportedly well-respected by both Hans-Joachim Watzke and Michael Zorc.

Bruno Labbadia? Oh wait April Fool’s Day was yesterday!

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Mathew Burt

A year spent living in Bremen got Mathew hooked on the Bundesliga with regular visits to the Weser Stadion getting in the way of his studies. Back in the UK now, he still keenly follows the Grün-Weißen and German football in general. Follow him on Twitter @matburt74.

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