Borussia Dortmund have announced that former players Nuri Sahin and Sven Bender will be joining the club in the New Year as assistant coaches to trainer Edin Terzic. Bringing back the popular ex-players will be a welcome move amongst some of the fanbase, but with Terzic under increasing pressure, there are questions as to his long-term future and whether he has been undermined by their arrival.
“We have analysed the course of the season so far intensively. One of our shared findings was to want to give new impetus to the coaching staff” explained club sporting director Sebastian Kehl. “In Nuri Sahin and Sven Bender we are adding two experts and personalities who will enrich us both in terms of content and character with their different experiences and qualities. We are convinced that the two of them will make us stronger as a team in order to achieve our goals in the second half of the season.”
Terzic’s current assistant Armin Reutershahn is stepping down having only joined last January to replace Peter Hermann, who left through ill health. Sahin has most recently been Head of Football at Turkish club Antalyaspor, while Bender was previously assistant coach of the German U17 national team. Sahin made 274 competitive appearances for BVB, while Bender appeared 224 times. Both were members of the 2011 title-winning side.
“It was not an easy decision to leave the position of Head of Football at Antalyaspor after more than two years as we have built something special,” Sahin explained after the announcement. “If BVB asks, I can’t say no. As a coaching team, we will try together to get the team back on the road to success. It feels very nice to come home!”
Bender was equally effusive saying, “I have been in contact with Edin Terzic for some time and know what makes him tick as a coach. When I was asked whether I could imagine becoming BVB’s assistant coach, I thought about it and finally decided that I absolutely had to be a Black and Yellow player again. The DFB brought me back into football two years ago, introduced me to the coaching job, gave me first-class development opportunities and has now fulfilled my wish to move back to Dortmund despite the upcoming U17 European Championships.”
On the surface Edin Terzic appears to be 100% behind the move. “It was my clear wish to have Nuri and Sven as assistant coaches for us. We have tried several times in the past to make this wish a reality. Now the opportunity arose – and we implemented it. Nuri and Sven will enrich us with their experience and knowledge, and at the same time they can grow with us as very young trainers. I am extremely happy about the opportunity to have both of them at my side.”
The move however is a clear indication that the club are far from happy with the current situation at the club, which has seen them finish fifth going into the Winterpause. Reports have emerged of growing displeasure from key players over Terzic’s lack of tactical acumen. If it is to be believed Marco Reus is hardly on speaking terms with the trainer and has many allies on his side.
The Schwarzgelben will start the Rückrunde with Terzic still at the helm, but it is not inconceivable that there could be a parting of the ways in the summer should BVB continue to under-perform in the second half of the season. Are Sahin and Bender being groomed as potential successors? If not, then the wisdom of bringing them in now with Terzic’s position far from secure seems a little odd.
The decision could prove an inspired one, but then again……