Borussia Dortmund confirmed in a press conference on Sunday that Dutch head coach Peter Bosz has been relieved of his duties as head coach. The 54-year-old was only in charge of the Black and Yellows for little over five months. Former Cologne boss Peter Stöger takes over with immediate effect.
Coming over from Ajax in the summer, Bosz enjoyed a phenomenal start to life at the Westfalenstadion that saw Dortmund at the top of the league table with five points of advantage over Bayern Munich after Matchday 7.
However, first cracks appeared even then, with Dortmund suffering two thoroughly deserved 3-1 defeats in the UEFA Champions League against Tottenham Hotspur and at home to Real Madrid.
Those cracks became veritable chasms after the October international break, with Dortmund winning just one of 13 matches across competitions — a 5-0 over third-division side Magdeburg in the DFB-Pokal.
Between two draws with minnows APOEL in the Champions League and an embarrassing 4-4 draw after a four-goal first-half lead against local rivals Schalke, results and performances never recovered. Bosz’s days were always going to be numbered, the abject 2-1 defeat to Werder Bremen being a logical final straw.
Bosz is the first manager to be sacked by Dortmund during the season since Jürgen Röber in 2007. His run of performances and results made this a necessary step even though, on a personal level, the pleasant, gentlemanly Dutchman would deserve much better.
Stöger takes over a clearly rattled side with three difficult and important games to go in the calendar year, starting with Tuesday’s Bundesliga meeting with FSV Mainz 05. The final home match of 2017 against 1899 Hoffenheim and the cup tilt at Bayern round will determine the mood around the Christmas tree.
The Austrian was a candidate to take over in the summer but stayed on with the Billy Goats, whom he lead into Europe for the first time in decades last season. Cologne endured a terrible start to the campaign under Stöger, whose firing still was met with a lot of criticism by the club’s faithful.
A beloved figure in the Rhineland, the likeable 51-year-old failed to win a single Bundesliga match before getting sacked following a 2-2 draw at Schalke earlier in December.
He is known for good organisation in his teams and also has experience coaching at the top level of leagues, having lead Austria Wien to a league title in 2012/13 — ahead of a Roger Schmidt-coached RB Salzburg with players such as Sadio Mane, Kevin Kampl and Jonathan Soriano.
Stöger will sign a contract until June 30th, 2018.