A derby against Schalke 04 could be the last match of Borussia Dortmund, Peter Bosz, who has been a victim of his own attacking instincts
After enjoying a flying start, winning five out the first six Bundesliga games, Borussia Dortmund manager Peter Bosz was rightly praised for his team’s wonderful attacking play. However, as the season has progressed, Bosz’ weakness as a manager has been exposed.
The Dutchman’s philosophy is very possession-based and there seems to be no focus on how to set a team up defensively. It has become quite apparent over the past few weeks as Dortmund have won just just three times in the past 12 games across all competitions, conceding 24 goals in the process.
Bosz has already stated that he will not change his approach as it has worked elsewhere, most notably Ajax with whom he reached the Europa League final last season. Granted, reaching a European final with a club that doesn’t play in one of Europe’s top-five leagues is a big achievement but when we analyze Ajax’s run in the Europa League we can discover Bosz’ big weaknesses as a coach.
In the knock-out rounds, Ajax managed to blow away opponents in the Johan Cruyff Arena with its youthful energetic style of play. Formidable teams like Schalke 04 and Olympique Lyon left Amsterdam with 2-0 and 4-1 losses, respectively. Bosz won all the credits for his side’s performances in those games but was let off the hook when Ajax almost squandered their big advantage in both the return legs of those meetings.
Ajax sealed their place in Europa League final and optimism dominated realism in Holland when assessing Ajax’s chances against fellow finalists Manchester United. Away to both Schalke and Lyon, Ajax was extremely poor defensively and advanced to the next round based on luck more than anything else.
In the final, Ajax met with a manager who possesses an astonishing record in finals and, unlike Bosz, knew how to set up a team defensively – José Mourinho. United emerged victorious with a comfortable 2-0 scoreline.
Despite the loss, Bosz was lauded for the terrific work he had done to get the club to a European final but his naivety in the defensive aspect of the game was not highlighted. His work at Ajax got him the Dortmund job this summer and while the first weeks at the helm of the club were optimistic, realism has now caught up with him.
The players are still behind their manager, reports say, but if Bosz keeps insisting on the same managerial style he will hurt his reputation even more and will eventually be sacked by Dortmund. Nothing suggests that Bosz will modify his philosophy as he firmly believes in it and it simply will become his downfall.
When Dortmund decide Bosz is not the right man, the 54-year-old will be back to managing Dutch sides, where his philosophy has proven to be more fruitful. In top leagues, however, Bosz’ philosophy will be exposed like it has been at Dortmund.