Edin Terzic and the art of the draw: Borussia Dortmund's pragmatic tactics under the spotlight

Has it seemed like this squad is playing for draws recently? Maybe they are...

Borussia Dortmund v TSG Hoffenheim - Bundesliga
Borussia Dortmund v TSG Hoffenheim - Bundesliga / Jürgen Fromme - firo sportphoto/GettyImages
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Borussia Dortmund head coach Edin Terzic is under increasing scrutiny as his squad battles for fourth place in the Bundesliga, but could he be digging his own grave with his tactical choices?

Borussia Dortmund have lost only four Bundesliga games this season, tied with Bayern for the least number of losses after Leverkusen's impressive zero. Yet, the Black and Yellows still sit ten points behind their Bavarian rivals because they've dropped points courtesy of their eight draws. A draw is better than a loss, but those draws add up, with each equating to two valuable points lost.

As the season wears on, the in-game intensity has decreased and Terzic's Borussia Dortmund look like they aim to draw nearly every weekend. Why?

To understand Edin Terzic, we have to look at his first stint in charge. Lucien Favre had been under pressure for many of the same reasons Terzic is today, and the novice coach was tasked with getting the team back on track until the end of the season. Many hoped that Terzic and his successor would return BVB to a more attacking side with a high press, and somehow he did that. He had a rocky start, but led the squad on a winning streak to finish the season as DFB-Pokal champions. In his 32 games, Terzic managed 20 wins, eight losses, and just four draws.

Then came in Marco Rose, whose single season in charge was met with mixed views, with Borussia Dortmund finishing second in the Bundesliga, but failing to impress in either cup competition. Yet in Rose's forty-five games in charge, the squad only managed four draws across all competitions. Opinions differ on the decision to part ways with the now Leipzig trainer, but it's undeniable that his style of management with BVB was attacking football which worked well at times, but left the defence far too vulnerable, especially against tricky European opponents.

Enter Edin Terzic's second stint in charge and he led the squad through what many consider to be a stable season, positive enough to challenge for the league title until the end. But towards the end of last season, performances started to drop and BVB even finished the Bundesliga with a 2-2 draw against Mainz, and lost their best opportunity in years to win the title. Since Terzic's return, he has managed BVB to nineteen draws across eighty games, nearly a quarter of the matches. I think this comes down to nerves.