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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A nervous coach trains less than confident players, and it is becoming more evident each week. If Borussia Dortmund manage to score, they lock down the defence and look to contain the opposition. It's a good strategy, when it works. It worked in the 2-0 win against Union Berlin. BVB pressed for a goal in the first half, but after Adeyemi scored, the second half was focused on controlling possession and preventing Union from creating opportunities. However, BVB's defence should count themselves lucky for Union's misses. The second goal only came from a moment of individual quality, and that's not something that Edin Terzic can always rely on.

The draw against Wolfsburg was deserved. Niklas Füllkrug netted an opener inside ten minutes, and suddenly Dortmund took their foot off the gas, choosing to absorb Wolfsburg's pressure, which eventually led to the equaliser. Choosing to defend for eighty minutes when a team is only ahead by one goal means the players tasked with defending have to display near perfect performances or hope for opponent errors.

Likewise, in the draw with PSV Eindhoven. BVB deserved the win, and I'm not arguing that the penalty call against Hummels was justified, but when Dortmund sit back and absorb pressure for extended periods of time, they are more likely to get punished. Likewise, the chances of a player mistake increase.

Terzic's tactics backfired horribly against Hoffenheim, but the opponent's unfortunate second minute goal actually highlighted Dortmund's potential, as they delivered an impressive first half, scoring twice in the process. But that only happened because the shackles needed to come off to avoid defeat. Terzic's tactics saw BVB hang back and absorb pressure again at the beginning of the second half, when they were holding a narrow lead of one goal. In this instance, Hoffenheim punished Dortmund and Terzic didn't know how to regain control of the match after that.