Lack of rotation and failure to utilise squad depth: Borussia Dortmund's big issues under Edin Terzic

Borussia Dortmund head coach Edin Terzic
Borussia Dortmund head coach Edin Terzic / Leon Kuegeler/GettyImages
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Enough has already been said about Borussia Dortmund’s desire to have just three first-team players in the central defence and full-back positions. This has seen Thomas Meunier return to the squad despite his poor performances, and the likes of Marius Wolf also continually get starts.

Again, there is an issue of overuse of certain players. Much has been made of how immense Mats Hummels has been. This has come with many consequences though. Hummels has conceded multiple penalties in addition to a red card this season. This is in part due to playing behind a defensively weak midfield and a poorly designed press. 

Hummels has played every Champions League minute in addition to just under 1000 league minutes. The veteran centre-back, like Reus, is still excellent when at his best, but Terzic needs to understand that his levels will either be inconsistent or they will need to see him on the field less.

Of the penalties and red card conceded by Hummels, two came directly after playing full matches in mid-week fixtures while the third was just a week removed from his having played 270 minutes in eight days. Terzic’s lack of rotation may have also affected the younger Nico Schlotterbeck. 

Having already played 1700 Bundesliga and CL minutes less than half way through the season, Schlotterbeck is one of many Dortmund players who is on pace to shatter their personal minutes record. Only Kobel has played more minutes than the talented defender, who saw a fantastic start to the season curtailed by poor form leading into the winter break.

Niklas Süle has seen around half his league minutes come at right-back. Despite an eight figure wage and having been a regular starter last season, Süle has been deemed an inadequate rotation option this season. This will need to change if Borussia Dortmund are to finish in the top four.


Edin Terzic has depth in many positions. While Borussia Dortmund’s full-back and midfield positions may lack depth, Terzic has done a woeful job of rotating his players. This has led to fatigue impacting performances. It has also led to the destabilising of the attack, as Terzic found a temporary solution playing Reus and Brandt together. This while good in spurts is easy to play against as the lack of width makes BVB easier to read.

Additionally, the Borussia Dortmund squad is much better than fifth place in the Bundesliga. The expectations for the team should still be high as it has the talent to go compete with the better teams. However, BVB must stop running its first XI into the ground and rotate more so the players can deal with the rigours of playing in three competitions.

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