Peter Bosz's tenure as Borussia Dortmund manager was over as soon as Schalke scored their second goal to narrow the lead to 4-2 in the Revierderby.
From then, Naldo's stoppage time equaliser to complete the greatest comeback in Bundesliga history was inevitable. Bosz had been outwitted and outclassed not by a better team, but by a better manager, whose two substitutions after just over half an hour changed the game utterly and exposed the failings of the Dutch coach's approach.
Peter Stoger's tenure as Borussia Dortmund manager started no sooner than Bosz was out the door at Signal Iduna Park. The former Cologne boss was out of work for just a week before being ushered in at the club's hastily arranged press conference on Sunday. Following a 2-1 defeat to Werder Bremen, club chiefs announced the event to discuss the current "sporting situation", which not only saw Bosz sacked but Stoger appointed until the end of the season.
BVB's new man comes in with the team on a horrific run of eight Bundesliga games without a win, their worst stretch in 17 years. This is in stark contrast to how well the team started under Bosz, with six wins and a draw in his first seven games. Dortmund overachieved at the beginning of the campaign, but that turned to underachievement, and Stoger must find the answer somewhere in between. So, how can Dortmund save their season?
One of the big problems for Bosz's Dortmund was their inability to see out games or force second-half victories. This was in part due to his desire to play high-intensity, pressing football which saw a lot of the ball and hoped to turn possession into chances.
As a result, his players often became fatigued in games, leading to dropped points like against Schalke, Bremen and Spurs in the Champions League. In fact, BVB have won just one second-half in their last 13 league and European games — and that was merely to earn a point against the 10 men of Bayer Leverkusen.
At Cologne, Stoger was a proponent of the 4-4-2 formation, which will be a shift in the right direction from the three-at-the-back approach which marked the final days of Bosz's stay in Dortmund. This should help keep the defence more compact, and result in a slower build-up, like the counter-attacking approach Stoger utilised as he helped Cologne return to Europe after a 25-year absence. Julian Weigl was one of the most poorly utilised players this season in the high-tempo game, but will now be able to dictate games better from a deeper defensive midfield position.
Marc Bartra was forced out to the right at times under Bosz, but the former Barcelona man needs to play in the centre of defence to really stand out. Stoger needs to identify if the Spain international is part of the club's best defensive pairing, or if two of Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Neven Subotic, Omer Toprak and Dan-Axel Zagadou are better options. Whatever duo Stoger chooses, Marcel Schmelzer should not be shoehorned into centre-back any more and maybe even deserves to be replaced as club captain due to his continued poor showing this season.
Raphael Guerreiro showed enough last season under Thomas Tuchel's attractive attacking side to earn an extended role in the team, but has yet to play at left-back as part of a four-man defence this season. If Stoger moves on from Schmelzer, the Portugal international will provide attacking quality from deep, overlapping with Christian Pulisic, Andre Schurrle, a fit Marco Reus or Maximilian Philipp, or whoever starts at left-midfield.
Anthony Modeste scored 25 goals for Cologne last season, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should be freed of the shackles of being the lone striker to do what he does best — score goals. Mario Gotze is injured until the new year but, until then, Stoger has plenty of options who can support Aubameyang in attack. Shinji Kagawa, Andriy Yarmolenko and Alexander Isak can all provide the service needed, giving the new manager positive selection problems.
The new man should immediately bring in a new sense of excitement to the team, rebuild their confidence, and kick things off with a win against Mainz on Tuesday evening. By the time the Europa League clash with Atalanta in February arrives, Dortmund will be shaped in Stoger's image — and will have climbed back up from eighth in the table.