“Turn a minus into a plus”. That was the heading of a report that appeared in the members’ magazine when football resumed in 2023 that addressed the situation and objectives after the descent to sixth place before the World Cup break. Four weeks and eight successive wins across all competitions later, the Black & Yellows have now improved their standing in the table by four places and transformed a two-point gap to the Champions League places into a small lead of four points. Of course, nothing has been achieved yet.

“We’ve managed to put ourselves in a very good position. Nonetheless, we’re still a long way from achieving our objectives. We want to keep working hard and stay humble. We’re satisfied with our eighth win in a row but we also know that won’t help us next week in Hoffenheim,” said Edin Terzic after the 4-1 victory against Hertha BSC. He went on to say: “The next tough task awaits us in Hoffenheim. We will prepare ourselves for it diligently starting on Tuesday.”


While the coach and the team kept their feet on the ground after the 4-1 win over Hertha, the euphoria around them is growing immeasurably. One example is the special shirt, which was sold out within 24 hours even though more than six times the quantity of the previous special jersey had been ordered. “The change of mood at the club and among the fans ensures that even tough games like the one against Chelsea are won or tough phases like in the game against Hertha are overcome,” said President Dr. Reinhold Lunow.

BVB had six of their 12 shots at goal between the 25th and 32nd minutes – a period in which the first two goals, scored by Karim Adeyemi and Donyell Malen, set them on the path to victory. “It was not our best and also not our most beautiful game, but it was very efficient,” said Julian Brandt, who rounded off the scoring at 4-1. He also believes the supporters are an important factor. “They pushed us when things got tricky.” It is also about getting the rub of the green of course, though Brandt sees this in a different light: “It’s not just luck in such phases; many of the boys are in good form and bending over backwards. And if something goes wrong, we always have Greg.”

Goalie Gregor Kobel made seven saves and – as he has done in many other games this year – played a part in the success. BVB have conceded only three goals in their last six competitive matches. “We’ve been very stable at the back since the Augsburg game and have never let in more than one goal,” said Nico Schlotterbeck. “That attests to the quality of our teamwork with Greg. And Emre gives us a certain stability in front.” He means Mr. Kobel and Mr. Can, of course.

There have been three English weeks in the first month of football in 2023. Now the team can recharge their batteries. “I’m happy that I can sleep in tomorrow,” said Schlotterbeck on Sunday evening. “And then it’ll be a case of turning our focus to Hoffenheim and producing a good away performance so that we make it nine from nine.” Nine wins from nine games.

They truly are taking it one game at a time. “We want to keep riding on this wave and in the end we’ll see where that takes us,” declared captain Marco Reus, who helped to create the first two BVB goals against Hertha on Sunday and then made it 3-1 himself. That’s how you turn a minus into a plus.
Boris Rupert