Assistant coach Peter Hermann could turn out to be the most important new signing from Borussia Dortmund and become the X-factor in the attack on FC Bayern. Before moving to BVB, the 70-year-old worked for archrival FC Schalke 04 of all places and even holds a world record.
For many it is a question of faith: Borussia Dortmund or Schalke 04? Some footballers like Stan Libuda, Jens Lehmann or Andreas Möller wore both colors and were attacked by the fans. This fate should not befall Peter Hermann.
The “eternal assistant” joins BVB after three successful months with the Royal Blues, during which he managed to get promoted again as assistant coach to Mike Büskens. There he should relieve the new head coach Edin Terzic.
“Edin always wants to do everything 130 percent. It was Edin’s explicit wish to have an experienced man on the coaching team,” said BVB Managing Director Hans-Joachim Watzke about the new assistant, who could turn out to be a particularly valuable newcomer.
BVB’s most important new signing?
If you talk about the commitments of Niklas Süle, Nico Schlotterbeck, Karim Adeyemi or the imminent purchase of Sébastien Haller in the current transfer window around BVB, the name of perhaps the best assistant coach in the Bundesliga goes unnoticed.
Hermann, now 70 years old, has the experience of more than 1000 games in professional football – he stepped in as interim coach ten times – and could now become the X-factor for the Westphalians.
Why? Hymns of praise from his old companions provide initial insights into the importance of the inconspicuous assistant.
“Peter was a stroke of luck, a sensation, he was by far my best assistant coach,” said Klaus Toppmöller enthusiastically about their time together in Leverkusen (2001-2003). Jupp Heynckes ennobled Hermann as a “sporting luminary”, he was “alien to vanity”, he met his “environment with a very special empathy”.
As a head coach, you can rely on Hermann, he is 100% loyal. That is the unanimous opinion of his former superiors.
But that doesn’t mean that Hermann doesn’t lose his temper or keep his opinion behind the mountain. Klaus Augenthaler, who was his boss in Leverkusen from 2003 to 2005, put it this way: “He’s already at peace, but there’s also a small volcano slumbering in him.” This breaks out especially when Hermann’s instructions in training – for example in passing or positional play – are not followed.
“World record holder” Peter Hermann
This special mixture makes Hermann so valuable and is reflected in the successes of the native Rhinelander.
With FC Bayern, after two seasons of “title drought” in 2012/2013, he won the treble alongside Heynckes, the team presented itself as a unit like seldom before – or since. As Niko Kovac’s assistant, Hermann also celebrated the double in 2018/19.
His latest coup, promotion with FC Schalke 04, also does not seem to be a coincidence. In fourth place, Hermann took over the position of assistant coach alongside Mike Büskens, and in the end Schalke became second division champions.
Hermann has worked with a wide variety of people throughout his career: starting with Jürgen Gelsdorf in the summer of 1989, through Dragoslav Stepanovic, Christoph Daum, Klaus Toppmöller (all at Bayer Leverkusen) to Friedhelm Funkel (Fortuna Düsseldorf) and Jupp Heynckes at FC Bayern – um just to name a few.
So that he could assist “Don Jupp” again, the record champion made Hermann the world record holder in October 2017: two million euros flowed to Fortuna Düsseldorf to buy him out of his contract there. A higher sum has reportedly never been paid for an assistant coach in football history.
Without a title with Bayer and FC Bayern
However, Hermann’s successful career also includes disappointments and failures. In 2002 he lost three titles with “Vizekusen”. With FC Bayern, Hermann lost the “final at home” in the Champions League in 2012. At that time, the Munich team also had to give way to BVB in the championship and in the DFB Cup. Hermann has grown from this and has always known how to assess this realistically.
The fact that at the age of 70 he is still in demand at the top clubs shows that his daily training work is by no means from yesterday.
He draws on an almost inexhaustible reservoir of forms of training. Positional play, switching with field changes, zone-oriented pressing, switching between attacking and midfield pressing as well as a very detailed video analysis – according to observers, these should be his hobbies.
BVB again a serious pursuer of FC Bayern?
BVB advisor Matthias Sammer may have played a role in Hermann’s commitment. He was sporting director at FC Bayern when Hermann and Heynckes were treble winners.
Not only Sammer knows that Edin Terzic’s reappointment as head coach is quite a risk.
Even if all BVB managers are convinced of the 39-year-old, he lacks long-term experience in professional business. Hermann embodies exactly this like no other and is supposed to have Terzic’s back.
When attacking FC Bayern, the new man in the second row could become a crucial piece of the puzzle as a strict friend and helper.
And the fact that the world record assistant knows the inner workings on Säbener Strasse inside out is definitely not a disadvantage for BVB.