Since returning from his devastating right cruciate knee ligament rupture, that he suffered in Borussia Dortmund’s DFB Pokal final victory over Eintracht Frankfurt back in May of last year, Marco Reus has enjoyed a sensational return.
By blasting home three goals in his first five Bundesliga matches since coming back from his most recent savage ailment, the 28-year-old has unquestionably added some much needed dynamism into Peter Stoger’s side.
Crucially, Stoger has recognised the need to manage his star’s fitness levels, though, with him persistently communicating with the 28-year-old about how he’s feeling. “We speak to him constantly because he knows his body very well, because he knows how well he is, and because it is just as important to us as it is to him that he stays healthy,” he explained.
“So we will decide how we manage his role. It was always in our minds [that he would be rested], but if he feels well, he is indispensable for this team. As long as he feels good, he will play, but we will not overextend him.”
Relishing getting back into the action, the German international has emphatically demonstrated why he’s such a special player, with his technical qualities, sublime runs in behind, incisive movement and his effectiveness in transition proving especially damaging.
Capable of combining intricately with his teammates to unsettle defensive structures, supplying imaginative passes to create openings for his colleagues or using his tremendous dribbling to outfox his marker, Reus’ polish with the ball at his feet has been a joy to watch. Moreover, the way he remains so composed and can execute his decisions so expertly within high pressure or confined space situations has highlighted his incredible press resistance.
Meanwhile, in terms of his movement and positioning, his astute spatial interpretation powers allow him to intelligently venture into unoccupied space to receive possession. Key to this is how he always performs head scans so he can obtain updated knowledge of any potentially exploitable space. Performing slick rotations with his fellow attackers, in conjunction with his typical positional variations, duly serve to make him an even more challenging proposition for BVB’s adversaries.
This aspect of his armoury notably transfers over into his explosive work on the counter attack, where he’ll provide his colleagues with an excellent outlet once possession is regained. Once he’s inherited possession, he then uses his explosive pace, razor sharp changes of direction and aforementioned 1v1 qualities to surge at retreating opposition rearguards. Containing him in such scenarios can be so challenging, as he can manufacture chances for himself and others in so many different ways, thus making him an extremely unpredictable foe.
In the Black and Yellows’ slower, more controlled possession phases, Reus’ threat in behind deserves special mention too, for his crafty angling, curving and directing of his runs, that usually begin on his tracker’s blindside, successfully stretch the opposing backline, plus propel him into fantastic locations to be played in by a teammate.
Producing such awesome form so early since returning from injury has unsurprisingly got the former Borussia Monchengladbach sensation dreaming of going to the World Cup in Russia, something that would be particularly significant for him as he missed Germany’s triumphant 2014 victory and Euro 2016 through injury. “I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t think about [Russia] and really want to be there. I keep it in the back of my head because it’s important to be focused, but I won’t make a secret of the fact that it’s a big goal of mine to be there. I know I’ve got a good chance if I’m playing well,” Reus commented.
After 259 days on the sidelines, it’s great to see the multifaceted, outrageously gifted Reus back, full of confidence and loving his football. Let’s just hope he can remain injury free so he can quickly get back to his all conquering best and fulfill his desire of making the 2018 World Cup.
It’s the least he deserves after everything he’s been through.
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