Marco Reus proving vital for Borussia Dortmund this season
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Without a doubt, Marco Reus is amongst the most talented footballers on the planet. But as has often been the case, ability alone is not enough. There are several other factors that usually go into the making of a winner. Reus was, and has been, one of Germany’s best players in the last decade. Yet, his medal collection is significantly less than his talent deserves.
He was dropped from Joachim Löw's squad for the 2010 World Cup with injury. A tournament that Die Mannschaft would go on to win, meaning the Dortmund captain missed the chance to win the grandest prize in world football. It’s an opportunity squandered, that may haunt him for the rest of his days. But then, who can he blame? Such is life.
The last time the talented midfielder made up to 30 league appearances during a season was in the 2013/14 campaign. Since then, Reus has been limited to fewer appearances due to niggling injury problems. In fact, he made only 11 Bundesliga outings last season as he continued to spend time on the treatment table.
But the 29-year-old is having a different experience this term. Not only has he been fit and a regular for Lucien Favre’s resurgent side, Reus has also been prolific in front of goal. A star performance against arch-rivals Bayern Munich, where he netted twice to secure a much deserved 3-2 win, summarised his season so far.
In 11 appearances this campaign, Reus has contributed to 11 goals. The German has scored eight times while also tacking on three assists. This is undoubtedly his best output in about five years. His leadership on the pitch has also uplifted his teammates’ performance. In a squad that is made up of mostly young players, he is one of the older heads both on the pitch and in the dressing room. That experience is vital.
Dortmund have been difficult to beat in the Bundesliga this season; they are four points clear in the league table after 11 games. Having won eight and drawn three, they remain the only unbeaten side in the Bundesliga and that in itself says a lot. In Europe, the team is also turning heads.
During recent times, because of the gap in investments and the quality of players, those kinds of statistics have often been associated with Bayern, not Dortmund. That is what makes their achievements so far even more remarkable.
It is definitely not a coincidence that Die Borussen is flying at the same time that Reus is in the form of his life. Sure, what is happening goes beyond the 29-year-old, but he is the star man and the most important part of the team’s performance. While players like Paco Alcacer and 18-year-old Jadon Sancho are contributing to the course, Reus remains the pivotal figure.
Favre will hope that his captain stays off the treatment table over the course of the season. His fitness will be very important to the club’s hopes when it comes to winning silverware. Upstaging Bayern, who have had a stronghold on the Bundesliga for the past six seasons, won’t be easy. While the serial winners may be having their difficulties under new manager Niko Kovacs, they are capable of turning things around.
Yet, if what we have seen so far is anything to go by, Reus will prove vital to Dortmund’s success this season. With the midfielder in such fine form, don’t count Die Schwarzgelben out of the title come season's end. The last time they tasted success was in 2011/12 when Jurgen Klopp masterminded the double. Their rivals have held sway since. It may be time for a change to freshen things up in Germany. Although it's early days, that leaves us with a title race that may go down to the wire come May...