Anthony Modeste was the match winner in BVB’s 1-0 win at Hertha BSC. The new attacker doesn’t embody a modern approach to football, but it’s enough for victories like this. Salih Özcan is good for BVB and without a striker it could be difficult for Hertha in the fight to stay up. The theses of the game.
1) Thanks to Anthony Modeste, BVB plays pragmatically
Following the tragic diagnosis of Sebastien Haller, BVB had to act quickly at the start of the season and find a capable striker who would do some justice to Borussia Dortmund’s aspirations, but at the same time accept that he could become Haller’s representative if the Ivorian in the foreseeable future hopefully comes back.
The solution for BVB was not Edinson Cavani, Luis Suarez or Andrea Belotti – but Anthony Modeste. The 34-year-old striker toyed with a last top contract, Dortmund with a caliber like Modeste. But after two appearances, the commitment of the ex-Cologne player was already critically questioned because he had virtually no influence on the game against SC Freiburg and Werder Bremen.
But things looked different during the guest appearance at Hertha BSC: He not only scored his first goal for BVB, but also had two other very good chances and was much more present than before.
The fact that it came about at all was due to BVB’s changed approach, which can bring success in such games. Dortmund changed their plan to create chances: away from passing, towards the flanks.
The proof: In Berlin, the BVB pros hit the most crosses this season. There were six against Leverkusen, twelve in Freiburg (Modeste’s debut), only six again against Werder Bremen and a total of 16 in Berlin. Appropriately, it was also the game with the most shots on goal (21).
“It’s easy when the striker gets a lot of balls,” said a visibly relieved Modeste after the game. Just like at 1. FC Köln. There, coach Steffen Baumgart had recently spoken about Modeste’s difficult start and probably also dared a little dig: “What Tony distinguished last year was the team in his background. We’re seeing it right now when a team isn’t like that acts, then maybe you don’t score as many goals as before. You have to say it so clearly.”
Modeste reacted calmly: “Many players have read what my ex-coach said: If the team doesn’t play for a striker, it will be difficult. Today they gave me more food.”
That’s right: BVB initially played their usual game, but quickly realized that Hertha was waiting for a counterattack and didn’t open up the space. Terzic consistently let his wingers stick to the line, which led to many attempts to cross.
That may not be nice, but pragmatic, because Dortmund can use its most dangerous weapon in the most promising way. Seen in this way, Modeste is Dortmund’s pragmatism.
It is questionable how often you can pull through this game and whether you are not depriving yourself of other strengths if you are increasingly looking for luck via flanks. It’s definitely a process, as Terzic also thinks: “We’ve never had this one target player in the box in recent years. That’s new for us. It will take some time to use the weapon more often.”