News : Mahmoud Dahoud is the face of the BVB upswing – but causes problems
Dahoud with a performance explosion: “Anti-Kroos” is the face of the upswing – but puts BVB in a tight spot
Mahmoud Dahoud is the face of the current form strength of Borussia Dortmund. The 25-year-old was already considered a flop, now he’s making BVB sexy again with his style of play. But this puts the club in a tight spot.
Sometimes it just takes two good weeks. Two weeks or, in football language, three games. These three games are enough for Mahmoud “Mo” Dahoud to turn his image at Borussia Dortmund by 180 degrees after three years and to refute the future plans of his bosses.
Dahoud is the face of the recent sporting boom in Dortmund. It started with his gala performance in the Champions League against Sevilla (3: 2), continued with his festival game in the Revierderby against Schalke (4: 0) and also prevailed in the clear victory over Arminia Bielefeld in the Bundesliga (3: 0 ) continued. BVB is playing successfully again, BVB is playing sexy again – thanks to Dahoud’s performance explosion.
After his first three years in the area, that was not a given. Since moving from Borussia competitor from Mönchengladbach in 2017, the 25-year-old has been following the high expectations. Even under Lucien Favre, his former sponsor in Gladbach, it didn’t work out in the black and yellow dress.
Hyped in Gladbach, only second row at BVB
It was precisely that Favre who coined the phrase “Dahoud is good” during the “foal” times. Already in Mönchengladbach he revealed all his potential, which is why the BVB managers around Hans-Joachim Watzke and Michael Zorc expected a lot from his commitment.
But so far it should never be enough in Dortmund for the Syrian-born German. He rarely got past the established forces around Axel Witsel, Thomas Delaney or Julian Brandt in midfield. He left chances of employment lying through convulsive and unfocused appearances.
“Mo just needs trust,” Favre once said of his apprentice. But he said it to him far too seldom. Even after a strong performance in the premier class group game against Bruges (3-0), Dahoud had to stew on the bench for 90 minutes in the next game against Bayern. Things went particularly well for the 25-year-old during this time. He made his international debut in the DFB team shortly before.
But in Dortmund the new season threatened to start similarly to how the previous season ended. It was the most disappointing season in Dahoud’s professional career with ever decreasing operating times.
Dahoud is now turning on in Dortmund
During his entire time in Dortmund, Dahoud scored only one goal in 4269 minutes of competitive play and prepared seven more. In the last 254 minutes alone, he added two goals to his statistics, both with the title “World Class”.
Dahoud has arrived on the pitch, already headlined after the Sevilla game FOCUS Online “Terzic finally unleashes Dahoud”. After coach Favre’s dismissal, the interim coach found the role for the 25-year-old that his predecessors were always looking for in vain.
Dahoud, the “Anti-Kroos”
As a hybrid of eight and ten, he is allowed to open and shape the game from behind. In addition to Dahoud, Terzic provides defensive protection in the person of Emre Can, Jude Bellingham or Thomas Delaney. In this role, Dahoud goes right on with his brave but risky style of play.
The Dortmund center appears more dynamic and faster with Dahoud. In the dangerous game of switching he can make the difference with his deep balls, fast turns and fine technique. The risky through pass also helps with deeper opponents. Dahoud becomes a kind of “anti-Kroos” who is known as “cross-pass Toni” because of his safety-conscious style of play – ie “steep pass-Mo” instead of “cross-pass Toni”.
“Mo is finally showing his great potential on the pitch. That is exactly what we hoped for from his commitment,” said sports director Zorc on the weekend after the win against Bielefeld.
So the midfielder will be forgiven for mistakes like in the first half against Arminia. After three ball losses, three dangerous counter-situations developed. “In the next situation we have to have the courage to demand the ball again immediately. Mo did a great job,” said Terzic. And Zorc also said: “I encouraged him during the break. He is a sensitive guy, but the way he continued to play shows the self-confidence he has at the moment.”
If he can play freely, he is “a brilliant kicker”, assured team-mate and friend Julian Brandt. Weeks ago he raved about Dahoud’s football facilities, which are “some of the best” he has ever seen. “Multi-faceted, technically incomprehensible, a very, very good shot. He is a strong runner and competitor.”
Dahoud’s top performances put BVB in a contract spot
But the Dahoud explosion also puts BVB in a tight spot. The 25-year-old’s contract expires next year. In the summer, the club bosses have to decide whether to extend with him or sell him. A transfer-free departure in 2022 seems to be impossible from a financial point of view in the Corona crisis.
Someone who has a say in that is on the other side of the coaching bench in the DFB Cup quarter-finals: Marco Rose. The current Gladbach and future BVB coach will definitely be involved in such an important decision. On the Lower Rhine, Rose has a comparable type of player in Florian Neuhaus. The coach in Dortmund cannot avoid a Dahoud in this form.
But he has to further confirm his form. In two weeks, the world can look completely different in a rapidly changing football bubble.
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