Marco Reus – What the World Cup and Germany are missing

The injury crisis of the German squad continues with Reus added to the long list of Gundogan, Schmelzer, Lars Bender, and Mario Gomez.

All those injuries have hit them significantly but Reus’ injury will certainly hurt them the most.

Klose being the only out and out striker, they need goals from midfield and Reus was their best bet.

Let us analyze how Reus could have made the difference for the Germans:

Reus has been the mainstay of the Dortmund side this season after the indispensable loss of Mario Gotze.

As seen below, he has provided goals and assists to an equal proportion of the number of matches he has played this season, showing his consistency and quality.

Apps

Goal

Assist

Shots

Pass%

Tackle

Dribble

Key pass

Interceptions

YC

35(4)

21

15

3.7

75.9

1.4

2.5

2.7

0.6

8

The biggest quality of Reus which gives him the edge over other top stars is his work rate and defensive attributes.

As we can see from the stats above he is a part o-f the dirty work too with 1.4 tackles per game and 8 yellow cards.

The most important part is his growth from a workhorse to a complete midfielder as seen from the image below.

He created numerous chances and had the most shots per game in the Bundesliga this season.

He has played in numerous positions for Dortmund and if you want to place bets on Germans here is a safe online bookmakers list, excelled at most of them as seen below.

Joachim could have used him at the left or right-wing or even as a striker for Germany.

Position

Apps

Goals

Assists

AML (Attacking Midfielder – Left)

24

13

10

AMC (Attacking Midfielder – Centre)

6

3

4

Sub (Substitute)

4

2

0

AMR (Attacking Midfielder – Right)

2

1

1

FWL (Forward – Left)

2

0

0

MR (Midfielder – Right)

1

2

0

As seen below Reus has created chances from all over the pitch for Dortmund which could have been great for Low’s side.

At nearly 76% successful passes it’s a bit low for his standards, but the reality is different because of the game Klopp’s men play, a high pressing game with fast and deadly counter-attacks that need plenty of long balls.

Seeing his average pass length of 18m with plenty of long balls, it is remarkable that he has a 76% success rate.

The above stats show that he is one of the best players in the world but stats don’t tell the complete story.

Moving to a more analytical approach, we will go through his performance in some of the big matches last season.

Against Madrid in the second leg with 3-0 behind in the first leg, he started on the right side but for most of the game, he played in a free role cutting inside the spaces between Alonso and Illarramendi as seen from the heat map below and exposed Madrid’s backline with his speed and energy.

He created 3 clear cut chances for Lewandowski and Mkhitaryan which on any other day would have been scored easily as seen from the image below in yellow-colored arrows inside Madrid’s box.

His 2nd goal against Madrid shows his complete quality as he intercepted Illara’s back pass, ran towards Madrid’s defense, played Lewandowski through on goal which unluckily came back off the post with Reus waiting and slotting it inside the net.

In another decisive match against Arsenal in the group stages, he ran the show against them all over the pitch with supreme work rate.

This analysis certainly his qualities at both ends of the pitch.

Replacements:

Germany has Podolski, Schurrle, and Draxler who could possibly replace him at the left-wing.

Let’s look at the stats as per who scored of the three and how they stand against Marco Reus:

Player

App

Goal

Assists

Key passes

Chance Created

Successful Dribbles

Tackle

Shots

Reus

35(4)

21

15

2.7

90

2.5

1.4

3.8

Schurrle

20(20)

9

2

0.9

27

0.9

1.1

1.8

Podolski

15(6)

9

2

0.4

8

0.3

0.9

2.1

Draxler

32(2)

5

7

2.1

59

3.7

1.6

1.7

Let’s analyze the three in some of the big matches they played last season:

As we can see from the stats, none of the replacements are even close to Reus.

Draxler comes closest to him but has played mostly in Bundesliga and his Schalke being thrashed against Real Madrid in the last 16 of Champions League.

Podolski was a bit-part player for Wenger’s side.

With only 8 chances created last against Reus’ 90, he certainly lacks the vision to create chances for his teammates.

In high tempo games, he can easily be marked out by the opposing defenders and Wenger never trusted him in big games.

Low always fancied him but failed to score any goals in the qualifying campaign.

He’s better as a sub as his direct running and powerful shots could trouble the tiring defenders.

Schurrle was never given adequate opportunities last season by Mourinho with most of his appearances coming from the bench.

He has the qualities but lacks the edge to perform consistently in big matches.

Podolski:

Against Bayern Munich, 2nd leg of UCL last 16.

Never participated in the gameplay, attempted just 25 passes with a 76% success rate.

From the heat map, we can conclude that he doesn’t cover the ground adequately and has a low work-rate for a winger.

Schurrle:

Against PSG, 2nd leg of UCL quarters:

He did his defensive duties, has a high work-rate as he covered plenty of ground but performed in patches and seen mostly without the ball because of Mourinho’s tactics.

Draxler:

Against Madrid, 1st leg of UCL last 16:

Played Brilliantly despite seeing his team thrashed 6-1 by mighty Real Madrid, did his defensive duties, won headers, involved in the game, covered a lot of ground.

He’s certainly knocking on the doors of the first team and it wouldn’t be any surprise if Low chose him to fill the shoes of Marco Reus.

Verdict:

Reus has been playing regularly for Low’s side in the world cup qualifiers with 5 goals and 3 assists in six matches.

None of the replacements are as good as him.

Schurrle will be the favored choice with 4 goals in the qualifying campaign, lack of experience can count against Draxler otherwise he’s a great option.

Low could have used Reus at any wing or as a forward but the biggest problem will be that Low will be forced to play Muller at right-wing due to lack of creativity in the midfield.

It’s a shame to lose a player like Reus and everyone will miss his presence.

Reus’ injury has certainly been the biggest blow for Germany and their fans.