uEdin Terzic is said to be less flexible in the hips, which is why the Borussia Dortmund coach was very happy that he was spared. “I still had the images in my head from last year when he ran up to the coach and started dancing. Thank God he didn’t do that,” Terzic said of the moment when Anthony Modeste ran to him at full speed.
When he was in Cologne, the striker liked to ask his then coach Steffen Baumgart to dance, but this time he was merciful with his new boss. Even without such a deposit, the moment was a happy one because it was decisive, as it followed Modeste’s goal to make it 1-0 at Hertha BSC on Saturday. “We are sure that it was the first of many,” said Terzic.
flank by flank
Who could disagree with him, since Dortmund had done everything that afternoon to put their new striker in the best possible light. Flank after flank sailed into the Berlin penalty area, and Modeste stretched and stretched for everything that was circling in his orbit.
This was also the case after a good half hour, when he banged an input from Salih Özcan into the goal with his head. “There were significantly more crosses than last. We played more of those today than in the other three Bundesliga games combined,” said Terzic.
The procedure followed a clear plan, as Özcan revealed. “We tried to stage Tony more and work with crosses. He has his qualities there, you could see it with the goal, he’s unbelievable,” said the preparer.
“The coach always supported me”
This is how Modeste scored 20 goals for 1. FC Köln last season, where the game was tailored to him. In the first two games after his commitment, there were indications that the conditions could be more difficult for him in Dortmund. Modeste seemed largely isolated and of course it didn’t take long before the first criticism of him was voiced.
Hence the big hug the striker gave his new coach after the goal. “The trainer noticed that I’ve been getting so much on the cover lately, and the trainer was always behind me and always supported me,” Modeste explained his jubilation on the Sky TV channel.
Doubts had accompanied his transfer from the start: the Frenchman had already turned 34 in April. The fact that he is allowed to play in the Champions League again at the end of his career and possibly also for the German championship was not only thanks to his amazing improvement in performance from last season, but also to special circumstances that those responsible at Borussia dealt with weeks ago faced.
They had chosen Sebastien Haller from Ajax Amsterdam to replace Erling Haaland, who had moved to Manchester City, but the Frenchman fell ill with testicular cancer and will be out for an indefinite period. Again, a replacement was needed, despite some spectacular names that were traded (Edinson Cavani, Mauro Icardi), the choice fell on Modeste, who received a one-year contract.
“This is new for us”
The contract period alone shows that Modeste is not intended as a long-term solution. The striker should and must function – now in Haller’s absence. It will depend on whether BVB will actually be able to challenge FC Bayern next spring or whether they have already dropped so many points in the autumn that the endeavor has to be described as hopeless as early as the winter break.
Terzic and his coaching team have decided that it is more promising to adapt their team’s game to the new striker than the other way around. To do this, they are willing to put up with a certain adjustment phase. “We’ve never had that one target player in the box in recent years, that’s new for us. It will take some time to use this weapon more often,” said Terzic.
Modeste and Özcan, the second Cologne player to move to Dortmund this summer, enrich the team with style elements that BVB have lacked in recent years. Like Modeste, Özcan also impressed in his season debut. In addition to his cross to make it 1-0, he attracted attention with his resolute duel and enormous commitment. For this he received special praise from his coach. “He made an outstanding game. How he fought his way through, how many balls he got for us, that was at least as important as the goal he set up,” said Terzic.