Good morning, Fear the Wall.
Watzke Responds to Didi Hamann’s Criticism of Marco Reus
Yesterday, Paul covered Sky Sports pundit Dietmar Hamann’s criticisms of Marco Reus. Hamann lamented the fact that Reus has kept the armband all throughout his injury troubles over the last two seasons, and professed that Gio Reyna and Jadon Sancho have been so good that Borussia Dortmund might actually be better off without Reus.
Needless to say, this ruffled a few feathers among Borussia Dortmund fans. As it turns out, it ruffled some feathers among BVB’s front office as well. Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke responded to Hamann politely, but it was a strong rebuttal nonetheless (From Bild):
“Hamann often analyses very accurately, but here he is completely wrong,” insisted Waztke. “How can he judge what goes on within the team internally?”
He also specifically responded to the Hamann’s idea that BVB should take the armband from Reus, who is frequently injured, and give it to Mats Hummels.
Marco and Mats get along very well. It makes sense that Marco needs time to stabilize his performance after this long injury break. In any case, we know what we have in him.
But wait, there’s more! In a column for Sky Sports, Hamann somewhat walked back his criticisms, writing essentially that he was not denying Reus’s leadership skills or his playing ability, merely that Reus isn’t yet at 100% health.
Marco is not at 100 percent. He would probably see it that way too. I would like to make it clear once again that I have not criticized Marco Reus. I have denied him neither his playful nor his leadership qualities.
10-Man Bayer Leverkusen Lose to Slavia Prague
Bayer Leverkusen were one of two Bundesliga sides in the Europa League yesterday. While Hoffenheim easily rolled over Gent, Leverkusen had a much tougher time against Slavia Prague, BVB’s opponent from last season’s Champions League Group Stage. While Leverkusen really should have won, their plans were complicated when Karim Bellarabi was sent off in the 22nd minute. He flew recklessly into a challenge with his studs flying, and after a VAR review the ref flashed him a straight red card.
Leverkusen still put up a solid fight, and even saw a pair of brilliant saves off a penalty by Lukas Hradecky, but eventually Slavia scored off a corner to go ahead for good. Overall, it was an up-and-down week for the Bundesliga in European Competitions. While Hoffenheim won easily and Bayern and Dortmund scraped by a pair of feisty Russian competitors, Leverkusen lost and Leipzig got hammered by Manchester United. Let’s hope the Bundesliga’s top clubs perform a bit better in the future.
The Daily Buzz
Are you okay with Reus having the armband? Do you think someone else should have it?