Mario Götze is quickly becoming one of the most sought after names in the world of football. At the tender age of 20, he showcases an impeccable level of skill, a precise touch, quick feet, close control and not for one minute does he look nervous.
He is already a full German international, making 20 appearances for the talented German squad. He made his debut against Sweden at the age of 18, becoming the youngest player to do so.
Götze’s rise into the first team has coincided with Dortmund’s rise in German and European football. He is a part of Dortmund’s youth academy and is another prime example of why the Bundesliga is the model to follow for the rest of the world.
This report looks at Mario’s performance in arguably the most difficult domestic fixture for any club in Germany, away at the Allianz Arena.
A game against Bayern is always going to be a difficult one. German players are capable of playing the big games irrespective of their age. And this was no different.
It wasn’t Götze’s best performance but it was still a decent run out by the German youngster and it would be interesting to see how he would deal with such difficult opponents.
Götze occupied the space behind the striker (Lewandowski) and played in his favourable attacking midfield role. Dortmund however didn’t play their usual free flowing attacking football, with Klopp preferring to take a more cautious approach. There was a slightly defensive edge to both sides which meant Götze was fairly deep at times. Quite often he found himself on the right side of midfield as Kuba dropped deeper. The illustration on the left shows Mario’s position in an attacking sense mainly.
With both managers realising that a draw would be a fairly decent result, they deployed a restricted system which didn’t allow Mario to venture forward enough. He had to keep to his tactical instructions of laying off a little allowing Bayern to move forward. While this may have been slightly frustrating to the player, and his fans who wanted to see him at his best, it showcased Götze’s maturing side. To be able to play within a restricted defensive system while attempting to disregard the temptations of moving forward is a sign of a developing footballer.
As a result Götze didn’t get enough of possession, most often trying to create something down the right or making runs through the centre to no avail.
His most telling contribution in the first half came from deep in midfield. He lost possession outside the box after running a few yards with good control, he ran back in a bid to regain control of the ball. Matts Hummells, put the tackle in that got the ball back and left it for Götze who chose to play a long ball rather than take the ball forward. He picked out Marco Reus with a superb ball and Reus, a very gifted player himself, took a shot on the half volley that had some pace on it but Neuer was able to save. Dortmund’s best chance of the half.
Götze began to see more of the ball in the second half as both teams pushed a bit forward. Mario preferred to move more centrally in the second period. He didn’t operate as deep as he did in the first half and had a brilliant chance to give Dortmund the lead in the 56th minute. He found himself unmarked inside the box when he combined with Reus again. He put a cross into the box towards Götze but he failed to cause Neuer any trouble from his header.
10 minutes after that opportunity, Bayern took the lead through Toni Kroos. Dortmund however got right back into it, 7 minutes later. And who else, Mario Götze was the scorer. The goal came from a corner and sat up perfectly for the technically gifted Götze, who was in acres of space at the edge of the box. He got his shot away through the ruckus of Bayern players to equalise for the away side. No prizes for guessing who the corner taker was, Marco Reus combined once again with Mario Götze. The two are beginning to link up well in the past few weeks.
The goal meant that Dortmund extended their unbeaten streak against Bayern in the league to 5 games. The goal was well deserved too. Götze was substituted in the 89th minute and replaced by Julian Schieber.
Götze has often been praised for his passing game as well. This match was always going to be a tight affair, and Götze wasn’t able to showcase this part of his game convincingly, especially in the final third. He had a passing accuracy of 74%.
On the whole it was a decent performance from the German international, not his best, yet he made a significant contribution. Scoring one, setting up a wonderful chance and nearly scoring with his head as well. He even put in 2 crosses, 1 successful and the other failing. He had 3 successful tackles, all important ones in the defensive area. Both his shots were on target (both of which were discussed above). He had 49 touches in total.
He is technically one of the most gifted players in the world right now. A classy touch, close control as the ball attracts to him like a magnet. He’s got a decent bit of pace, and more importantly a burst of speed (acceleration). He is not shy to get into the box either. He has the eye to spot a player, while his long range passing is slowly improving. Often he can take a shot with either foot as well, a rarity.
He is still a very young player and a bit inexperienced, with more game time he will only get better. It was good to see him play a restricted game in the first half, shows the development he is making. A major problem for Götze is that he is still physically inept. At 5 feet 9 inches he is not the biggest target for an aerial ball. As mentioned, his passing game is still improving.
Being one of the most talented footballers in the world, he doesn’t escape the rumour mills. He has been linked with the biggest clubs in Europe, most recently Manchester United and Arsenal. The development he is making as a player and the growth of Borussia Dortmund, it would be foolish for a player of his calibre to leave the Bundesliga or indeed the Signal Iduna Park at the moment. For the foreseeable future, Mario is going nowhere.
UPDATE: Mario Gotze has joined Bayern Munich.
Statistics and graph via Squawka.com with prior permission and guidelines provided. Tactical illustration made at footballtactics.net
- United and Arsenal battle to sign Dortmund ace (footballfancast.com)
- Gotze confident, relishing Ribery duel (fifa.com)
- Bundesliga blog: Spotlight on Mario Gotze – the Dotmund starlet with Arsenal and Man United on his tail (mirror.co.uk)
- Gotze Has ‘No Intention’ Of Making Arsenal Or Man Utd Move (football-talk.co.uk)