Mit is with good reason that Breel Embolo could have breathed deeply after Borussia Mönchengladbach’s 4-0 win against Shakhtar Donetsk. The attacker had succeeded in creating a beautiful fall retractor gate, he had created the artistic climax of an imposing performance. A moment of relief, because during the season so far Embolo had had many, many other scoring chances, but never scored. But he still didn’t feel really easy at the end of this great football evening. “In the cabin everyone will say again: Typical Breel! The heaviest goes in, the easy ones again don’t, ”he said.
At that moment it became clear what a great burden this man is carrying around with him – a burden that cannot be easily shaken off even with a goal. But he didn’t have to fear smug sayings in the cabin. The colleagues had celebrated Embolo wildly, the mutual joy about the personal breakthrough was clearly visible in the reactions of the teammates.
The goal to make it 3-0 immediately before the break led the Gladbachers, who played superbly, to the winner’s path. Marco Rose later discovered that his team had seen “a really good game”. For a team that hadn’t had much experience in the Champions League, the Bundesliga seventh appeared amazingly mature. And Embolo may not have been the best player on the field, but none of them got celebrated anymore. Because the whole team had suffered with their colleague in the past few weeks.
Embolo felt responsible for the loss of several valuable Bundesliga points because he had repeatedly missed the opportunity to score games that were not won in the end for Borussia. Most recently last weekend against FC Augsburg. In the game against Donetsk, even before his goal, you could hear the other players cheering on and cheering up their problem child when another finish landed next to the goal or the post.
Many missed opportunities
Later, everyone involved assured that the anger about the missed opportunities in the past few weeks was more a matter of the media – and a matter of Embolo itself. “Internally, we know how important Breel is,” said Captain Lars Stindl. Many external observers, however, are less aware of how valuable the strengths of this footballer are for the team, even if he does not score a goal. “He’s our ball fester when we’re pressed high,” said Stindl. “If we don’t have this playful solution, he’s the first man we send the ball to.” An anchor that becomes the starting point for many attacks.
Embolo knows this, of course, “the trainer and the staff have always indicated how important I am”. But strikers need goals to feel really comfortable. In the run-up to the game against the Ukrainians, Rose had a conversation with Embolo about the art of scoring a goal. Perhaps this conversation helped the 23-year-old Swiss, who was so unlucky with injuries, a little.
In any case, the sense of achievement this evening will “give him power for the next few weeks,” said Sommer. Embolo still owes his audience the proof that he can turn not only completely improbable attempts, but also normal average chances into hits.