How Oliver Glasner is using Mario Götze’s in his Bundesliga comeback – scout report
Mario Götze is a name most recognized in the wider football world for his famous World Cup final goal in 2014, earning Germany their fourth title and individually the Man of the Match award. Now, he is back in Germany’s top flight, the Bundesliga.
This will be a tactical analysis, in the form of a scout report, of Mario Götze. Additionally, we will discover Götze’s general style of play as well as detail three of his best abilities. Then, we will proceed in this analysis to break down how he will benefit Eintracht Frankfurt’s overall tactics.
As you can see in the analysis dashboard below, Mario Götze is a very versatile and all-rounded player. In 20 out of 33 metrics, Götze is far above the Bundesliga median. He stands out in the attacking metrics. Both his deep completions (2.29 per 90) and passes to the penalty area (3.87 per 90) rank him in the 91st percentile. Despite being a goal threat in his younger years, Götze now focuses more on serving his teammates. This is felt in his shooting data, but also in his outstanding passing statistics.
His assists and second assists are on a very high level. With 57.31 passes per 90, he plays more passes than 97% of all Bundesliga players. 87.10% of all these passes are successful. Therefore, he here is in the 94th percentile. In 90 minutes, Götze plays an average of 12.35 forward passes and therefore, more than 91.1% of all other Bundesliga players. His success rate of 78.03% ranks him in the 97th percentile. As you can see, the new Frankfurt player focuses on short and creative passes instead of long balls.
In the last years. Götze changed his playing style step by step. While he was not known for his defensive work in his younger years, he increasingly takes responsibility and improved his defensive statistics in the last seasons. With 6.11 defensive duels per 90, Götze provides more defensive duels than 88% of all players in Bundesliga. He wins almost 2/3 of these defensive duels. Later in this report, we will take a closer look at how he recovers the ball and why this fits Frankfurt’s approach.
In the early 2022/23 Bundesliga campaign, Götze is even ranked 1st in the overall passing index by Comparisonator.
Mario Götze is an attacking playmaker who can be deployed in multiple roles, making him a valued asset to any team. Being used as a ‘false 9’ for the German national team, Götze has also played as a ’10’, narrow attacking midfielder, wide winger and even as a central ‘8’.
He is extremely flexible when it comes to positioning and has proven to be effective in multiple tactical set-ups. He likes to roam in and out of position, aiming to find pockets making himself hard to defend against. Perhaps his best attribute is finding space between the lines of the opposition whether this develops from dropping down as a ‘9’ up top or drifting into these spaces off the shoulder of midfield opponents in a ’10’ role.
He is successful at this also when shifting inside from the wide flanks into half-spaces, continuing to bring fellow teammates into the game with simple bounce passes. Götze moves the ball as quickly as possible with short sharp passing always looking to limit his touches to one or two, and is extremely dangerous when executing link-up play in the attacking third with his quick bursts of pace in ‘one-two’ combinations off the ball. The German specialises in the simple ‘give and go’ passing philosophy and is very good at breaking down the tightest of opposition defences where space has been heavily limited.
Despite his size of 176 cm, Götze is surprisingly strong and physical, showing quality by holding up the ball when played to his feet up top, using his low centre of gravity to get his body between ball and opponent, advancing to link midfielders into the game or furthermore switch the play to the opposition’s weak side being skilful on both feet and tidy working in tight areas. So, he is a technically, strong and advanced player useful in many tactics.
Offensive playing style
In recent seasons, Götze hasn’t driven and dribbled at opposition defence’s as he previously did in his younger years, instead opting to offload quickly and use sharp link-up play. This is possibly a result of the speed he has lost through metabolic issues of the past. Maybe this suggests to us that he doesn’t suit wide positioning.
In and around the goal, Götze is not a long-distance shooter and prefers to work the ball into the penalty area, getting as close as possible before pulling the trigger. We see from the image below all his shots from last year (excluding penalties). He is notably dangerous on the counterattack, having the capability to spray passes forward quickly during transitions, matching this with well-timed effective forward runs and a desire to get forward.
Defensive playing style
Possibly his most underrated trait though is his pressing actions and defensive contributions. Being a part of Bayern, Dortmund, PSV Eindhoven and Germany sides which heavily rely on pressing effectively and swiftly in transition, Götze has embedded this into his game and excels at ball recoveries in opposition areas.
With pressing out of possession becoming more and more popular in professional football today, the desire for a player like Götze who is comfortable with high-intensity defensive work and equipped to turn over possession in attacking areas, increases heavily and is an attractive attribute for prospective clubs.
As previously mentioned, Götze has been a part of some of the world’s best pressing teams and squads which helped kick-start the ever-evolving pressing theme out of possession in Europe’s top footballing leagues we see today. In his early days at Borussia Dortmund, he was introduced to the now famous gegenpressing popularized by Jürgen Klopp, and further nurtured into a similar intensive yet effective defending philosophy by Pep Guardiola at Bayern. Under Roger Schmidt at PSV Eindhoven, the high pressing was the most intensive one.
Whatever position Götze is deployed in, he’s learnt how to constructively and successfully press in transition to defence through experience with this tactical system and always shows the desire and work rate to win possession back as quickly as possible for his side. This is one of his best traits and has led to many successful defensive actions for the individual, winning the ball high up the pitch for his team and immediately being a danger to the opposition goal.
Götze has pressing intelligence and cleverness many attackers in modern football do not own, making him a valuable addition to Frankfurt who increasingly choose to press high in defence, squeezing and eliminating opponent space to play through as part of their football philosophy.
Pressing can be ineffective and a waste of energy for any individual not backed up in the action by the other nine outfield players, expressing the importance of the manoeuvre being a collective effort and worthwhile as it can be physically exerting.
Götze might play a key part in communicating with his teammates at Frankfurt. Götze’s role here would be to lead the press and decide when to step onto the ball carrier and when to hold, making his leadership and decision-making critical to the completion of the defensive action. It becomes very difficult for any side to play out of a well-drilled high press, and having a player like Götze who is comfortable and experienced in this defensive philosophy gives us another reason as to why he is a valuable addition to Eintracht Frankfurt.
At Frankfurt, Oliver Glasner has played Götze as a wide ’10’ in a 5-4-1 system. We’ll take a look at how he operates in wide areas of the pitch and what positive benefits this can bring to Eintracht Frankfurt. Since he played as a winger or wide ’10’ in a front three for Dortmund as part of a 4-3-3 or 3-4-3 formation, he prefers to receive the ball to his feet instead of running in behind on the end of through balls. This suits Götze’s style as he doesn’t possess the mid to long-range acceleration to take on opposition defenders, instead opting to break down defences through intricate link-up play and effective off-the-ball movement.
When he receives in the wide areas, Götze will look to play the inside square pass to a lone forward or central midfielder, moving quickly into tight spaces, hungry to receive the ball instantly and progress forward through ‘one-two’s’ or ‘wall passes’. Keeping his passes to one or two touches, Götze will make darting runs either underneath Frankfurt’s centre-forward moving centrally from wide areas to link play or create combination play with an overlapping fullback often releasing the runner into the final third in the wide areas.
In the wide areas, the German has more time on the ball to showcase his playmaking and threatening ingenuity in attack for his side, picking out the right passes and moving inside off the flank unmarked through combination play. He also brings the best out of his rapid teammates using his experience to recognize when it’s best to hold the ball up out wide and bring these players into the game through perfectly placed through balls in-behind opposition’s defensive lines.
In the past, both Bayern and Dortmund have taken advantage of Götze’s positional adaptability isolating him up front and allowing him to perform in the ‘False 9’ role. A False ‘9’ is essentially a centre-forward or a striker who drops deep into the midfield area and plays the role of a playmaker rather than an out-and-out striker due to various tactical reasons.
This consists of Götze dropping deep off the opposition’s defensive line in possession with sharp movements, attempting to drag a centre-half down and create space in behind for diagonal runs off his wingers. This movement also sees his side momentarily outnumber the opposition in central areas with Götze now being positioned as a ’10’, as he attempts to receive the ball in spaces between the lines.
This suited the possession-based tactics of Guardiola at Bayern Munich as it meant his side had control in the middle of the park, and aided Dortmund more recently whose midfield would look to link with Götze when he found space, allowing the attacking wide-men to get forward. The German is most dangerous when he receives between the opposition lines, is allowed to turn, and play passes through the opposition defence.
The eagerness and work rate of Götze to move vertically is unique among forwards and a special asset to his game. When Götze operates as the False ‘9’ he is very comparable to the likes of Roberto Firmino at Liverpool, as well as Lionel Messi at Barcelona when he has played in centralized areas in the past.
Again, the positioning of his fellow teammates is crucial to create the areas underneath the forward line for him to operate in, and not kill the space by being attracted to the ball. This demonstrates the discipline, patience and positional awareness needed by Götze and his teammates in order to successfully play through and break opposition lines.
His link-up play and quick passing are extremely effective in the False ‘9’ role, often drifting into wide positions below the winger in an attempt to switch the play from one half of the field to the other and attack the opposition’s weak side.
Frankfurt’s squad is not designed to play with a false 9. However, since the departure of Filip Kostic, Glasner might change his system to one with a back-four. Then, a 4-3-3 with a false ‘9’ is an option. Götze would also excel as a number ’10’ in a 4-2-3-1 system, or as a number ‘8’ in a 4-3-3.
In central midfield, the strengths of the now 30-year-old come into their own. Götze does not impress with speed or physique, but above all with his speed of action and technique. He likes to stay between the lines, lurking between the opponent’s midfield and defence for the pass. Like hardly anyone else, he then understands how to receive the ball and pass it on. Götze always scans all possible options.
Even under the greatest pressure from opponents, he keeps his nerve and always finds solutions in the last third to serve his teammates. At Frankfurt, Götze should therefore certainly be among the “Most Pressed Players” this season. Added to this are his outstanding passing skills, precise passes at full speed, and perfectly timed passes into the interface – all of this is part of Götze’s standard repertoire.
Mario Götze’s genius is well known and yet Götze may no longer have the great radiance of his younger days. Also, he often had to play in unpopular positions on the flanks or in the centre of attack at Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.
However, Götze feels most comfortable in central midfield, ideally as a playmaker behind the striker. His best positions are the number ‘8’ or wide ’10’. After his move to the Netherlands, he is back in form and now has a coach who bets on him. Mario Götze will be a key player at Frankfurt fighting in Bundesliga, DFB Pokal and Champions League.