In the summer of 2020, Thomas Meunier moved from Paris Saint-German to Borussia Dortmund on a free transfer, where he was supposed to close the squad construction site on the right side of defence. However, the start at BVB was not as promising as hoped. Probably also because of the coach at the time.
In an interview with “WAZ” on the work of coach Marco Rose, who has been training BVB since the current season, Meunier praises: “I am a player who attaches great importance to clear plans, specifications and processes. And the we get from the coach. He has a clear idea, works with us a lot on tactical things.”
Clear specifications that Meunier apparently did not find when he started in Dortmund under the then coach Lucien Favre. “With Lucien Favre it was a bit like in Paris, where we had Mbappé, Neymar and Di Maria. So the plan was: stand securely, win the ball and give it to the geniuses, i.e. instinct footballers like Sancho or Reyna. But that’s not mine idea of football”, Meunier argues. “Now we have a clear plan and everyone knows what to do and when.”
Favre actually always relied on Meunier, but the Belgian was rarely able to meet the high expectations of himself. However, Meunier only lost his regular place under Favre’s interim successor Edin Terzic. At Marco Rose, on the other hand, the 30-year-old is set again. The criticism of his achievements has also become much quieter.
Meunier with “Hunger” appeal to BVB
Speaking of criticism: Meunier has learned his own way of dealing with it over the course of his career: “Meanwhile I know when I can use newspapers or social media and when it’s better not. I don’t read everything about myself, only the positive things,” he says national player. His approach does not work 100 percent, but is a “good protection”.
The fact that he didn’t have to close his eyes and ears after the start of the second half of the season against Eintracht Frankfurt was due to a strong second half by Dortmund, who made up a two-goal deficit and won 3-2. Due to the will “not to simply accept the impending defeat”, Meunier describes the game as the best game of his BVB time. The unconditional will of the men on the pitch is fundamental for the veteran anyway: “This hunger has to come from us players, the coaches can only support us.”
By the way: While Meunier’s fear of the corona pandemic as a result of vaccinations and Co. has now subsided, the defender particularly regrets one consequence of the virus: “I’ve been here for a year and a half and have never played in a full stadium. That feels like wasted time.”