Looking ahead after a top performance

Theodor Gebre Selassie on his new position
Theodore Gebre Selassie is starting to feel at home at centre-back (nordphoto).
first team
Wednesday, 02.10.2019 / 14:58

Theodor Gebre Selassie was undoubtedly one of the most important men on the pitch in Dortmund on Saturday, as Florian Kohfeldt reiterated after the game: "He is one of the most underrated players in our squad and he put in another class performance today." Since Werder’s centre-back injury crisis, the Czech international has been defending against opposing attackers from an unfamiliar position. "Throughout my career, I’ve always been there for me team. Now is not the time to change that," he explained in the Werder mixed zone on Wednesday. Forced to leave his favoured position of right back for the good of the team, Gebre Selassie has proven this unconditional commitment. 

Alongside Christian Groß, who has somewhat resolved the injury crisis in a “calm and excellent manner”, Theo has felt increased responsibility from his familiar position. Gebre Selassie openly admits that he misses playing at right back a little. The 32-year-old Werder veteran misses looking for that route forward, attacking after playing a successful pass, as he has been doing for the club since 2012. "In the first few weeks I really had to get used to holding my position. I always wanted to go forward," he told us, talking about his "first steps as a centre-back". 

Gebre Selassie: "I know what to do"

Theo is not ruling out playing as a centre-back in future (nordphoto).

Since then, he has started to enjoy certain aspects of life as a central defender, for example, the responsibility that comes with such a role, or the build-up play. An important milestone in this change of attitude was the 2-2 draw against BVB. "I really enjoyed combining with my teammates – showing this sort of courage against such a strong opponent and trying to organise the team from the back really is very different to what happens at fullback," he said. 

Gebre Selassie wants to carry the confidence he gained in Dortmund with him when the team travels to Frankfurt. Whether he will be at centre-back again alongside the “amazing” Christian Groß, depends on which of his teammates make a return. After all, Ömer Toprak, absent since the game in Hoffenheim, could be available again, as could Milos Veljkovic and Sebastian Langkamp. Should Theo be moved back to the wide position, he knows exactly what to do. "Don’t worry, I know what I need to do," he said, reassuringly, but he will now always have a soft spot for that role next to him. "I can definitely imagine playing at centre back again in future, if my body holds up," revealed Gebre Selassie, and every Werder fan will know by now, that they can expect quality performances if it does come to that. 

Latest news:

“It feels like a defeat”

19.10.2019 / first team

Werder fail to see out the victory

19.10.2019 / Match Highlights

Breaking down the “team of the hour”

18.10.2019 / preliminary report

Consistency is key

17.10.2019 / first team