Marco Reus has been backed as Borussia Dortmund captain by the Bundesliga club’s hierarchy after receiving criticism from sections of the German press.
The 30-year-old recently lost his temper in an angry interview, clearly frustrated at what he saw as a repetitive line of questioning after Dortmund’s 2-2 draw at Eintracht Frankfurt.
Eintracht had equalised in the 88th minute through a Thomas Delaney own goal, leading to questions about Dortmund’s mental strength.
"It's getting on my nerves," he said to Sky. "The own goal was a mentality problem? We defended stupidly in that situation, of course, but don't come around with your mentality s**t now.”
Dortmund are three points off early leaders RB Leipzig after five games, and were unlucky only to draw at home to Barcelona in the Champions League after Reus saw a penalty saved by Germany team-mate Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
An editorial in German outlet Bild on Monday argued that Reus was the wrong man to captain Dortmund, but sporting director Michael Zorc doesn’t appear to be entertaining any doubts over his suitability.
“We have a healthy hierarchy with him, Lukasz Piszczek with a lot of experience and Axel Witsel with a lot of experience,” Zorc said in a press conference.
“And of course Mats Hummels, these are the leaders at Borussia Dortmund. There’s absolutely no reason to change that.
“You can write as much as you want. We have a totally clear position.”
Zorc’s position was echoed by manager Lucien Favre, who was also keen to praise the leadership qualities brought by defender Hummels following his return from Bayern Munich this summer.
“Mats Hummels proved during the last two games, especially in Frankfurt, that he’s very important for the team,” Favre said.
“The defence begins with him. He is very important for the team, but Marco Reus is doing a good job as a captain.
“It’s absolutely clear that Reus is our captain. He’s staying as our captain.”
Now in his eighth season in Dortmund, Reus is already firmly established as a club legend and will be hoping for an injury-free season as he looks to lead his side to a first Bundesliga title since he joined from Borussia Monchengladbach in 2012.
They host tenth-placed Werder Bremen on Saturday evening, before returning to Champions League action with a trip to Slavia Prague in midweek.