Last Friday at 8:20 p.m., nothing stopped him: Daniel Thioune sprinted towards the closed fist corner flag and soon after was barely recognizable in the group of players. Khaled Narey had just scored 3-0 against Hansa Rostock. It was clear that Fortuna went unbeaten under the new manager in Game 8.
“This victory does us really good”, analyzes Thioune, who had cooled down after the final whistle. “The last few weeks have been difficult for us as we have had to explain again and again why we couldn’t manage the tours on time.”
Thioune almost ended up in Hanover 96…
Düsseldorf and Thioune: This corresponds so far. On February 8, the 47-year-old took over the coaching job from his predecessor Christian Preusser. At this point, after matchday 21, Fortuna was in 16th place in relegation with 20 points. But under Thioune, Fortuna took a big step up the table. With a victory today at Hannover 96 (1:30 p.m., in the NDR Livecenter), staying in the league could be almost certain.
The trip to the Maschsee is not only something special for Thioune from a sporting point of view. As for Jan Zimmermann’s successor released in December last year, the Lower Saxony native was one of two favorites for the top spot alongside Uwe Rösler among the 96 managers. But then everything went differently: interim coach Christoph Dabrowski convinced by victories, kept the job and Thioune had to wait for a commitment.
… instead we went to the Rhineland
In retrospect, a stroke of luck for Fortuna: Because since Thioune am Rhein has been in power, the performance curve has been rising. Düsseldorf creates significantly more chances per game under the North German (previously 5.10/now 8.00), shoots more often (13/16) and allows fewer opposition shots (11.77/10, 29).
While the intended pressing game was rarely successful under Preußer, the team is now acting much smarter under Thioune – many more opposing balls are intercepted early on. Also striking: Thioune uses his flexible 4-2-3-1 system to have more ball possession and yet his team runs much more than under Preuss (118.35 km per game / 115.75 km).
Sudden end to the HSV mission
Thioune’s first weeks in Düsseldorf are somewhat reminiscent of his debut in Hamburg. Because Thioune also made a successful start in the league at HSV in 2020. At the start, there were even five consecutive victories. Despite a dry spell during the first part of the season, HSV was the fall champion.
But in the second half of the season, things didn’t go well. Following a five-game winning streak, Thioune was suspended after just ten months – in third place with 52 points.
His HSV record: In 31 Second Division games, there have been 14 wins, ten draws and seven losses. In total, Thioune racked up 1.68 points per game.
That’s a better value than current HSV manager Tim Walter’s (1.55 points). The Thioune side have also scored more goals than HSV on average this season (1.94 per game instead of 1.76), but have also conceded more.
With Thioune and Narey towards success
For Thioune, Düsseldorf is now the second attempt to breathe new life into a traditional club in the lower house. An old acquaintance is at his side: Khaled Narey. Both worked together in Hamburg. However, Narey was used less and less during the season and was effectively eliminated by Thioune. The winger also didn’t get another chance in Hamburg under Walter, he moved to Dusseldorf during the summer break.
Now at Fortuna, the 27-year-old is one of the guarantors of success – despite or because of Thioune. Because since the new coach is there, Narey has continued to flourish. He creates more chances to score under Thioune (0.9/1.88) and has a better chance conversion (26.32%/33.93%). Narey’s solid record since taking office from Thioune: three goals and seven assists.
“Obviously Fortuna would like to keep it. But with the performance you play in one or the other notebook.”
Daniel Thioune on Khaled Narey
Thioune is aware that Narey will be difficult to keep: “At the end of the day, there will be a win-win situation. If he leaves, monetary for Fortuna and sporting for Khaled. And if he stays, he will work. to bring the numbers next year as well.”
Saying goodbye to Thioune after this season is not a problem. But with an eight-point lead over 16th place, staying in the league is not yet assured. He would certainly like to celebrate Fortuna’s next victory this weekend with his almost employers Hannover 96 in the squad.