VfL Wolfsburg trainer Oliver Glasner may not be on the same page as his club administrators with respect to much these days. With respect to 27-year-old defender John Anthony Brooks, however, all agree that the American is doing a bang-up job.
|Patrik Schick.||Photo: GEPA Pictures/Roger Petzsche|
After publicly criticizing and benching one of his most physically gifted center-backs last season and spending most of the pre-season playing without him, VfL head-coach Oliver Glasner candidly stated his issues with John Anthony Brooks in a recent interview.
"My experience is that it's difficult to take it easy from Monday to Friday, then find another gear on Saturday," Glasner noted, specifically referring to Brooks' work ethic on the training pitch, "You have to show that power during the week."
Glasner singled out Brooks' improved demeanor in the team's training sessions as the primary reason he now trusts the former Hertha prodigy to captain his defense. "J.A. has taken a big step forward in that respect."
Wolfsburg sporting director Marcel Schäfer confirmed that those at the higher echelons of the club spoke to Brooks about such matters too. "He didn't find himself in an easy situation," Schäfer told Germany's Kicker, "We exchanged words openly and honestly. [My message to him]: It must be unpleasant for strikers to play against John Anthony Brooks.
The Berlin-born Bundesliga veteran has evidently taken this message to heart. Brooks has delivered more than one masterpiece for Germany's green company team in this young campaign. One bad error against Hoffenheim in the seventh round constituted something of a sour taste to heading into the international break, but was genuinely the defender's first major mistake of the season.
"My point is that he works to improve in every training session," Glasner emphasized, also stressing that he had no plans to tinker with his current center-back partnership.