Anthony Modeste has hit the ground running at 1. FC Köln following his transfer from TSG 1899 Hoffenheim over the summer. The French striker has so far scored six goals, earning him instant popularity at the club, where he recently experienced Carnival for the first time.
En route to a German language lesson, the 27-year-old spoke to bundesliga.com about his successful campaign to date, what the Billy Goats can improve and what he likes about the city.
bundesliga.com: Anthony Modeste, have you recovered well from 11 November?
Modeste: Yes, that was my first time and I really enjoyed it. We all had so much fun. It was something completely new for me. It’s something everyone should do at least once in their lifetime.
bundesliga.com: Köln are seventh after Matchday 12 and you have already scored six goals. Are you satisfied with that?
Modeste: We’re doing really well but I’m the kind of person who always aims higher. I may have scored six times but I know I can still do a lot better. The win away to Bayer 04 Leverkusen did us the world of good and we’re happy to have given so much joy to our loyal fans. We’re really proud of our victories in both derbies [Köln beat Rhineland rivals Borussia Mönchengladbach 1-0 on Matchday 5 and defeated Leverkusen 2-1 on Matchday 12].
'The fans deserve more'
bundesliga.com: What can you still improve?
Modeste: Our results at home haven’t been great. We’ve dropped too many points on our own turf. We play every home game in front of 50,000 fans and they deserve more than we’ve given them so far.
bundesliga.com: So that would imply that your next game, at home to 1. FSV Mainz 05, will be a very important one?
Modeste: Yes, it would be nice to get three points for our fans but also it’d be good for us to show more consistency and cement our place in the top half of the table. On top of that, Mainz aren’t very far behind us in the standings and they’d go above us if they win. That’s why we need to approach the game in a serious manner and give everything we’ve got in order to win it.
bundesliga.com: You personally have not scored for a few games now. How do you deal with that?
Modeste: For me it’s important that I still get chances. I’m well aware that I can be more efficient in front of goal, but even if I don’t score it’s important to put the opposing defenders under pressure and create spaces for my team-mates.
'We have to win at home'
bundesliga.com: You have already played for a number of clubs, including Angers, Bastia, Girondins Bordeaux, Hoffenheim and now Köln. What is it about the Billy Goats that is different?
Modeste: I’ve never been at such a popular club. We play in front of an average of 50,000 fans at home, and they’re all so passionate and live for the club. I frequently see people around the city with FC Köln stickers on their cars. I’m delighted.
bundesliga.com: What has been your best experience at Köln so far?
Modeste: Our win at the BayArena. Even though it was an away game it felt like we were playing at home because our fans were so loud. The atmosphere gave me goosebumps.
bundesliga.com: There are another five rounds of matches before the winter break. What are your aims before then?
Modeste: We want to get as much as we can. If we could stay undefeated until the winter break that’d be great. We want to reach the 40-point mark as quickly as possible. Once we’ve done that we can play with greater freedom and set ourselves higher targets. We want to give our fans a nice Christmas present. That means winning at home. Personally I’d like to score more goals to cement what’s been a good season for me.