Friday, June 29, 2018

Germany out

Germany is out after losing a poor match against South Corea 0-2. This is the first time the Germans are out in the first round since 1938, underlining the poor performance of the defending world champions.
What are the reasons they are out so early? (in no particular order of relevance):
  • Bad luck: Germany is the team that has most shots on goal. Still, they only managed a meager two goals! Of course, the high number of shots can also be attributed to the fact that they had the back against the wall
  • Arrogance: Just like Spain four years ago, the defending champions thought that the mere name could get them through, and it seems that Joachim Loew did actually not study Germany's opponents and adapted style and selection accordingly.
  • Risky style: Four years ago Germany won the World Cup with a high defensive line, often saved by Manuel Neuer acting as an extra sweeper and the ever-present Phillippe Lahm. Even then, they did have some lucky breaks in Brazil. This is not the case any longer: without Lahm and with a Neuer past his prime, their defense was too exposed and easy to overcome.
  • Tired players: As well as with Spain four years ago the players seemed tired and without the commitment to the team that characterized them in Brazil. Thomas Muller, Mesut Ozil, Toni Kroos, Manuel Neuer, Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng; all performed below the high class we have seen them play before.
  • Lack of an all-out striker: They shot and shot, but without a replacement for Miroslav Klose or a sharper Thomas Muller, Germany's attack was simply not good enough. Using the veteran Mario Gomez seemed more like a desperate gamble than a real option.
It will be interesting what the German Football Federation will make of this. Joachim Loew will have to go, and perhaps a complete renewal of the team will be in the air.

1 comment:

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