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Now one can argue about the choice of words and whether such an interview can always be sufficiently reflected almost immediately after the game. Thomas Muller In any case, he knows how to answer questions even after heavy defeats.

“It’s ridiculous” that “we’re standing with defeat,” Muller, the goalkeeper, told ARD. Manuel Neuer led, in particular, to a weak exploitation of moments, and in part these estimates could be understood.

For a good hour, the German national team kept the game against Japan under control, created enough chances to score at least three or four goals, and managed to hide their problem areas in defense to some extent. In the dominant phases of the German team, one could at least guess what a better opponent than the Japanese would have done with the gifts that were handed out from time to time – but the game took its strange turn only in the final phase of the game.

If you look soberly, this is not due to bad luck, inability or poor implementation of the moments, but to the lack of quality in the German game: with some players, in the coaching team and – almost an insult to the German national team. at a big tournament – at fitness.

Ruthless Criticism of Gundogan

It was a combination of several factors that first brought Japan back into the game and then tipped the game completely in favor of a clear underdog. “If you are leading 1-0 and you can’t make a second, then you have to play cool and confident. I don’t know whether there is not enough maturity, or the quality is somewhere a little bit, the situation, – said clearly disappointed Ilkay Gundogan.

In his rather ruthless analysis, the only German scorer sounded much the same as a week ago after the game with Oman, when Gündogan denounced some grievances almost verbatim and, at least between the lines, called his teammates to account. Apparently, none of Gundogan’s colleagues really listened.

“While we play well in positions, we lack confidence a bit when playing from behind,” Gundogan continued. “In the second half we relied on long passes and lost the ones we played relatively easily. It felt like not everyone wanted the ball.” It gives you a deep insight into a team that, for the second, third, fourth year in a row, absolutely refuses to consolidate and stabilize.

The coaching team cannot find a solution

Partial highlight or individual performance of some players is canceled out due to individual or collective departures, the team almost never survives the game without conceding a goal, the goal is a real problem, the defense lacks proper quality.

Against the Japanese, who for an hour showed little offensive ambition or a game idea that went beyond a quick switch after winning back the ball, one or the other player clearly ran out of energy in the middle of the second half. Suddenly, even simple actions seemed sluggish, there was a lack of firmness in a duel, and with every centimeter that the Germans surrendered or retreated, Japan gained more and more confidence.

And therefore also Hansi Flix Personnel changes came to naught, and some details even worsened, and the national team coach and his team did not find an answer to the change of the Japanese for a triple, and sometimes five strikers in the last German line, this defeat is less of an accident. or a reservation, but a logical continuation of what has been observed for years. With a good share of a national coach who has received little or no criticism.

The German team can compete with almost any other team in the world on good days, or at least in good phases of the game. But she fails to consistently evoke that high quality of play, repeatedly succumbs to inappropriate frivolity, or fails to evoke the quality in decisive sequences that is needed to win.

Incredible clean slate reveals many weaknesses

A goal like this to make it 2-1 is not only hard to explain at this level, but audacity for all the onlookers who thought they were on a World Cup game. “I don’t know if an easier goal has ever been scored in the World Cup,” Gundogan said. The 32-year-old man was able to answer this question himself.

In some scenes, it was already clear before that the German defenders are good at defending from the front, covering well and preempting. But passing in space, voting, closing the gaps, communicating with each other and, ultimately, the behavior, as soon as the players had to defend with an eye on their own goal, was not at the level of the World Cup.

Now you can always talk smart later, but the question of why Flick took the main right-back Thilo Kehrer out of the team in recent games – i.e. a player who was always allowed to play – and the experiment with Niklas Süle instead on the right flank, and instead of him Niko Schlottbeck went to the center next to Antonio Rüdiger, the national team coach will probably be busy for some time.

Such content and personnel constellation should not be expected again against Spain next Sunday. Then everything is decided for the German national team in the second group game. But the impressions of the first game give reason to fear that in the end nothing will happen again.

Sources used

  • spox.com- “Wanted to have too little ball!” Gundogan after Japan’s bankruptcy with criticism: https://www.spox.com/de/video/00-videofc/atp/guendogan-kritik-dfb-japan-ball-wm-2022.html
  • kicker.de – Muller in search of an explanation: “It’s crazy”: https://www.kicker.de/muellers-suche-nach-erklaerungen-es-ist-schon-aberwitzig-926919/video