“Football is an eleven-against-eleven sport, and in the end, Germany wins.” This phrase from Gary Lineker to designate the great Germany of the 1980s and early 1990s still made sense until 2018. However, the last three years have been complicated for the Mannschaft. Last in her group (Sweden, Mexico and South Korea) at the 2018 World Cup, she then finished last in her Nations League group the same year (Netherlands and France). While there were a few bright spots, the 6-0 defeat to Spain in November 2020 swept away many certainties. So that on the other side of the Rhine, the expectations are much lower a few days before Euro 2020 that during the last competitions and a disenchantment has been born for 2-3 years between the public and the selection. “The German fans have put distance with the selection since the World Cup. The national selection is no longer the “darling” as before for the fans. There is a lot of misunderstanding between the German Federation and the fans. There is not much public support at the moment ”, underlines 24hfootnews, our colleague from Fussball Transfers.
The distrust of the German public is mainly oriented towards the federation, but the players also take it for their rank with certain attitudes and mentalities which denote with the face displayed by Germany before the fiasco of the World Cup 2018. It took time, but Germany will turn the page Joachim Löw since he will leave the selection after Euro 2020 to make way for his former assistant Hans-Dieter Flick. Wanting to stay coach as long as possible and therefore try to win the trophy, Joachim Löw took risks when putting together his list. He notably reconsidered his decision to dismiss Mats Hummels and especially Thomas Müller. The two men, who have returned to form with Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich, should bring significant added value. This has already been felt rather at the start of the preparation. After an encouraging draw against Denmark (1-1), Germany crushed Latvia (7-1). A score of parity against an outsider of the Euro and a large victory against a weak team, difficult to have a definitive opinion on what shaped Joachim Löw for the competition.
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A new system taking shape
The beautiful face shown in preparation allows at least to say that the incorporation of Mats Hummels and Thomas Müller is rather successful and will bring other weapons to Germany on the tournament. “Almost it all boils down to the fact that Löw recalled Hummels and Müller. He went back on his radical change to try to win this tournament. It’s a good thing for Germany, they are stronger with Hummels and Müller. They will have a chance to beat France, but France remains favorite, because they have more individualities when you look at the team ”, explains 24hfootnews. The latter goes on to explain that Löw will be ready to take all the risks, which he might not have done without the announcement of his departure: “Löw, he can do whatever he wants, because he will no longer be in post at the end of the tournament. The next coach Flick will have to deal with the Hummels and Müller cases. But for now, they have given the team more qualities on and off the pitch. ” Precisely, on paper, it is slowly taking shape.
The system chosen for the moment is a 3-4-3 with a false nine and three offensive elements that switch a lot. Among the peculiarities of this formation, we can note the positioning of Joshua Kimmich as a right piston which allows him to be an eccentric leader. In a hybrid role, the Bayern Munich player will be able to refocus to leave the corridor to Matthias Ginter, the right central defender. This also makes it possible to take advantage of Robin Gosens’ counterattack qualities on the left side. Up front, this offers a lot of possibilities with a fairly flexible attacking trio which compensates for the absence of pure number 9. Thus, Leroy Sané, Serge Gnabry, Thomas Müller, Kai Havertz or even Timo Werner will be able to evolve together without hindering each other. “The strongest part of the team is the midfield, even though Kimmich is playing on the right, which was the case against Latvia for the first time in years. But there are Kroos, Gündogan and Goretzka, who probably won’t play against France even if he returned to training. Especially in the possession game there is a good passing game. There is also speed in the offensive sector with Gnabry, Havertz, Sané … (…) We have speed in attack, it is also a strong point ”, notes 24hfootnews.
A still worrying defense
If against Denmark, the performance was encouraging, the match against Latvia made it possible to adjust the offensive animation a little more. If in this regard, Germany seems a little better equipped than six months ago, gray areas still exist. Conceding a goal against Latvia on the only real chance of the Baltic team, Germany was not reassured defensively. After the meeting, Joachim Löw let out a little rant about the defensive focus of the team: “We can better defend on an action like that and overall. Such a thing should not normally happen. Not being careful in these moments, not being vigilant, that’s exactly how our opponents punish us. Keeping focus high in every situation for 90 minutes is definitely something to improve. ”
Germany has decided to bet on Mats Hummels to support Matthias Ginter and Antonio Rüdiger (or possibly Niklas Süle). In a defense without a landmark, Germany did not know where to go. The arrival of Mats Hummels brings a little more solidity and serenity but it will be necessary to be careful in the half-spaces (half-spaces, zone between the central defender and the full-back) with this three-way defense and fairly high side which participate a lot in the game. 24hfootnews believes that there will be loopholes for France to exploit and that the German defense will have to correct these shortcomings as soon as possible if it does not want to be punished: “There are weak points, especially in possession. If the pistons play too high, there will be problems controlling the French arrows, like Mbappé or Coman, if he plays. Kimmich in piston and Ginter in central right, they are not the fastest. We don’t have a real goalscorer either, like Benzema can be. Many German supporters are afraid of him. There may also be a problem on the emotional side. ”
Joachim Löw ready to die with his ideas
Despite everything, Germany conceded a goal in their two preparation matches and remain on 3 clean sheets in the last 14 games while having conceded 20 goals in this period. Very worrying figures when it comes to facing France and Portugal in the group stage. Especially since the mere arrival of Mats Hummels seems too light to fix everything overnight. The return to four defenders should not take place during the competition and Joachim Löw should persevere in this system. Jérôme Boateng, who is coming off a satisfactory season at Bayern Munich, could also have helped, but Joachim Löw did not consider that his contribution will be significant enough to recall it. Author of strong choices, Joachim Löw will therefore have to assume his ideas to the end. Ideas regularly questioned. Last November, when discussing the concerns of the German selection, Lukas Hörster, our colleague from Fussball Transfers, explained to us that he did not understand the stubbornness of Joachim Löw.
He also found that the latter’s choices had sometimes cost him dear: “It’s wrong to insist with your own ideas on a national team (where you can’t really build a team over the years like in a club). The best players in the optimal form and in a simple system should play. Is it the quality that wins or has an outsider already won the World Cup? A good example, during the victory at the 2014 World Cup, Löw wanted to play with Lahm as number 6. Lahm wanted too. But everyone knew it was rubbish, because he was the best right-back in the world at the time. After almost failing in the round of 16 against Algeria, he handed Lahm back as a right-back and they won the title. ” Often extreme in his ideas, Joachim Löw has done great things with Germany reaching at least the semi-finals of Euro 2008, World 2010, Euro 2012, World 2014 and Euro 2016. Winner of the World Cup in 2014 and coming out without glory in 2018, he can totally tarnish his end of the course with the Mannschaft and will do everything to avoid it. The France team will have to be careful this Tuesday, because you must always be wary of an injured animal.