Perhaps the most damning indictment in the investigation into Germany’s second consecutive exit from a Globalism The trophy came in the group stage from 23-year-old striker Kai Havertz, who simply said, “I don’t think we’re a championship team anymore”.
With four World Cups and three European Championships, Germany’s reputation is on point when it once really mattered, and there’s a word in German: Turniermannschaft, or “Team of the Tournament”.
After the fall of Hansi Flick’s team in Qatar, having never recovered from a stunning opening 2-1 defeat against Japan, that reputation is in tatters.
Germany crumbled for four years in Russia and was also knocked out in the last 16 at the European Championships last year.
So, with just 18 months away from hosting the next Euros in 2024, they are in the unfamiliar position of being outsiders in the home tournament.
Thursday’s 4-2 win over Costa Rica was too little, too late. Germany needed Spain to at least draw with Japan, but Spain lost 2-1 and Germany lost out on goal difference.
As the frustrated team boarded a flight from Doha back to Frankfurt on Friday, German Football Association president Bernd Neuendorf refused to guarantee Flick’s job was safe, while hinting that the root cause of the problems ran much deeper.
Neuendorf announced a series of inquiries about “the development of our national team and football since 2018”.
The DFB will “look forward” with a focus on “developing views (for) the euro in our country.”
Flick, who said Thursday he wants to stay at his job but knows “it’s not up to me,” called for an overhaul of the junior development system.
Starkley, realizing that Jamal Musiala, one of the few bright sparks in Qatar, “didn’t train in Germany, he trained in England,” the young Bayern Munich player represented England at youth level before moving to Germany.
The end of a spherical state
German newspapers were highly critical of the team’s performance with Bild lamenting, “On December 1, 2022, we witnessed the end of a once great and proud footballing nation.”
The tepid reaction to the tournament by German fans must have worried German football managers.
The team’s planned rainbow insignia “OneLove”, designed to protest Qatar’s laws on homosexuality, fell badly at home.
An average of 14.7 million tuned in to watch the three matches – well below the 25 million four years ago.
The German public hasn’t completely fallen out of love with football – 17.9 million watched Germany’s 2-1 defeat by England in the Women’s European Championship in July.
We lack German competence
National center manager Oliver Bierhoff, who scored twice in the 1996 European Championship final when Germany last won the tournament, lamented the extravagance in front of goal.
Germany dominated the ball against Japan but missed countless chances.
“The team lacked the German quality we always had,” Bierhoff said.
Jurgen Klinsmann, a 1990 World Cup winner and former coach of the German national team, said the team “didn’t deserve to go through” while acknowledging the short switch to Euro 2024 “could be a good thing, as it helps them refocus quickly”.
Another World Cup winner, Bastian Schweinsteiger, has criticized the team’s poor defense, pointing out that Germany have not kept a clean sheet in a World Cup since the 2014 final they so impressively won in Rio de Janeiro.
“If you don’t defend well, you won’t advance and you won’t win,” said Schweinsteiger.
“Today we did everything that was asked of us,” said captain Manuel Neuer, 36, while striker Niklas Voelkrug said Germany was taken off the pitch “because we dozed off a bit against Japan.”
Joshua Kimmich hinted at deeper problems, saying “we can’t always talk about bad luck” while Real Madrid defender Antonio Rudiger insisted that the “difficult reality we find ourselves in” is to do more with attitude than talent.
“We have a lot of talent, but we need more than just talent. We need a little bit of greed, a little bit of squalor, and that’s what we’re missing.
He said the former Steel Football Masters had become “a very friendly team”.
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