Berlin, Germany | Xinhua | The departure of 2014 world champion coach Joachim Loew triggers a new era for the German national team.
After Loew’s 15 years on the German bench, a well thought-over restart is required to initiate the country’s return to football’s top level after two disappointing majors: the 2018 World Cup and the Euro 2020.
Next to expected resignations of established forces, Loew’s successor Hansi Flick is forced to reinvent the entire team.
Who is first?
Toni Kroos (31/Real), Thomas Mueller (31/Bayern), Mats Hummels (32/Dortmund), and Ilkay Gundogan (30/Citizens) are expected to consider their resignation from the German squad to make way for a restart with new faces.
Mueller and Hummels returned only a few days before the Euro 2020, taking the risk to help out their desperate coach.
But, while Hummels developed into the team’s defensive leader, Mueller’s disappointment couldn’t be more significant.
“After moments like that make you lose your sleep at night. So to spoil a moment, when you can bring back your team in a knock-out game and make fans happy, hurts so much,” the Bayern striker said after having failed to score the possible 1-1 against England.
Kroos has been under attack by fans and media over the past years. Gundogan in the German shirt never met the performance level he reached with his club.
While 18-year-old Jamal Musiala joined the team for the Euro 2020, 18-year-old Leverkusen talent Florian Wirtz is seen as one of the country’s most promising talents.
Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka might stand for Germany’s pace-making new midfield duo.
After Kimmich’s return to midfield following his full-back adventure at the Euro 2020, Wolfsburg’s 23-year-old Ridle Baku could be the man covering the right flank.
“I didn’t talk about retirement,” the 2014 world champion coach said after the painful last 16 defeat against England.
However, in the upcoming months, the 61-year-old might do some soul-searching to find out when he is ready for a new adventure and return to club coaching.
The 2014 world champion title might open doors at some leading European clubs. Loew’s challenge: Return to daily work after 17 years as an assistant and national head coach.
While his predecessor’s farewell currently dominates the headlines, Flick faces a busy summer setting up his strategy for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and the Euro 2024 hosted by Germany.
The former Bayern coaches’ first competitive game is on September 2 against Liechtenstein.
Until then, the entire team needs a make-up as seven conceived goals and only six scored goals tell the story of a wavering insecure defense relying on a back-row of three.
While Loew suffered from the lack of an effective strategy over the past years, Flick’s most pressing issue is to set up a clear tactical plan.
A must for Flick: To teach his team different tactical systems, including changes during a game.
Germany’s talent development needs new impulses as the team lacks players with individual dribbling skills and robustness.