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Die Mannschaft: Being brave isn’t good enough

Get out of here with the moral victories. You are Germany: be better.

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There is nothing that infuriates me more than a coach hailing a team for being brave in defeat. For a team of world-class players, being brave is the bare minimum that a squad should bring to the table for an international competition against the reigning World Cup champions.

Where has the confident, machine-like German football team gone? Where is the strength, speed, and clinical precision that won the 2014 World Cup and 2017 Confederations Cup — with essentially two totally different squads? Is the team no longer world class and just striving to be brave?

This isn’t the Chotchkie’s manager Stan from Office Space hassling Joanna about her flair. In fact, Germany needs to have more of Joanna’s attitude about said flair than being worried about being brave — which is, again, the BARE MINIMUM for any team taking the field.

Yet here we are, lauding a team of grown men for being brave enough to play a game. Congrats: you still lost.

There are many adjectives you could use to describe Germany’s performance on the pitch since last June. Let’s take a look at some:

  • Overconfident
  • Arrogant
  • Lethargic
  • Indifferent
  • Confused
  • Sad
  • Oh yes: Brave

See how meaningless that is when considering all of the others? I could keep going, but why?

To laud a team for its courage in playing against France is the moral-est of moral victories. It’s the type of conjecture that losers tout when looking for a positive.

It’s time for Germany to get up and be better.
Getty Images

All that German fans need to hear right now is that, “It has to be better and it will get better.” Yet again, though, you won’t hear these words from Joachim Löw’s mouth. Is this the state of German soccer — where being brave is a victory of sorts? Are we celebrating good efforts these days? If so, why not put the young Miami Heat fan from a few years back to laud the boys with a “good job, good effort” as they leave the field after every game.

This international break was eminently forgettable. The next one could feature a battle for UEFA Nations League relegation with the Netherlands. Is that what Germany is now?

I hope not. Germany, be better.

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