Nils Petersen was not a shocking invite to the provisional squad, but he at least raised a few eye brows considering he was selected in favor of Bayern Munich man Sandro Wagner.
Petersen, who had a very solid season for SC Freiburg as he tallied 19 goals and one assist in 38 games across all competitions this year. When it came to performing for Die Mannschaft, however, Petersen just couldn’t show enough to unseat Timo Werner as the projected starter, nor supplant Mario Gomez as the primary backup.
Muffing his chance
Petersen was given the start on Saturday against Austria and failed to bring anything to the table. He was neither a scoring threat nor a facilitator and ultimately played his way off the team with a poor showing.
In fairness, it is not like anyone surrounding him on Saturday turned in a blockbuster effort. The players who were tasked with generating offense around him, namely fellow cut victim, Leroy Sané, along with roster members Julian Brandt and Mesut Özil, were average at best and did not provide Petersen with many good opportunities to make something happen.
Joachim Löw will go unconventional if required
With Werner and Gomez as the only true striker options, Löw may have to deploy a false “9” alignment featuring Thomas Müller or Marco Reus should Werner and Gomez fail to generate the necessary offense required.
The second guessing of Löw will ring loudly if Germany cannot create or convert opportunities in the group stage of the tournament. Ultimately Löw gave Petersen the chance to succeed and it did not happen - whether you feel that is the fault of Petersen or his teammates is irrelevant now because he has been released from the team.
It is surely a crushing blow to Petersen, however, as the 29-year old will likely not have an opportunity to make another World Cup.