Jersey swap: Jonathan Tah
Normally, this spot would be reserved for an opposition player, but these are special circumstances. As Germany faced off against the Netherlands, coach Jogi Löw decided to give Tah a rare start for the national team, and the 23-year-old proceeded to show why he never plays internationally.
The entire game was one howler after another from the young German; at least three Dutch goals were partially or completely his fault. He failed to close down Frenkie de Jong on the equalizer, his own-goal gave the Dutch the lead, and he failed to close Memphis Depay, which allowed the winger to create Wijnaldum’s goal, the fourth for the Dutch.
With each passing game, it becomes clearer and clearer that Jogi Löw had no idea what he was doing when he decided to ax Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng. Are the bridges burnt beyond repair? If not, then he should swallow his pride and ask the exiles to come back. Otherwise Germany will continue to be defensively weak for the foreseeable future.
Tip of the Cap: Niklas Süle
Every time I do match awards for a Germany game, it feels as if I’m handing out participation prizes. For reference, my last awards article was for Germany-South Korea, back in the 2018 World Cup.
With that in mind, Niklas Süle was the fourth-least-bad player in the German team, which gives him the honor of a TotC. He was competent in defense and made a few important interventions on plays that could have easily resulted in a goal for the Netherlands. Honorable mention goes to Matthias Ginter; he was okay as well.
Golf Clap: Manuel Neuer
It’s never a good sign when your team concedes 4 goals and the goalkeeper was one of the best players on the pitch. Neuer made at least three or four crucial saves to keep the Netherlands at bay, which tells you how bad Germany’s defense really was. He doesn’t deserve the scoreline he ended up with, and as team captain he might want to think about having a word with the coach re: some defensive callups.
Standing Ovation: Joshua Kimmich
Paired with the typically languid Toni Kroos, Joshua Kimmich had a torrid time in midfield, though his performance was better than those he’s had for Bayern Munich recently. The only reason he gets a standing ovation today is because of his killer pass to Lukas Klostermann that eventually lead to Gnabry’s opening goal.
Apart from that, Kimmich struggled to stamp any authority on the midfield, as the Dutch players passed circles around him. Part of him must have really missed Leon Goretzka out there, given how overworked he looked while essentially facing three Dutchmen by himself at all times.
Meister of the Match: Serge Gnabry
The way Gnabry is carrying die Mannschaft’s attack at the moment, it’ll be a miracle if he doesn’t come back to Munich with a back injury. Thanks to the absence of Leroy Sané and Jogi Löw’s questionable tactics in midfield, Gnabry was the only German player to consistently threaten the Dutch defense, and he’s one of the few who can hold his head high after a solid performance.
Good job, Gnabs.
BONUS: Extended player ratings
We at BFW don’t normally do extended player ratings, but this was an especially terrible game and all my editors are busy right now so I can do whatever I want. So, behold: player ratings.
Matthias Ginter: 7
Solid performance, made a killer interception to prevent a surefire goal. He could’ve easily pipped Süle to the Tip of the Cap.
Lukas Klostermann: 6
An okay game. Nothing in the realm of terrible mistakes. Was pretty disappointing going forward aside from the run leading up to Gnabry’s goal.
Toni Kroos: 5.5
A poor performance from the Real Madrid man. He and Kimmich allowed the Netherlands to regularly overrun the German center. He scored a penalty but that’s not much of a redeeming factor.
Marco Reus: 2
Tah aside, Reus was one of the worst players on the pitch. He was constantly late with his passes and his finishing was poor, leading to much frustration for the Germans.
Timo Werner: 3
Timo Werner bangs in loads of goals playing centrally for RB Leipzig but for some reason Jogi Löw thinks he makes a good left winger. The poor guy was completely out of the action for most of the game and got subbed for Kai Havertz when the Germans needed more firepower.
Ilkay Gündogan: 5
There was nothing noteworthy about Gundogan’s performance, so that means he wasn’t terrible. In this game, that’s worth a 5/10.
Kai Havertz: 3
A very poor game from Kai, but we can cut him some slack as he hasn’t played much for the German first team. However, it is concerning that players who have shown such good form domestically (Werner, Havertz) look so lost when playing for die Mannschaft.
Julian Brandt: N/R
Brandt came on in the 84th minute, and by then the game was already gone. No rating for him.