The better team won
Germany did not have the best of games today, though they were up against a really good Netherlands side. Koeman’s tactics were reminiscent of Ajax’s “Total Football” playing style: high pressing with an emphasis on possession. The Netherlands continue to impress under Koeman.
Georginio Wijnaldum was fantastic, and the Netherland’s midfield trio won the game in the middle of the park. Up top, Depay was active and quick and caused problems for the German back line the entire game.
Germany played well in the first half. Jogi’s tactics were clear: sit back and wait for the opportunity to counter. By letting the Dutch roll the ball around, they were able to capitalize when the Oranje lost it and the Dutch defense looked out of place without the ball. Germany could have decided the game early in the first half but was ineffective in front of goal.
Instead, the Dutch attack proved to be too much. It will be interesting to see how far the Netherlands can go in next year’s tournament. If they play like they did today, they could go all the way.
Shaky German defensive performances
Yes, today was a game where you would think the addition of Mats Hummels and Jérôme Boateng would have helped the German team. Die Mannschaft needs transition, one Löw is trying to guide them through, but the experienced factor in the defense today was missing.
Manuel Neuer did his part, but Jonathan Tah, Matthias Ginter and Nico Schulz were far too error-prone. Individual mistakes and defensive sloppiness were the main reason for the first three Dutch goals. Gradual progress is key in national football; I understand what Löw is trying to do, but today it was clear that experience would have helped the German team. Let’s hope the team learns from this.
Germany’s consistent inconsistency
After reintroducing a back-three since the 2017 Confederation’s Cup, Germany was unbeaten until today’s game. The back-three worked fantastically in the 2017 Confederation’s Cup, a tournament which Ginter and Süle were present, and before today’s game, the back-three set-up also showed promise at this level.
Conceding four goals in one game for the first time since Germany drew 4-4 to Sweden back in 2012, one of the most worrying aspects of the loss is Germany’s continued problem with inconsistency. Löw has been looking for solutions to Germany’s problems ever since the catastrophic trip to the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Just as it seems as if he has found one solution, Germany loses because of its defense. Nico Schulz, who was one of the best players the last time Germany played the Netherlands in Amsterdam, was one of the worst today. Tah, who got a rare start today wearing the number 5 that formerly belonged to Hummels, also had a very bad game.
A good first half was followed by a bad second one, again a consistency issue. Let’s hope Germany finds it before their Monday game against Northern Ireland.