In this evening’s tune-up before Die Mannschaft’s Nation’s League matches, several aspects of the game stood out to me.
Two teams in one
Another match and yet more questions about the defensive stability of Germany. While Germany has the offensive playmakers to compete with the best in the world, their defensive stability post-Hummels and Boateng is still a serious question lingering over the Die Mannschaft and Jogi Löw. Within the first 10 minutes Turkey would have been up 1-0 if it wasn't for a lucky deflection. Obviously this isn't a full squad, but Germany’s defensive depth behind Niklas Süle is thin at best. The only depth the DFB has is at goalkeeper, where it absolutely is still world-class.
On the other side of the sword, Germany’s offensive was creative in its passing but a bit short on lethality. Prior to Julian Draxler’s breakaway goal, they had only one legitimate chance, thanks to a beautiful Luca Waldschmidt shot, but I’m not overly concerned with Germany’s offensive output. I’d argue that, while their offensive depth could be better, it is still in the upper echelon of national teams globally. Now Germany just needs to find another young defender.
Turkey presses hard
Creative in their chances, Turkey put Germany’s defense to work and nearly scored within the first 10 minutes. Turkey showed the fatal flaws in the German defense, particularly their inability to cope with a high, aggressive press and a quick counter-attack. Turkey generally made the DFB’s life miserable, especially defensively. Considering the fact that Turkey took one less shot than Germany despite having just 30% possession in the first 45 minutes, they came here to play, even if only for pride.
Emre Can ate his Wheaties
In this tune-up, Emre Can gave his best impression of Leon Goretzka. Physical, controlling, and generally error free, Can played one of his better games in a Germany kit. While I wouldn't have Can be an everyday starter for the DFB for Euro 2021, he continues to show growth, he may secure his place as a valuable depth piece in Germany’s overwhelmingly dominant midfield.
Tale of two halves
Germany scored late in the first half to go up 1-0. Per usual, Germany conceded within the first five minutes of the 2nd half to level the game 1-1. A poor turnover in their own half then opened up Germany’s defense and allowed Turkey to have a wide open space, which their captain exploited to lob the ball over Bernd Leno. Not shortly thereafter, Turkey had another close shot that could have made it 2-1 Turkey had Leno not saved it. Turkey followed up that incredible chance with a dominating attack that sliced n’ diced the German defense to tie it up in the 66th minute thanks to a beautiful shot by Efecan Karaca.
Offensively, however, Die Mannschaft was able to regain control thanks to Neuhaus’ debut international goal in the 58th minute. Germany created numerous scoring chances that ultimately led up to Waldschmidt’s powerful finish to momentarily give Germany a 3-2 lead in the 82nd minute. However, that lead was also short-lived. Turkey managed to earn the draw with a clutch goal in the 94th minute.
Germany managed 62% possession with 14 shots and eight on target compared to Turkey’s nine total shots and six on target. Both goalkeepers kept the game exciting with brilliant saves, but the storyline is really rather how Germany’s defense was woeful across the board.
Yet another example of Löw quite literally shooting himself in the foot when Germany’s backups are, quite frankly, third-string players at most defensive positions. Defense will remain a area of concern for quite some time to come, even into Euro 2021 where it will be a liability against more lethal offensive teams such as France and Portgual, both whom are in Germany’s group.
Offensively, the Germans have the talent, but they need Gnabry and Sané to remain healthy. It will all be for naught, however, unless Löw solves his defense. Displays like tonight won’t cut it.