Germany coach Joachim Löw’s controversial decision to “go young” after the 2018 World Cup is still having aftershocks as the roster continues its upheaval. The latest bit of roster movement will see Benjamin Henrichs (RB Leipzig on loan from AS Monaco), Nico Schulz (Borussia Dortmund), Niklas Stark (Hertha Berlin), Nadiem Amiri (Bayer Leverkusen), Mahmoud Dahoud (Borussia Dortmund) left out in the cold.
The decision to leave those players out seems justified. Henrichs has not shown any sort of “it factor” that would make him an automatic selection, while Amiri and Dahoud, just simply are not as good as the other players in their positions.
Stark’s form has dipped and made him expendable, but the interesting case is that of Schulz. Talented and pacey, Schulz never endeared himself to Lucien Favre at Dortmund and has spent the past two seasons largely as a deep reserve with BVB. That loss of playing time has ultimately set Schulz back and now it looks as if the 27-year-old will have a hard time earning future call-ups on a consistent basis.
Still, Löw’s upper-echelon players should give the 60-year-old manager enough talent to offer up a competitive squad. With Manuel Neuer, Niklas Sule, Lukas Klostermann, Joshua Kimmich, Toni Kroos, Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Leon Goretzka, and Serge Gnabry all in tow, Germany has more than enough talent to be a problem for most countries.
Can Löw get those starters and top reserves aligned to eventually be a serious contender at the European Championships next summer? That is the biggest question Löw is facing and also the one that will determine his future as Germany’s skipper.
Mit 23 Spielern in die Ukraine— Die Mannschaft (@DFB_Team) October 8, 2020
Dem Kader nicht mehr angehören werden Benjamin Henrichs, Nico Schulz, Niklas Stark, Nadiem Amiri und Mahmoud Dahoud. ➡️ https://t.co/2EGYItL2ar#UKRGER #DieMannschaft pic.twitter.com/jBXncQKm3Z
Football being a funny game and all, there is always room to second-guess and third-guess everything. Löw’s premature — and inconsistent — decision to go young is still wreaking havoc within the roster selection process.
On a team with major defensive deficiencies, Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng are still on the outside looking in. Moreover, Germany’s top club player from the 2019/2020 season, Thomas Muller, is also on the banned list. It may seem noble to some that Löw wanted to give younger players an opportunity, but there is a sever lack of depth — and talent — overall. Even if the three aforementioned players were subs, Germany would be infinitely better off.
That ship, however, has long since left the port.
But I digress, the squad — in its current state — still has enough top-end talent to be a contender at the Euros next summer. A contender, however, just makes Germany like six-to-eight other countries ... which is not necessarily good enough for a country with the history of Deutschland.