Germany, on a day they paid tribute to their former coach, Joachim Löw, put on a show for the crowd in Wolfsburg. The early red card for Liechtenstein allowed their current manager, Hansi Flick, to try different combinations. He had to name a much changed line-up anyway due to absentees due to Covid and injuries. Without further ado, here are the observations:
Flick has options; yet he doesn’t have options
No Joshua Kimmich — no problem; Ilkay Gündogan replaced Kimmich and slotted in next to Leon Goretzka, who ran the show on the night. Gündogan himself could have scored plenty of goals tonight with better finishing. Yet, Jonas Hofmann, not a full-back by trade, looked underwhelming. Antonio Rüdiger showed he is prone to the occasional rash decision and Flick opted to go without a striker altogether although he played both Kevin Volland and Lukas Nmecha later on.
Perhaps, some options are not required
Germany went without a striker up top today, although Thomas Müller was labeled as the striker in the line-up. Leroy Sané often acted as one, Gündogan slotted in up front sometimes while Marco Reus did the same. While today’s opposition was a 10-man Liechtenstein side, this may be a solution Flick turns to if he doesn’t have a settled striker in the side.
Leon Goretzka, Marco Reus, Thomas Müller and Leroy Sané — the orchestrators tonight
Leon Goretzka is at the heart of Bayern Munich and Germany; we all knew that — today, in the absence of Kimmich, he was a true orchestrator and that showed.
Marco Reus is a highly talented player; we all knew that. He deserves to finally head to a major tournament with Germany and to win an award.
Thomas Müller is brilliant; we all knew that. His attitude carries Germany forward. He holds himself and the team to high standards but, more so, he keeps it light and he keeps the fight.
Leroy Sané has been revitalized into the player we all knew he could be under Julian Nagelsmann. He was brilliant tonight; he is brilliant on most days; he is brilliant from the center — most importantly, he plays with a smile on his face. If Sané is happy and continues in this vein of form, he will not only be an asset to Germany, he will also continue being a massive asset to Bayern Munich.
Let us know your thoughts and, as always, thank you for reading!