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Three observations from Germany’s ominous 1-1 draw to Denmark

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Not a good sign for the Germans ahead of the Euros.

Team Germany gives press conference ahead of friendly football match against Russia Photo by Sergei Bobylev\TASS via Getty Images

Joachim Low still can’t commit to a system

There’s only two weeks to go until the Euros, and Germany still haven’t found a system that suits them. In the buildup to the game, the media told us that Low was planning to leverage the return of Thomas Muller to build a system resembling that of Bayern Munich. That was clearly a lie, because nothing we saw on the pitch versus Denmark resembled Hansi Flick’s juggernaut.

German coaches around Europe are known for a clear style of football. Klopp, Tuchel, Hansi, Nagelsmann — they’re all top coaches famed for their high intensity gegenpressing and direct attacking play. Their tactics are modern, with all their teams being excellent in possession and tremendous on the wings. Low’s Germany is anything but. Despite having such a robust base to build upon, the NT coach prefers to continue with a pedestrian 3-4-3 formation that is way too defensive and doesn’t even press properly.

The brand of football being played is so outdated, it feels like Low is coaching a team that’s a generation behind everyone else. These players can do so much more, but they’re being hamstrung by a system that’s the antithesis of what German teams stand for. In club football, German tactics are the cream of the crop. The last three Champions League titles were won by German coaches. Why is the national team so poor? Why does the coach insist on a system like this?

Germany Seefeld Training Camp Day 3
Can Jogi Low come up with a solution?
Photo by Roland Krivec/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Germany’s wingbacks are a problem

You just knew Germany were gonna be in for a rough night when Lukas Klostermann and Robin Gosens were revealed to be the starting fullbacks. Klostermann is generally considered way too defensive to be a wingback in a back-three, and this showed as the RB Leipzig man was tepid going forward and provided Leroy Sane almost no support on his flank.

Meanwhile, Gosens may be a great player for Atalanta, but his NT performances leave a lot to be desired. It’s hard to judge whether it’s a compatibility issue or whether Low is somehow sucking the life out of his players, but the 26-year-old has always struggled to make an impact on the National Team.

At this point, it’s inconceivable that Low would persist with a back-three for the Euros, especially when the wingbacks are the key to any good back-three system. Switching to a back-four with Sule and Gunter as the fullbacks could help Germany gain some much needed control and add an extra attacker to the mix up front. Removing a defender won’t help the defense, but it’s not like the three-man-backline has been keeping any clean sheets lately.

Adding Gortezka/Kroos or some Chelsea players won’t fix this mess

Germany’s problems are entirely systemic at the moment, and adding/removing a few players won’t fix this mess. Bringing back Hummels and Muller was the first step, but Low can’t stop there. He must fix this system while he still can.

Adding Goretzka and Kroos to the midfield or swapping out Gnabry and Sane for Havertz and Werner won’t help Germany one bit. It’s not a personnel issue right now. He has to stop delaying and commit to wholesale changes — otherwise the Euro opener vs France could become very painful for the Germans.