Former Bayern Munich player and manager Jürgen Klinsmann was not thrilled with what he saw from Germany against Hungary.
“The frustrating part was they never really got a flow,” Klinsmann said (as captured by The Daily Mail). “We hoped they would pick up where they left off against Portugal, but Hungary were well prepared, had a defensive game plan and Germany couldn’t find solutions. That was the scary part. We couldn’t find a way on the wings, down the middle or shooting from distance. It was nerve-wracking.”
When asked if Germany had become apathetic toward the squad, Klinsmann insisted the national team was still a focal point for fans.
“The World Cup in Russia where we didn’t qualify from the group left a very deep sting in Germany,” said Klinsmann, who also had stints managing Germany and the United States in his career. “On Tuesday, they want us to put in a good display. If we lose against a better team, they will forgive. But they want to see a performance like the one against Portugal. Games against England in big tournaments have a special meaning for us. We admire English football, it dates back to watching Liverpool and other clubs in the 1970s. Everyone in Germany will be sitting in front of the TV to watch this match. We are not fearing the worst. Opinions about the team have been up and down, as they have been in England after the Croatia and Scotland games. I think we are going to see an exciting match because England and Germany are both strongest in attack with young players who are fun to watch.”
As for some of the talent that will be on the pitch, Klinsmann is excited for what we might see — especially from some of the game’s young players.
“We have seen Phil Foden, Mason Mount and now Bukayo Saka breaking through. It’s similar with Germany side with Serge Gnabry and Kai Havertz,” said Klinsmann. “It would be fun to see a foot race between Timo Werner and Kyle Walker! It’s an exciting bunch on both sides. What we don’t know is who will hit their peak on Tuesday.”