Germany’s performances at the 2018 World Cup and 2021 European Championships left a lot to be desired.
According to former Bayern Munich defender Markus Babbel, Germany had no “Plan B” and inability to adjust killed Die Mannschaft’s chances.
“That’s exactly it, he only ever had a plan A and if the plan wasn’t working, he couldn’t react. The team had to find the solution themselves to get a result, but it never came from the coach,” Babbel told NetBet. “The German Football Federation have also made many mistakes, Oliver Bierhoff had to see that Joachim Löw did not have the fire anymore.”
Babbel appreciated what Löw has done while at the helm of Germany, but thinks a move to replace him should have happened much earlier.
“Let me be clear, Joachim Low has done unbelievable things for German football, he won the World Cup, but since then it has not been the same. I think it’s normal because you have achieved everything in that moment, he’s been here for 15 years, and I don’t think he was hungry enough anymore. He is a fantastic guy and a fantastic coach, but the last two tournaments were a disaster,” said Babbel. “What I do not understand is that you have so much time as a coach to be prepared and you don’t have a plan B and C because the squad is good enough.”
Against England, Babbel thinks a midfield of Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich would have made a huge difference.
“With all respect when you play against England, in midfield they have (Kalvin) Phillips and (Declan) Rice who play for Leeds United and West Ham United. They are top players, but if we had gone with Kimmich, Kroos and Goretzka then I’m sorry but we’re talking about different class. Löw could not do that because he wanted to play a system that wasn’t working and then we were getting smashed by these two guys in midfield,” Babbel said. “The first 15- or 20-minutes England had so much fear in that game, but then they realized Germany were not actually that good and reacted on that. They were not playing that well, but when you were watching the game, it was clear there was only going to be one winner. I believe this is what Thomas Muller was saying, Germany is not a team that can be reactive, they need to be on the front foot. There are too many Bayern Munich players who do not play this way for their club, they want to win, press players and they have so much belief in themselves for Bayern Munich.”
Babbel’s final point was extremely interesting. Bayern Munich players not being used to their strengths is absolutely one of the reasons Germany has scuffled. With Hansi Flick taking over, that should all be a moot point moving forward.