With four years of bad decisions behind it, Germany can now truly focus on its next era.
Unfortunately for Die Mannschaft, that new wave has to get ramped up early, as we are only a year away from the 2022 World Cup.
Over the next few months, new manager Hansi Flick is going to have to formally solidify his plans, staff, roster, and strategy. Knowing how the 56-year-old operates, he will immediately start forging relationships with players and building his strategy to win next year’s World Cup.
After four years of mismanagement, how does Flick make it work? Well, here are three reasons to believe Germany can actually pull this off — against all odds (and some 80s era Phil Collins to give you a soundtrack):
Now that I helped give you something to mindlessly croon today, let’s get down to business.
Hansi Flick — yup, the man himself is a reason
Not only has Flick proven to be a master strategist — tinfoil hat theorists will tell you Flick might have had more to do with the 2014 World Cup win than Joachim Löw — but the former Bayern Munich manager offers more of a personal, human touch with his managing style.
Sure, Flick is demanding and he has high expectations for his players, but he also has a unique style of building relationships and communicating that frees most players from feeling any boss/employee tension.
If you think about how he united a bitter and confused locker room in Bavaria — and turned them into sextuple winners — there is no reason to think he cannot establish the same type of feeling within Germany’s squad.
More, Flick has been given an extremely valuable weapon — time. The manager took over Bayern Munich on the fly and with no assurances that he was anything other than a caretaker. As some fans yearned for Jose Mourinho, Mauricio Pochettino, or Erik ten Hag to take the Helm, all Flick did was re-build one of the great Bayern Munich teams of all-time.
A roster ready to be led
During his time with Bayern Munich, Flick wanted the club to sign Kai Havertz and Timo Werner. He also recognized the best way to use to Thomas Müller and helped Der Raumdeuter have one of the best, most effective periods of his career. Flick also was the first coach to recognize the potential of teaming Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka in the central midfield — a foundational piece for the new Germany.
When Joachim Löw unceremoniously — and prematurely — cut Müller, Mats Hummels, and Jerome Boateng, he left the squad devoid of heart, character, leadership, and also without an identity. Assuredly, Flick will build his rosters factoring in those aspects of a team.
You can already guess that Flick watched Germany’s unsuccessful European Championships performance and was drawing up his plans for how to best use players, which players need to be brought in, and which players need to go.
Make no mistake, Germany has the talent to be a major factor at the World Cup — and now they’ll have a manager who has an idea of how to best utilize it.
The talent — in this era of football — is there, but the players need someone to show them the way.
Flick can be that manager.
The world powers are leveling out
France had an epic unraveling on the field as players openly bickered — and in the stands where parents argued with each other. There is at least some doubt as to whether Didier Deschamps has lost the faith of some players and truthfully, France did not look all that invincible like it did in 2018.
England? Eminently beatable.
Italy? Assuredly able to be defeated.
Belgium? Close, but no cigar.
Spain? Nothing special (6-0 won’t happen under Flick’s watch).
The Netherlands? LOL.
Sweden, Switzerland, Portugal, etc? All able to be taken down.
Okay, so if you look at the next major player, you look to Brazil, which will, again, be crazily talented, but very flawed.
World Cup 2022 is there for the taking....who will step up to grab it? At this point, I don’t know, but Germany has as good a chance as anyone — especially with Flick leading the way.