Having finally been presented as head coach of the German National Team, former Bayern Munich boss Hansi Flick has confirmed that he has a functioning brain, which is more than you can say about the average footballing fan.
When asked about the futures of Thomas Muller and Mats Hummels, the coach confirmed that there will be no age limit to selection, and players would be selected on merit going forward. Interestingly, this might even open road for Jerome Boateng to play himself back into contention for the world cup, provided he can find a new club and keep his performances at a high level.
Here are Hansi’s quotes, as captured by @iMiaSanMia:
Flick on Müller and Hummels' international future: "Of course I spoke to some players. For me there is no age limit to be a national team player" pic.twitter.com/mTmw5tU5wM— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) August 1, 2021
Anyone could have seen this coming, given that Jogi Low’s ill-advised pivot towards youth had not paid any dividends. Hansi had always maintained a strong relationship with his senior players at club level, even calling Thomas Muller “the extended arm of the coach”. While there were some suggestions that Muller should retire after his disappointing Euros, it was obvious that Hansi Flick would take his right hand man to the World Cup.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that senior players will be allowed to rest on their laurels. Flick wants his squad to be made up of the players, and is transparent about the criteria for selection:
Flick: "We'll be working with the best players in Germany, they have to show that they are the best players in Germany. For me, it's all about: Is someone good enough for the national team, and are they keen on playing for the national team?" pic.twitter.com/p7HZGBTSfl— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) August 1, 2021
This is a refreshing degree of transparency from Hansi, and we hope he’ll stick to his word. Selection problems were one of the hallmarks of Low’s final days, with deserving players often getting passed over for seemingly no reason. Flick’s clearly looking to give Germany a clean slate, and bring back the glory days of 2014. Let’s hope that he has what it takes to pull it off.