Hansi Flick’s tenure as German national team manager gets its competitive start this week as Die Mannschaft take on Liechtenstein in the first of three World Cup qualifiers during this international break. Manuel Neuer and Thomas Muller have both already been ruled out of contention through minor injury problems, which means Joshua Kimmich is in contention to wear the captain’s armband for Flick’s managerial debut for Germany.
In the press conference previewing the encounter, Kimmich said the expectation for Germany is a definite win by a considerable margin and he said the atmosphere at the training camp thus far under Flick has been positive (SPOX). Specifically, against Liechtenstein, Kimmich said that Germany really wants to go on the front foot and press high. “We want to press high, win a lot of high balls. We have already had a few video sessions. It will be similar to Bayern. After winning the ball, switch quickly and play straight forward. The expectations of the fans and ourselves is very high. You have to realize that we have fun winning games,” he explained.
Kimmich also said that Germany can do better to try to utilize the set piece opportunities that come their way. He referenced how strong Germany’s World Cup 2014 team was at creating goals from set pieces. “In principle, it can make a game easier and win. That’s one thing that is perhaps a little underestimated, especially with top teams. Perhaps we should take more time here to practice it. Like in 2014, when the team scored a lot of goals from set pieces,” he said.
While the expectation from Germany’s three qualifiers is 9pts, all eyes will be fully fixated on Hansi Flick, as it’s the beginning of a new chapter at Die Mannschaft. After 14 years of Joachim Low at the helm, we will have a new look coaching staff and everyone is keen to see what Flick will bring to the table from a tactical standpoint. He’s already made it clear that he wants the midfield pivot of Kimmich and Leon Goretzka to be a focal point and Kimmich said he expects to be assuming the midfield role under Flick. “In general, I’ve been seen in midfield in recent years. In principle, you never know how it will happen because someone could get injured. But I expect I’ll be in the middle,” he said. He’s, of course, still been used at right back when need at Bayern Munich both by Flick and Niko Kovac as well as Joachim Low for Germany.
With a new managerial chapter beginning, Kimmich said that the mood around camp thus far has been very positive. Everyone seems to be on the same page and Flick will be able to really get his ideas across to the squad. “The last few days have been very good. Now it’s important that the coach gets his ideas and principles into the team. The ultimate goal is that we qualify for the World Cup,” Kimmich explained.