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Three observations from Germany’s hard fought win against Liechtenstein

It wasn’t pretty, but it was three points.

Liechtenstein v Germany - 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Flicki-Flaka isn’t quite there yet

Everyone who was expecting a blowout win for Germany was probably hugely disappointed by the meager two-goal margin. Hansi Flick will not be happy either with his debut win, considering the fact that his side should have scored at least a couple more goals. Germany had 30 shots in total, and were in complete control of the game from minute 1 to 90, but remember, it was Liechtenstein they were playing against. Total domination was expected before the get go. Even Flick’s predecessor (who shall remain nameless) would have had a field day against this lot. Whatever change that Flick has instilled in the German team has yet to be seen, and will presumably take a while to form. Hopefully, it happens soon, because the World Cup is just over a year away.

Some players will remain iffy

With all due respect to what Flick has done at Bayern Munich, he may be a miracle worker, but there are some players who he just cannot change. Even during his sextuple-winning reign at Bayern, players like Corentin Tolisso, Bouna Sarr, Marc Roca, and more were pretty mediocre from start to finish. The same could be said for Germany. Timo Werner was his usual misfiring self, despite getting on the score sheet once. İlkay Gündoğan was a shadow of his Manchester City self, as he always is whenever he puts on the national colors. Robin Gosens was active, but didn’t do much to prove himself. Granted, Flick has only had a few days to train with this new batch of players, so it may take him a while to get them playing the way he wants them to, but considering what some have shown so far, the future doesn’t look too bright. We can only hope the likes of Werner and Gündoğan started today because the opposition was so mediocre, and will be benched come Armenia.

Change doesn’t happen overnight

All that being said, it is imprudent to say Flick is a failure after just one game. Yes, it was a game to forget, and it should have been a bigger scoreline, but remember, every team needs time. It took Flick time to get Bayern truly going the way they should (the successive defeats to Leverkusen and Gladbach come to mind), and I assume the same will happen with Germany. Hints of what he wants to do could be seen in today’s game - quick attacks, high pressure up field - and I’m hoping that they will further blossom as time goes by. This team was under a mediocre coach for so long that it will take a while for them to find their gear again. Judging from what he did with Bayern, Flick seems like the right man for the job. All we can do is give him the time he needs, wait, and hope.

Also, considering Germany already have a loss under their belt, every win counts as a step toward the World Cup. This may not have been a satisfactory win, but it was a win nonetheless.