A nation crazy about the game had effectively been silenced by the Joachim Löw-version of Germany’s less than inspired performances in tournaments and qualifiers since 2017. Today, Hansi Flick’s Germany gave them plenty to cheer about.
Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka is Germany’s midfield duo
This is not surprising news for anybody; Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka form the #6 and #8 pairing for one of the world’s best clubs in the world and obviously, should do so for the national side. Goretzka, in particular, delivered a masterclass today.
Flick played Ilkay Gündogan and Kimmich together in the game against Liechtenstein; the offense wasn’t as powerful in that game against arguably weaker position compared to today. When Kimmich was taken off and Gündogan introduced, the offense lost a tiny step although Germany had run away with the game by then in today’s match against Armenia. Gündogan makes for a nice option off the bench, but, for the biggest of games, Flick will seemingly opt for a 4-5-1 with Kimmich and Goretzka the defensive midfield pairing.
Serge Gnabry is back!
Gnabry had another great day with two goals, the first of which was an absolute beauty; after a rather poor 2020-2021 season, he has been having many good days at both club and international level. While it will take many more such performances for him to justify being Franck Ribery’s successor, if Gnabry continues this rich vein of form, Julian Nagelsmann will know he has more than one reliable option on the wings.
Leroy Sané should play on the left
Julian Nagelsmann decided to play Sané on the left wing for Bayern; the winger’s performances improved. Hansi Flick decided to do the same; he delivered a man of the match performance against Liechtenstein and another strong performance today. I think this switch to the left will help justify Leroy’s price tag at club level and his selection at the national level.
It was never the squad....
I heard multiple times that Germany just did not have the squad to compete at the highest level prior to the Euros. While this performance did come against Armenia, it is easy to forget that a similar Germany squad lost to North Macedonia in qualifying and got dismantled by a youthful Spanish side in the UEFA Nations League.
Flick, so far, has shown he knows how to manage the side. The introduction of Jonas Hofmann today into the starting XI was justified; the Mönchengladbach player has been overlooked too often in the national side and today, we saw what he can do. His goal was the pick of the lot but his defensive work wasn’t bad either although he is naturally more a winger or even a #10.
Florian Wirtz and Jamal Musiala came on to add additional spice to the offense while Karim Adeyemi got a valuable debut goal. Flick knows he has tons of options to play like his Bayern Munich side from 2019-2021. Germany will be defensively slightly nervy (there were one or two heart-in-mouth moments today as well) but their well functioning offense might just be enough to overwhelm any opposition.
So, there you have it. As always, let us know your thoughts, and, thank you for reading!