Bayern Munich star Manuel Neuer takes his role as captain of Germany very seriously. So, when looking at a very unsteady performance in a 1-0 win over a very inferior Oman squad, Neuer knew he needed to change the narrative.
“Our focus is now on Japan. We want our first three points of the World Cup against them. Today, we played against a team we had to take really seriously. They didn’t afford us much space, remained compact and got the ball forwards quickly when they had it,” Neuer told RTL (as captured by the DFB website).
Part of the reason Germany struggled was because the backline lacked cohesion. Not even a veteran goalkeeper like Neuer could talk the defenders into shape on the day. The lack of familiarity was something that painfully obvious against Oman, but is also something than can — and likely will — improve in the coming days.
Japan, however, will not be a pushover and the Germans will undoubtedly be looking to avoid an opening game meltdown like they had against Mexico in 2018.
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