Germany’s 1-0 win over Oman was, for me, easily their worst display of football in the calendar year and maybe for longer — and I thought they played well against England! Extenuating circumstances must be considered, but the on-field product speaks for itself — conditioning aside, it was the decisions, the quality of the touch, the positioning as well.
All looked more like a middling team that will squeak through the group stages and less like an in-form contender with title ambitions, which is how the Germans can and do see themselves. Bild seems to agree:
- Happy/sad for Youssoufa Moukoko. The Borussia Dortmund starlet was entrusted with the start and Hansi Flick is surely planning long-term with him. I’m excited to see the fruits of that labor, but it was a pity he couldn’t get a confidence-boosting early goal.
- I’d like to be a fan of Flick’s Thilo Kehrer plan at right-back, but that was simply brutal.
- What did Manchester City’s İlkay Gündoğan do to separate him from the also misfiring Kai Havertz (Chelsea FC) and Leroy Sané?
- Do questions need to be asked of David Raum? SC Freiburg’s Christian Günter manned the left-back position in the second half and was, for my money, considerably more convincing.
- Looks like Julian Brandt could be the fourth man in central midfield — an intriguing decision for the squad, but he supplied at least one pass of sublime quality to justify it.
- Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer did plenty of Manuel Neuer things. Good to see him warming up those sweeper-keeper instincts. He looks to have shaken off his shoulder injuries.
Bad performance aside, adversity has often forged a strong reaction with this group of players. I won’t put it past them to show a completely different face again once the live bullets start.
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