When you are considered one of the few optimistic people within the Bavarian Football Works staff and you can’t even muster any good thoughts after Germany’s absolutely horrific 2-1 loss to Japan, it is not a good feeling.
Germany lacked energy, creativity, urgency, and — at times — focus in dropping a 2-1 defeat to Japan.
It was a thoroughly disappointing match on every level.
For many (including me), the appointment of Hansi Flick was going to change the mindset and culture of a team that had been bored to death by Joachim Löw’s emotional flatline.
Now what...who is to blame? The new coach? Sure, Flick does deserve to take heat for — perhaps — not putting out the best possible unit or making the best subs. It goes deeper than just poking at the manager, though.
This group of players...they need to accept responsibility for, well, everything.
The coach is not out there playing in a lackadaisical manner with very little energy. The coach is not wasting good scoring chances or forcing unnecessary shots. The coach is not losing focus on the backline or failing to find creative ways to beat Japan through the middle or up the wings.
Countries are always looking for their “Golden Generation”, but this group of German plays more like the “Golden Shower Generation” given how they’ve pissed away the last two World Cups.
Okay, so maybe Germany — technically — isn’t quite done just yet, but it will need help to advance (maybe a lot of it). Not only will the Germans have to defeat Spain and Costa Rica, but they’ll need Japan to also beat Spain (likely not happening) to have a clear pathway forward.
Everything else...gets very complicated.
If you were the type of person that fancies gambling, picking Germany to move on would not be considered a “gimme” by any stretch.
Can Flick find a way sprinkle some magic dust on this squad to cure everything that ails them? It sure doesn’t look good, but stranger things have happened.
Maybe...just maybe...the former Bayern Munich boss can find a way to extract the best from this squad before it is too late.
See, there goes that optimism creeping back in one more time...
Interested in a more in-depth (and miserable) review of the game and what went wrong? Then why not check out our postgame podcast? We talk about Flick’s selections, underperforming players, tactical issues, and more! Listen to it below or on Spotify.
As always, we appreciate all the support!