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“Why didn’t Kehrer play today?” — Lothar Matthäus questions Germany after the 1-2 loss to Japan in the World Cup opener

“The team is now under extreme pressure. They must win.”

FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar - FIFA Fan Festival
“How did you guys mess up this bad? How?”
Photo by Cathrin Mueller - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

Since Germany lost 1-2 to Japan, they have been subjected to lots of criticism and have had their abilities doubted.

Weltmeister Lothar Matthäus in an interview with Bild TV (per @iMiaSanMia) declared that if Germany were to play against Spain like they did in the second half (of the Germany-Japan game), they would be eliminated.

“The team is now under extreme pressure. They must win. One point will most likely not be enough,” he stated.

Matthäus then went into detail, describing the Germany-Japan game. “The first half was good, dominant, superior - unfortunately the chances were not converted,” he explained. He went on to say that Germany proceeded to give the game away. “Japan played differently after the break, more aggressively and seemed physically superior. We couldn’t find any solutions,” he lamented.

Further, he also remarked that the substitutions of Bayern Munich’s Thomas Müller and Manchester City’s İlkay Gündogan were detrimental — according to him, subbing off experienced players throws off the order and rhythm on the pitch.

Matthäus then stated that while he always stands by Hansi Flick, he couldn’t understand a few things about the game. He could primarily not understand why no proper full-back played the game. This according to him resulted in the conceded goals, both of which came from the wings.

“Why didn’t Kehrer, who has always played lately, play today?” Matthäus questioned. “Süle is not a full-back. In the second goal, Raum was too far forward, but defenders are there to defend. Schlotterbeck looked surprised and wasn’t aggressive enough,” he elaborated.

“The substitutions weren’t fortunate either,” he said regretfully.

There has been a lot of buzz about the silent protest by the players against the armband situation. Especially after the team lost, a lot was said on how such a “stunt” was responsible for the loss. Matthaus, on the other hand acknowledged that while the topic in hand was more important than football, it was still too much drama for a preparation period. “Something like that disturbs the focus, it distracts — and in the end you miss maybe 5% or 10%,” he declared.

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