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Germany 1 - 2 Japan: Bild player ratings

Do we really wanna revisit this? Fine, okay.

Germany v Japan: Group E - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images

Here’s how Germany’s players and coach Hansi Flick graded out in the German media after their devastating loss to Japan to open their 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cup campaign.

In short: not good. Amidst the gloom and dreariness, are there even any bright spots? Let’s take a look.

  • Flick: 5. Let’s start with that. I love Hansi and so does many a Bayern Munich fan, I’d imagine, but this was not his best. A ‘5’ may be a touch harsh given what he had to work with, but Germany could have been smarter about seeing out their 1-0 advantage.
  • Manchester City’s İlkay Gündoğan and Jamal Musiala share the top marks among the Germany XI. It’s good to see some appreciation for Gündo especially, though I’m not sure you’ll find too many who agree that he was among the standouts.
  • Chelsea FC forward Kai Havertz is a sublime player, but for both club and country it just seems that he’s not a particularly good answer at the nine. But here’s a thought: if the wingers aren’t doing anything special, maybe he can help Germany load up a 4-2-2-2?
  • That’d be Musiala and Müller in the middle, Havertz and Sané behind. In case for some reason Füllkrug isn’t judged to be gelling enough to start.
  • At this point I can’t tell if the full-backs both did that horribly or if Bild hates full-backs.
  • Hard to believe that Japan didn’t even start Arsenal FC’s Takehiro Tomiyasu until the second half!
  • This Japan team are very fun to watch, as have their previous iterations been. We can all remember their brave play and crushing last-second defeat to Belgium in 2018. This time around, it was nice to see the elation — even if it came at Germany’s expense.

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 your support!

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