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“Some things have to change”: Philipp Lahm on Germany’s World Cup doldrums

Does the national team have what it takes to get out of their group?

Philipp Lahm... Photo by Jens Büttner/picture alliance via Getty Images

2014 World Cup winner Philipp Lahm weighed in on the World Cup struggles of the current edition of the Germany men’s national team. For Lahm, it’s a mixture of harsh truths and hope.

“Some things have to change, but we shouldn’t forget that we have the quality to create goal scoring chances again and again,” Lahm said for RND, as transcribed by @iMiaSanMia. “Now we’re under a lot of pressure.”

Germany did enjoy over 3.5 xG against Japan, but all that matters are the three points dropped. Whether Hansi Flick trusts in his process again against Spain or puts both tactics and XI spots under scrutiny, it’s a mountain of a task ahead.

“We have to win against a Spanish team that has a lot of quality. They’re a young team that plays football with a lot of possession,” Lahm continued. “But that could also be an opportunity for the German team. It will be a different game (to Japan).”

Indeed, one could argue that teams like Japan have been the Achilles heel of more than one international giant. Sometimes, the low block can’t be broken down, and then boom! The counter lands.

“Japan played very, very defensively, especially in the first half. It’s important that we get more stability in the team and get the balance between attack and defense right. We have to be more clinical and composed in front of goal,” Lahm concluded.

Preaching to the choir, to be sure, and easier said than done. With Bayern Munich stars like Thomas Müller and Joshua Kimmich pulling the strings and Leroy Sané and Serge Gnabry finishing the counters, it’s easy to imagine this German team pouncing on Spain. But will they have the defensive maestros at the back — like Lahm was in 2014 — to keep the clean sheet on the other end?

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