Germany won their match against Costa Rica, but because the squad underperformed against Japan, the squad is headed home with another group stage exit.
Disappointment reigns supreme. Let’s get into it...here are some quick hitters on the match:
- While the game was a win, seeing the starting lineup was a gut punch. Thomas Müller is an all-time great player, but in this tournament — coming off of an injury — he was cooked. In addition — and I will acknowledge that none of this matters because Japan beat Spain — Hansi Flick’s insistence on sticking with İlkay Gündoğan set the tone for a flat start. Those were two players who brought little-to-nothing to the table in the tourney:
- Again, Germany was eliminated on Match Day 1 when Flick’s loyalty to Müller led him to ignore the fact that the Raumdeuter was not ready after an injury and really had nothing to offer the team. Müller may or may not be done...we will see how things look at Bayern Munich, but he clearly had nothing valuable to offer the team in this tournament. Niclas Füllkrug was the best option available and not starting him in any of the three games will go down as a huge gaffe for Flick. Müller just did not look like himself...and it was very concerning.
- The most stunning part of this tournament is that when given the chance, Flick morphed into 2018/2019 Joachim Löw with absolutely no provocation.
- Antonio Rüdiger was pretty terrible after having two strong games.
- It is no longer appropriate to say that Jamal Musiala will be a beast...he’s already there. That said, he needs to improve his finishing. It feels like he could have walked away with four goals against Costa Rica.
- I thought David Raum, Joshua Kimmich, and Lukas Klostermann turned in admirable performances at the outside-back positions.
- Kai Havertz came on to score two goals and it was insinuated on the broadcast that Havertz’s poor showing in game one and subsequent game two benching had nothing to do with performance, but with an illness. Whatever the case, Havertz did well against Costa Rica — it was just too little, too late.
- Where do things go from here? It feels like Flick might not stick around after the next Euros and the core of the team will be in their early 30s by the next World Cup. Clearly, to avoid what has happened in both 2018 and 2022, Germany has to make changes.
- Spain getting exposed for what it really is only made this loss more fitting for Germany.
- What a mess...I am still stunned.
- Overall, this was an out-and-out debacle. From poor coaching decisions to consistently underachieving performances from the players, this was arguably worse than 2018. Beating Costa Rica is nice...drawing with a good (but not great Spain squad) was decent...but coughing up a lead and subsequently losing to Japan will go down in the annals of German national team football as perhaps the most costly loss ever.
With the news breaking that Bayern Munich will be signing RB Leipzig midfielder Konrad Laimer, the fallout from the report started almost immediately.
The biggest rumor was that Marcel Sabitzer’s future is now considered “uncertain” — an ominous sign.
Despite his good performances this season, it appears that Sabitzer could be on his way out the door. Of course, a subsequent report from Sky’s Florian Plettenberg said as much, but where will he go?
Arsenal was rumored to have interest in the Austrian at one point, but it seems like that might have cooled:
Arsenal considered Marcel Sabitzer over the summer and his future at Bayern Munich is now considered to be uncertain at best. If Arsenal still fancy signing Sabitzer, the door is now very much open.
You can’t really imagine Sabitzer playing as a lone holding midfielder though, with this current Arsenal team a little difficult for Sabtizer to fit into.
Maybe Sabitzer can take on the Granit Xhaka role of playing high and wide in midfield, but the Gunners don’t really need that signing in January.
The 28-year-old is bound to attract Premier League interest once again but we can’t see Arsenal making a move this time around.
Borussia Mönchengladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer is said to be on the radar of Real Madrid:
Real Madrid are interested in bringing in Switzerland’s Yann Sommer as a deputy to Thibaut Courtois with Andriy Lunin’s future at the club in the balance.
Even in his advancing age, Sommer is too good to be a backup.
Another game on the books and Germany are still alive in the World Cup. In some ways, a draw versus an in-form Spain team looks good on paper, but Hansi Flick needed so much more. Germany were far from convincing for most of the game, but some game-changing subs including the addition of Leroy Sané and Niclas Füllkrug in the second half allowed them to rescue a point. The performance leaves a lot to be desired.
In this episode, Chuck and INNN talk about the following:
- Why did Hansi Flick field another strikerless lineup versus Spain?
- The problem with the role Thomas Müller was forced to play, illustrated by the players around him.
- No gegenpressing again — why? The strategic failure of the lineup.
- How and why the substitutes changed the game for Germany. The sheer impact of Füllkrug.
- Pointing out the terrible performances of the fullbacks, Thilo Kehrer and David Raum.
- Who should start against Costa Rica? What changes should Hansi make?
- Should Serge Gnabry or Thomas Müller start the next game?
- What kind of World Cup is Bayern Munich having? Answer: A really bad one.
- Is Jamal Musiala a little over-awed by the occasion?
- Serge Gnabry’s awful form.
- Dayot Upamecano shining among the French contingent.
- Bad news for Matthijs de Ligt.
- An overall roundup of the injury situation and the silver lining if the Bayern players get knocked out early.
Paris Saint-Germain will not sign Cristiano Ronaldo:
PSG have no intention of entering the race to sign Cristiano Ronaldo on a free transfer as they are focusing their attentions on bringing in Endrick from Palmeiras. Real Madrid and Chelsea are also determined to sign the 16-year-old.
How did Eintracht Frankfurt miss an obvious partnership with the Philadelphia Eagles??? Philadelphia and Frankfurt are sister cities!