Every week it feels like Hansi Flick loses a little more credibility. Winning a treble with Bayern Munich was all well and good, but his decisions were directly responsible for Germany exiting the 2022 FIFA World Cup at the group stage. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like Flick sees it that way.
Right after the Costa Rica game, Flick’s statements lacked any kind of introspection. He immediately called for Germany to revamp its player development, bemoaning the lack of true #9’s in the squad. This is despite him having Niclas Fullkrug and refusing to start him even once, preferring players like Thomas Muller and Kai Havertz in a false-9 role. Then he went on to bemoan the poor finishing in the same interview, seemingly oblivious to his own decision to bench a true striker.
We’ve had reports that the German coaching staff is confident about their approach, and sees the high xG accumulated by Germany in the tournament as a sign that the team only needs to get better at chance conversion. No mention of the defense or midfield, and nothing about player selection.
Now, Hansi has gone a step further, blaming the politicization of the sport for the German team’s exit:
Hansi Flick feels the team was let down by politicians in Germany: "The French President Emmanuel Macron said something like: 'Football is too politicized. Our players should focus on football. I do politics'. That would have been a good sign for us too" [@dpa] pic.twitter.com/jLLUB0Qsvm— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) December 19, 2022
Our job is to play football — it would be nice if we were allowed to do that. There are other people who are trained for politics.
It’s like the mood in Germany was against Qatar and a lot of people said they were not going to watch. It’s a pity. I was amazed to see other fans giving their teams unconditional support. That should again be our focus so that we will be as successful as possible.
Not only is this statement incredibly tone-deaf, belittling the numerous human rights abuses that went into making the Qatar World Cup possible, it indirectly shifts the blame for the team’s failure onto people who have nothing to do with it. It’s a cowardly way to deflect criticism.
No amount of “unconditional support” would have helped Germany’s defense from conceding twice vs Japan, no matter how much Hansi wants us to think it would. Niklas Sule and Nico Schlotterbeck play in front of 80,000 fans at Dortmund every week, and their defending hasn’t improved one bit. And Thomas Muller has never been a striker in his entire career, it’s not like he lost all his goalscoring ability because some people in Germany think that Qatar should be held accountable.
It’s disappointing that a man who should know better has decided to stoop so low in an attempt to salvage his reputation. Hansi Flick is treading dangerous ground here, and if he doesn’t shape up, Germany will face another debacle at the next Euros.