According to a report by Sport Bild, the DFB is seriously considering giving Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke a leading role in the Germany men’s national team setup. Following a second consecutive World Cup disaster, it looks like Oliver Bierhoff might be the one sidelined in favor of Watzke, with the former being relegated to a reduced role as the director of the DFB Academy.
Honestly, as a Bayern Munich fan, it’s hard to see how Watzke is supposed to fix things in the DFB. BVB don’t exactly have a strong national team pedigree, and while Watzke is a CEO who pulled his club back from a crisis, the issues facing the national team are completely different. Perhaps they see him as a stabilizing figure? But Germany don’t need stability — they need a shakeup and it’s difficult to see what Watzke can bring to the table in that regard.
(Anyone reminded of that scene in Thor: The Dark World where Thor goes to Loki for help? Of course not, no one ever watched that movie ...)
At least Bild’s report claims that Hansi Flick is not seen as the main cause of Germany’s failure in the World Cup, since he has only been in charge for a year. Apparently this crisis scenario was already discussed after the loss to Japan, and Oliver Bierhoff has finally come under the spotlight. Still, to replace Bierhoff with Watzke, while undoubtedly an upgrade, doesn’t seem like the right move. He runs a tight ship at BVB in financial terms, but has often been criticized for his lack of ambition.
While he obviously can’t sell Jamal Musiala to England for 300m euros, maybe the long term appointment of Watzke could help the Germans completely reinvent football development at the grassroots level. In addition, Borussia Dortmund’s role in the NT setup has been extremely limited in the last few World Cup cycles — which is not ideal for the second biggest club in Germany behind Bayern Munich. Maybe the DFB want to get away from the Bayern dependency, though who knows where that might lead them.
In any case, Bierhoff being taken off the reigns is a huge step in the right direction.
In case you haven’t listened to it yet, check out our special edition postgame + weekend warm up podcast. We look at Germany’s shortcomings, Hansi Flick’s approach, Japan’s wonderful run ... and close out with some classical music talk! Listen below or on Spotify.
As always, we appreciate all your support!