Former Bayern Munich and Germany captain Philipp Lahm saw a lot of faults with Germany’s performance at the World Cup in Qatar, but one of the things that disappointed him the most was how the team’s central midfield performed.
“I was sure that Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka and Ilkay Gündogan would complement each other to form a strong unit if played together for three or four games. That was not the case,” Lahm told The Guardian (as captured by @iMiaSanMia).
Prior to the tournament, many figured that the Bayern Munich duo of Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka would start as a double-pivot where manager Hansi Flick could take advantage of the communication and on-field relationship that the players have built up over the years for club and country.
Instead, Flick opted to use Gündogan, who had to be talked out of retiring from international player after the Euro 2020 competition. Kimmich ultimately was move to right-back for the final match against Costa Rica and a position that was supposed to be a strength (central midfield) became...okay.
Whatever the case, the inability of the central midfield to control games and dictate pacing fell to the background for Germany as most of the debated revolved around the team’s lack of an available striker and right-back.
Perhaps in the coming months, Flick will look more closely at how to get the best performance out of his central midfielders as well.