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Three match observations from Germany’s 1-1 draw vs. the Netherlands

Die Mannschaft hit the friendly circuit this evening with a primetime matchup vs their rivals, Die Oranje in a packed Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam.

Netherlands v Germany - International Friendly Photo by Marvin Ibo Güngör/GES-Sportfoto via Getty Images

Thomas Müller is here to stay

Ah, thank our lord and savior Hans-Dieter Flick. This Germany team is turning into a carbon-copy of Bayern Munich: Germany runs on Thomas Müller. He’s everywhere and straight up essential. Müller and Jamal Musiala’s partnership is as strong as ever. His goal to take a 1-0 lead at the stroke of halftime was the pinnacle of what Müller brings to Die Mannschaft: leadership, acute technical ability, and a sense for goal.

As long as Hansi Flick is the manager of Die Mannschaft, Müller will remain the first field player listed on the team sheet for every major match.

Jamal Musiala is the real deal

Julian Nagelsmann, you taking notes? Musiala needs to be a day-in and day-out starter because, damn, this kid can play. When Musiala was on the pitch, Germany’s system operated with clear cold bloodedness. When Flick took him off, for rest I can only presume, the midfield system collapsed. Joshua Kimmich and Musiala as a midfield duo is arguably the best in the world, and the fact that you can also interchange each other in the need arises is further sign of:

1. Flick’s talent evaluation

2. The pure quality of Musiala.

I’m not alone in this sentiment, either.

That being said...

Flick’s defense needs some major help. The second half of this match vs the Netherlands was a textbook showcase of how not to organize and play defense. Flick and Germany were able to escape the match with a draw because Memphis Depay somehow forgot how to finish on numerous occasions when the Dutch were able to slice and dice Germany’s defense. Questions are sure to arise about Joshua Kimmich return to right-back given the rise of Musiala in the midfield. Leon Goretzka’s absence was also surely felt this match as he is Kimmich’s partner in crime and an elite box-to-box midfielder. But that being said, Germany’s defense is in dire straits. Antonio Rüdiger has yet to replicate some of his Chelsea performances for Die Mannschaft, and the list of eligible defensive players is....less than ideal.

Niklas Süle is sure to be one of the names on the list, as is Jonathan Tah, when it comes to defensive starters. Nico Schlotterbeck should be a name floated due to his great performances for SC Freiburg but he’s yet to also duplicate that for Germany. Tah and Matthias Ginter are other names which were staples for ex-coach Joachim Löw, but are more of depth players. Flick will have his hands full determining which defense would line up in front of Manuel Neuer, who still remains a world-class goalkeeper and will surely keep Germany in games. The rest of the squad is settled, I’d argue. It will be worth watching the defensive adjustments made over the next matches for Germany as Flick narrows down his choices.


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