Just when you thought Germany were turning a corner, the entire project slides off the road altogether. Former Bayern Munich manager Julian Nagelsmann is living up to his reputation as a tinkerer, saying that Kai Havertz is now a legitimate left-back option for Germany at Euro 2024.
If you’re an Arsenal fan reading this, please don’t let it give Mikel Arteta any any ideas. Despite his goal, Kai Havertz did NOT have a good performance at left-back versus Turkey. Honestly, the following post-match quote from Nagelsmann comes across as near-delusional:
Julian Nagelsmann says Havertz at left-back is not just a one-time experiment, but a plan for the Euros: "Kai said he wanted to do it, wanted to try it. I don't see this as a risk for him, but as a very, very big opportunity to play a key role at the Euros. For a first time in an… pic.twitter.com/gURrdtnlje— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) November 19, 2023
Let’s break that statement down piece by piece:
- “Kai said he wanted to do it” — why does this matter? Thomas Müller once joked in a press conference that even he could play left-back, but the coach probably shouldn’t put him there. Nagelsmann should know better.
- “I don’t see this as a risk for him, but as a very, very big opportunity” — what about the risk for the rest of the team? Havertz compromises the backline and has no real role in the attack. Compared to an actual left-back like Raum or Gosens (neither of whom are world beaters by any means) it seems like an unnecessary experiment, especially with the Euros just around the corner.
- “For a first time in an unfamiliar position, he did extremely well” — This part of the statement makes the least sense. Havertz conceded a penalty and his goal came from a play following a set piece, where he was positioned more like an attacking midfielder (his usual position) than a left-back. Does Nagelsmann really think that Kai had a good game versus Turkey?
It’s baffling how every single coach who encounters Kai Havertz thinks they can fix him. Yes, he’s undoubtedly a talented player — he proved it at Bayer Leverkusen — but Germany have so many attacking midfielder and AM-adjacent players who are so much better. Jamal Musiala, Florian Wirtz, Leroy Sané, Thomas Müller all deserve starting spots over him right now.
It makes you wonder what is actually happening behind the scenes at Germany.
Interested in a more in-depth look at what went wrong for Germany, or do you just want to revel in our misery? Well either way, our podcast has you covered. In our newest episode, we discuss Germany’s humiliating loss to Turkey, and also take a minute to discuss whether Alphonso Davies will stay at Bayern Munich. Listen to it below or on Spotify.
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