After a letdown of a display in a defeat at the hands of Austria, Germany captain Ilkay Gündogan reflected on the match, as captured by ZDF (via @iMiaSanMia), saying, “There’s frustration and disappointment. We made it really easy for the Austrians to create chances. We have to be honest, it’s not just the defense, defending starts up front. Things can’t get any worse - maybe that’s the only positive right now.”
Gündogan also acknowledged the following: “It’s of course bitter that we have to live with these two negative results for four months. Everyone now has to make sure they perform and prepare optimally to be ready by March. Things can only get better — there’s no other way.”
Gündogan’s comments reflect a similar sentiment to those made by Austria head coach Ralf Rangnick who also concluded that Germany has to get better at defending if they want to start winning games.
The point that, “defending starts up front,” is a great piece of insight. It just so happens that Germany is lucky enough to have perhaps the greatest press orchestrator the world has ever seen in Thomas Müller. While only playing with ten men for the majority of the second half, Germany showed grit and determination, arguably playing better than they did in the first half. The introduction of Müller at the break contributed greatly to this, as he did everything in his power to try and make up for Germany’s lack of a player.
Ultimately, Müller’s efforts were to little avail and the players will have to head back to their clubs with their tails between their legs.