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Match awards from Germany’s soul-crushing 1-0 defeat to Poland

Hansi Flick really needs to figure his stuff out man.

Poland v Germany - International Friendly Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images

What can we even say about this Germany team anymore. Completely lifeless.

Der Kaiser: Malick Thiaw

In a German national team with zero defensive identity, the only thing players have to fall back on is individual talent. Thankfully, in his debut for the national team, AC Milan youngster Malick Thiaw showed why he is rated so highly by those who have watched him, as he put in a tour de force of strong physical defending. His passing, while not as adventurous as that of centre back partner Antonio Rüdiger (Real Madrid), was still more than functional and where he really shined was his ability to break play cleanly and make last-ditch tackles against Poland’s quick counters and players on the run.

Fußballgott: Robin Gosens

Functioning as the left wing back in the back three, Inter Milan’s Robin Gosens was fantastic after coming on for Gladbach’s Jonas Hofmann at half-time. His pace and sometimes narrower positioning allowed Germany to be far more direct, aided by Joshua Kimmich’s visionary passing. Gosens was proactive at all times, always looking to advance the ball and score — compare that to the ponderous and glacially paced backwards passes from Leipzig’s Benjamin Henrichs. A true blue marauding wide man, a profile which the national team is otherwise sorely missing.

Der Bomber: Florian Wirtz

Bayern Munich’s Jamal Musiala and Leverkusen’s Florian Wirtz were both a little blunt today, but neither can really be disappointed with their performance as they were both consistently hacked down and forced into nullification by poor movement from teammates. Musiala was a little more impressive with his dribbling, but Wirtz’s ability to play around tight spaces with his passing and create a handful of chances with some killer balls was far more productive, giving him the edge here. It’s a shame Wirtz’s cohorts just cannot finish a ball to save their lives.

Meister of the Match: Joshua Kimmich

I mean. Yeah. No player really deserves this award, but the pick of the bunch was Bayern’s Joshua Kimmich. His passing was visionary as usual. His positioning and availability to his teammates was unwavering, as usual. His ability to spot players in another zip code and play it perfectly in their path was unbelievably consistent, as usual. Kimmich played in a slightly more advanced role today alongside Borussia Dortmund’s Emre Can, and while his touch was a little rough at times he was fantastic at launching attacks for Germany from positions behind the defensive line of Poland.

Can’t get enough of that game? (Seriously?) Well, have we got the post-game Pod for you. Join Samrin and Rayyan (Cyler) as they discuss Germany’s back three setup, Niclas Füllkrug’s exclusion from the XI, fullbacks, Hansi Flick, Julian Nagelsmann, a look back at the World Cup, and all manner of delights. Listen on Spotify, or via the player below:

And while you’re at it, please throw a vote our way for the 2023 Best Club Podcast Award at WorldSoccerTalk! As always, we appreciate all your support!

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