So much for experimenting. Hansi Flick’s exploratory period with the Germany national team in the June international break came to a crashing denouement with a 0-2 loss to Colombia. A new-look roster, and especially a new-look formation, have little to recommend them after a string of poor results.
Even the players know it. After the game, Borussia Dortmund midfielder Emre Can — deployed as a center-back in a 3-4-3 formation against Colombia — was unsparing in his analysis when asked where he’d make adjustments.
“Back four. That suits this team more,” Can said (via Az’s Maximilian Koch). “The coach tried something (with the back three) that didn’t work. You have to say that so clearly.”
Better to find out early than later, right?
Still, it’s been an absolutely brutal stretch for the Germany men. In 2021, then-coach Joachim Löw sprung a back three out of nowhere to take the team into that summer’s EURO, his swan song with the national team. Flick was widely expected to improve results but so far, it’s been a continuation of the theme of sputtering performances, changing systems, and empty-handed returns from tournaments.
If there’s an answer in sight, it doesn’t look like it’s waiting in the wings. Flick and Germany will have to chart the right course fast to be in time for next summer’s European Championships.
Ready for more fallout from the game? Chuck is here to take us all on a tour of sadness in this International Friendly Rant edition of the BPW Postgame Show. Short, sweet, and bitter all at once: you need to give this a listen. Find it on Spotify or use 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!