Former Bayern Munich coach Hansi Flick is struggling to recapture that 2020 Bavarian magic these days. Long gone are the days of the treble. These days, Flick is trying — and struggling — to make things work with the German men’s national team, with a 2-0 friendly defeat to Colombia the latest in what’s getting to be an awfully long line of listless losses and draws.
In what might be the last of Germany’s back three experiments for a while, Flick changed the wingback configuration again: this time going with Inter Milan’s Robin Gosens, who has emerged nicely again on the left flank for his country, and Borussia Dortmund’s Marius Wolf in lieu of a more attacking option on the right such as Gladbach’s Jonas Hofmann.
After a half, though, Wolf was off, and Leipzig wing-back Benjamin Henrichs on. It seems Flick can’t really decide on the wing balance — and that’s not likely to get much easier in a back four, given that available talents, such as Gosens, are arguably more suited to the three.
Still, if there’s one positive to take from this break it’s been the emergence of AC Milan center-back Malick Thiaw. That development has been as refreshing as the forward line struggles — helmed again by a less-than-convincing show at center-forward by Chelsea FC’s Kai Havertz — have been frustrating.
On the other hand, some of the Bayern combinations delivered the few sparks available to Germany on the day. Jamal Musiala combined well with teammate Leroy Sané, and the Bayern youngster got off Germany’s only shot on goal of the day.
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