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Germany keeper Marc-André Ter Stegen backs coach Hansi Flick

The Barça man is befuddled by the team’s troubles in a stunning defeat to Japan.

Germany v Japan - International Friendly Photo by Marco Steinbrenner/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Marc-André ter Stegen cannot believe it.

The FC Barcelona goalkeeper and current Germany No. 1 — at least while Bayern Munich sweeper-keeper Manuel Neuer continues his injury recovery — was at a loss to describe Germany’s 4-1 defeat to Japan on Saturday in an international men’s football friendly.

But one man he will not be blaming is Germany head coach Hansi Flick, whose tenure sure looks like it is on the ropes now.

“Yes, absolutely,” Ter Stegen replied to the media when asked whether Flick was still the right man to lead the team (via @iMiaSanMia). “It’s always easy to say the coach is the problem. He put a very good eleven on the pitch, but we didn’t implement it. I’ll be honest, we have a great team. But I don’t know why we can’t get it on the pitch. That was another blow today.”

Ter Stegen played with a new-look defense in this latest edition of the German squad — Bayern’s Joshua Kimmich and Borussia Dortmund’s Nico Schlotterbeck as fullbacks, with Niclas Süle (also of Dortmund) and Antonio Rüdiger in the center.

But the result was calamitous. While Ter Stegen’s shot-stopping shone — yes, it could have been even worse — the Germans allowed an incredible 11 of 14 shots on target, all while dominating possession 68-32%.

Whatever the problem is, this unit will have to sort it out — fast. France awaits.

Looking for more Germany analysis? The Japan game may spell the end for Hansi Flick, but how much blame do the players deserve? We talk about that and so much more in our latest podcast episode! Listen to it below or on Spotify.

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