Germany got roasted 4-1 by Japan and several Bayern Munich players were involved in the mess.
Who did well? Who struggled? Let’s take a look below...
Jersey Swap: Junya Ito/Takefusa Kubo
It is rare to give out a split jersey swap, but since Ito and Kubo essentially occupied the same position (Kubo subbed on for Ito in the 75th minute), it just felt fitting.
Ito was credited with Japan’s first goal and assisted on his team’s second goal, while Kubo tacked on two assists late in the match. That is some pretty awesome production for the duo, who were each a thorn in the side of Germany.
Der Kaiser: Joshua Kimmich
It was not a good day for Germany’s backline, but Kimmich was the best of the lot. The Bayern Munich star won five of his eight ground duels, completed 93% of his passes, had an interception, and only lost possession 11 times over 90 minutes.
The hybrid role of playing as an inverted right-back was extremely taxing on Kimmich and it did not highlight all of what he could offer Germany. It was an attempt by Flick to make something happen, but it ultimately was not successful because Nico Schlotterbeck was awful on the left side.
Der Fußballgott: Pascal Groß
Germany’s midfield struggled to impact the match. İlkay Gündoğan turned in a “meh” performance. Emre Can was equally as hapless. None of the subs did anything of note, so why not just offer it up to the Brighton & Hove Albion star.
Groß played 26 minutes, completed 37 of his 38 passes (97%), and only lost possession two times. He was consistent and steady, which is far more than anyone else who occupied a midfield slot could say.
Der Bomber: Florian Wirtz
Wirtz had the assist on Leroy Sané’s goal and probably put in his best showing for the German national team. To be clear, he was not great, but he did bring a level of energy and effort as an attacking midfielder that was just better than what Serge Gnabry or Kai Havertz brought to the attack.
None of the subs made a substantial improvement over the starters, so there were not exactly a lot of options to consider here.
Meister of the Match: Leroy Sané
Sané accounted for Germany’s lone goal, but was really the only consistent threat that could be found on the pitch for the home side. And really that was it...Sané was the only player that was capable of striking fear into Japan on the day. His runs off-the-ball were good, but too often fruitless because of the lack of precision on the squad.
It was not really a banner day for any German player, but on this day, Sané was the best of the lot.
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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