One of the hallmarks of Hansi Flick’s incredibly successful tenure at Bayern Munich was his ability to just keep it simple.
Flick settled on a formation, deployed the best players for each position, and then worked extremely hard with his communication and relationship building techniques to foster a culture of oneness within the club.
Control possession, take chances, be fearless in the attack, ride or die with a high line, support one another, and play like every game mattered.
It was simple...fantastically simple...and it worked beautifully.
There was no constant tinkering, there was a fairness to all of his personnel decisions, and he kept every decision streamlined and politics free.
Since taking over Germany, however, Flick has done the complete opposite — and it ultimately cost him his job.
The former manager seemed to be always altering his formation, tweaking his tactics, experimenting with different personnel, and, in general, overcomplicating everything — to horrendously poor results.
The man likely could not settle on Dark Roast or Breakfast Blend, let alone who the left-back should be. The reason for this was a major topic of discussion on our most recent podcast episode, which you should definitely check out below (or on Spotify) for more context.
Now, it appears that Flick has maneuvered his way right out of the job because he got away from everything that made him an excellent coach. Yes, he deserves some of the blame for this epic collapse (let’s not forget he did not lose a match in his first 13 games at the helm...it has not always been a trainwreck) and he should be held accountable for that, but it should also be remembered that this is not exactly Germany’s “Golden Generation” on the field playing for him.
The best striker, Niclas Füllkrug, is a 30-year-old weathered center-forward, who is currently injured. The team’s foundational pieces for the next generation — Jamal Musiala and Florian Wirtz — have not been consistently good enough for the national team yet. The talented twosome can — and likely will — reach their potential, but it is not happening by Tuesday. And, yes, Musiala is also currently injured.
The backline is Niklas Süle, Antonio Rüdiger (not exactly a championship winning duo at this stage), and a seemingly never-ending array of glorified turnstiles with a penchant for incredibly ill-timed turnovers and defensive lapses.
Of Flick’s most key players, only Joshua Kimmich and Leroy Sané look remotely up to the task in their present form. Thomas Müller is a deep sub and Serge Gnabry’s roller coaster persona might be entering a valley stage at a terrible time for the national team.
Simply put, Flick could never really look to his roster to just go out and win a game based on their talent...or even play well. This is not a great Germany squad and right now, that team was not being led by a great coach over the past year.
Whatever magic touch Flick initially had, it disappeared into the dark nights following those fateful friendlies before the World Cup in Qatar.
Now, Flick is gone and it just might be Julian Nagelsmann longboarding his way into the hearts of Germany fans like some kind of Hipster White Knight ahead of the EURO 2024 competition.
Not that Nagelsmann’s incessant tinkering would work within the platform of the German national team, either...but who else is there?