There were rumblings that the 1995/96 generation of players (born during those years) had not met expectations at Bayern Munich and Germany where they are mainstays. The players in question were Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, Serge Gnabry, Niklas Süle (now at Borussia Dortmund), and Leroy Sané:
[Uli] Hoeneß: They are all very good players in whom I have a lot of confidence, but let me tell you a story. I recently watched a competition at the World Athletics Championships on TV. It was a race, but I won’t say whether it was male or female competition and what distance. It was a final, the winner finished about 150 meters ahead of the German participant. And the (German) commentator said: ‘The good news is that ‘XY’ ran his personal best today!’ - You don’t always have to be in the top three, but you shouldn’t be too happy when you finish more than 100 meters behind the winner.
In general, with our national team, I think it’s often a bit like the athletics example. Some people seem to be satisfied too quickly today, and I don’t even blame the players for that. In their respective environment, there’s often simply too much sugarcoating. If you never get a 5 rating and always get 2 or 2.5, you’ll think you’re always right”
There should be more people who say: I don’t care about what’s being discussed in the media, I don’t care about my ratings in newspapers. You can say what you want about Lothar Matthäus, but when he was on the pitch, all that mattered to him was what happened on the pitch.
– Suddeutsche Zeitung as captured by Twitter account @iMiaSanMia
In other words, the mentality of the players needs to improve. Never settle for mediocrity; push yourself to become better. As of now, only Leroy Sané is performing to standard.