Fundamental changes needed for Germany after World Cup group exit (Analysis)

Two group exits at a FIFA World Cup within four years leave Germany in a shock-like state.

While the 2018 exit in Russia was seen as a coincidental accident, the devastating performance four years later in Qatar revealed profound omissions on several stages; not to speak of the early exit in the last 16-round at the Euro 2020.

Fundamental changes seem inevitable and include talent education and the will to open up to modern football’s requirements. Germany’s reputation as a football nation suffered enormous damage, reports Xinhua.

The glory of taking the 2014 World Cup trophy in Brazil has vanished, as well as the country’s reputation to be a team that always develops a special spirit in major tournaments. German national coach Hansi Flick might have acted unfortunately when it comes to his line-up choice, and the former Bayern coach and 2020 treble winner failed to develop a convincing plan.

But problems go deeper and concern structures in the association.

The future of national team manager Oliver Bierhoff and Flick remains uncertain after a defeat against Japan, a draw against Spain, and a laborious win over Costa Rica. Bayern icon Thomas Muller indicated he might resign as he thanked fans for their support over the past years. Several others such as goalkeeper Manuel Neuer might follow after the teams return to Germany this Friday.

Time seems short to set up a robust team competitive enough to play a successful 2024 Euro hosted by Germany. Since 2014 problems in vital positions such as the full-backs and spearheads became apparent aside from fatal gaps in talent education.

The career of Jamal Musiala might be an example of what went wrong as the Bayern Youngster spoke about his profound education by English clubs and The Three Lions Youth teams.

The English way triggered his skills to survive in one-to-one duels, rely on individual qualities, and show fighting spirit and greediness. Musiala assumed German football might have missed out on that over the past years.

German coach Flick spoke about inevitable changes in education after the exit from the 2022 FIFA World Cup after only three games. “We have been talking about the lack of number nines and full-backs for years. We need to return to the basics of football. Take a look at Spain and Japan. They can deal perfectly with the ball in various situations and are good at tactics. To catch up over the upcoming ten years is a must,” the 57-year-old stated.

For a reason manager Oliver Bierhoff is under intense fire as side topics dominated the entire trip to Qatar instead of sportive issues. The former striker isn’t only responsible for the national team but the association’s talent development.

Bierhoff’s attempt to implement the national team as a trademark, naming it “The Team” failed coming along with the rapidly decreasing interest of fans. The number of spectators in the arenas and TV rates dropped significantly.

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