The German national team shows a poor performance in Oman in the last test before the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Instead of more training sessions, national coach Hansi Flick still relies on regeneration.
Matthias Ginter has played every minute of the 15 games played for SC Freiburg in the current Bundesliga season. In the Europa League, his club coach Christian Streich spared him for long stretches in the last meaningless game of the group stage. In the DFB Cup, Freiburg had to go into extra time in both rounds, and Ginter took everything with him.
The 28-year-old central defender flies to Qatar with the German national team on Thursday (17.11.2022). There he will contest his third world championship, winning the title the first time he took part in 2014. However, he did not play a second, either in Brazil or four years later on only three occasions in Russia.
A third time would be almost tragic, so national coach Hansi Flick should give him his debut at a World Cup if the opportunity arises.
Flick protects important players for the start of the World Cup
Few expect Ginter to start against Japan on November 23rd. The probability dropped again on Wednesday (November 16, 2022) because Ginter was in the starting eleven in the difficult 1-0 win against Oman.
That sounds strange, because coaches usually send a team to the field in the last test match that corresponds to the one in the first tournament game.
But Flick decided otherwise. He put Jamal Musiala on the bench and stayed there for 90 minutes, just like Serge Gnabry, Niklas Süle and Mario Götze, who still played with Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday (11/13/2022). This also applies to Ginter, who is already under a lot of pressure, but he still had to or was allowed to play in Oman.
After all, he was substituted during the break. He was replaced by central defender Nico Schlotterbeck, previously Armel Bella Kotchap had come on as a substitute. Süle, who is expected to start against Japan, stayed out. Antonio Rüdiger, the “defense chief”, as Flick put it, was even sitting there without a jersey.
Thursday regeneration, Friday free
The Real Madrid professional is ailing, just like Thomas Müller. The two are scheduled to start training on Saturday. Regeneration is scheduled for Thursday, Flick has given his players Friday off.
Flick deliberately shortened the already very short preparation time by another day. “I think it’s the right decision,” said the national coach in Oman.
Physical recovery and stress management for key players like Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka, who each played a half in Oman, are more important to him than any opportunity to be on the training ground.
“Everything is already planned, when we train what,” said Flick, and the free Friday was part of this program even before the departure from Germany.
National coach criticizes duel behavior
The plan stood, even if the performance in Oman gave reason to consider at least one additional unit. When switching to the defensive, the selection also revealed considerable weaknesses against the 75th in the world rankings.
The national coach clearly criticized the duel behavior in the back four, but also showed understanding (“I think that everyone had in mind to get out of the game healthy”) and hoped for improvement, because Oman is a test and Japan is the World Cup: ” I am convinced that we will see a completely different team with a different physicality.”
Filling jug with starting eleven opportunities
Before the game in the atmospheric “Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex” because the sound was constantly playing, Flick told his players that they “should show that they are ready for Qatar”. Some showed the opposite, some came at least close to their normal form, one “has shown it”.
The national coach meant Niclas Füllkrug, for whom, like Youssoufa Moukoko, there is now an A international match. In contrast to Dortmund, who hit the post, Bremen hit the goal. With this, Füllkrug changed his status from “good to have a real centre-forward as a ‘joker'” to “real starting eleven chances”.
When asked by Sportschau whether Füllkrug’s performance was a letter of recommendation for the starting eleven against Japan, Flick grinned: “I’ll leave it like that for now.”