The women’s national team will play against Iceland in the Nations League. A victory is almost mandatory if the 2024 Olympic Games are to happen. But the signs are not good.
It’s about nothing less than taking part in the 2024 Olympics in Paris. The game of the German women’s national team in the Nations League A against Iceland on Tuesday (September 26th, 2023; from 6:15 p.m. in the live ticker) is not yet a final.
If interim national coach Britta Carlson’s team also loses the second game after the recent 2-0 defeat in Denmark, there is a risk of the next big failure after the preliminary round exit at the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand last summer.
Only the group winner will advance to the final round and fight for the two tickets reserved for the European teams in this competition. For goalkeeper Merle Frohms, it’s all about “To let out the negative emotions. Then the how is of secondary importance, only a win counts. Now your back is against the wall. From now on it’s important to win all the games.”
Carlson points out some weaknesses
The nerves around the team are correspondingly tense. “This defeat means: our backs are against the wall”said Marina Hegering. “We need to win, no matter what,” added midfielder Sydney Lohmann.
The big problem: Nobody in charge can or wants to say what the ongoing performance deficit is due to. Carlson had highlighted at least a few weaknesses after the game in Denmark: slow attacking play, lots of cross passes, hardly any ideas, little sense of responsibility. “The necessary security is simply missing, and you notice it.”she said.
But the problems seem to lie deeper and are not just to be found on the lawn. The actual national coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg signed off sick after returning from the World Cup. The tournament has not yet been reviewed and, according to the sporting director of the DFB national teams, Panagiotis “Joti” Chatzialexiou, it will only take place when the 55-year-old is able to work again.
World Cup reappraisal is a long time coming
Neither Voss-Tecklenburg himself nor the DFB have said anything about what the illness is and when a return might be possible. And it doesn’t seem like the national coach will be able to return to work in the next few days.
An early end to the employment of the national coach, who has been under contract since 2019 (until 2025), seems possible. Her representative Carlson herself recently declared that she was not available for a permanent successor.
The already insecure players are currently moving within this vacuum. “I would like to see clarity for everyone. Whether it’s for the coaching team, for the team. Because I just want us, Germany, to get stronger again like it was before.”said Carlson. The desire for clear structures could hardly be expressed more clearly publicly.
No clear position
The inner life of the team is correspondingly unsettled, which is expressed on the field. In addition, there have been persistent rumors for some time that the players are criticizing Voss-Tecklenburg’s work – and not everyone is of the opinion that the national coach is still in the right place. When asked about this, DFB attacker Alexandra Popp said: “We hope that Martina will get well again. Everything else will be decided by the association anyway and not us.“