Germany is eliminated again early in a major tournament. Thomas Müller announces his resignation, Hansi Flick blames the defense, Kai Havertz calls for changes.
That’s it. It was that again. Out after the preliminary round, the third early failure in a row at a major tournament. For Thomas Müller it was probably also in the national team. Immediately after the final whistle of his 121st international match, he spoke to the fans at the sports show microphone, which hardly allow any other conclusion.
National coach Flick wants to continue
The national coach wants to stay. Hansi Flick repeated the words he had chosen the day before the game. “I’ll stay as far as I’m concerned”, according to Flick. There are no signals from the German Football Association (DFB) that the national coach will be questioned a year and a half before the European Championship in his own country.
Bierhoff and Neuer also want to continue
Similar signals came from DFB managing director Oliver Bierhoff and captain Manuel Neuer. “I’m ruling that out right now”Bierhoff said when asked about a possible resignation, even though he knew “that the mechanism starts now, that the discussion takes place.”
The 36-year-old captain and goalkeeper Manuell Neuer does not see his end in the national team either. “Yes, as long as I’m invited and show my performance, I can rule that out”he explained.
How a 4:2 victory depresses the mood
The 2006 World Cup in Germany began with a 4-2 win against Costa Rica, weeks full of euphoria that were stopped abruptly in the semi-finals. A 4-2 win against Costa Rica on Thursday (12/01/2022) stopped the “Way back to the top of the world”, which the DFB wanted to have gone to the EM. Flick was asked whether the recent failure was affecting the mood, and he answered dejectedly: “The mood wasn’t great before.”
One of the most difficult periods in the history of the national team
The German national team is going through one of the most difficult phases in post-war history. Hansi Flick does not want to take as long to process and analyze as his predecessor Joachim Löw, who withdrew from the public for weeks after the World Cup in Russia.
In the Al Bayt stadium, where he was hoping for an “initial spark” a few days earlier after the convincing game against Spain, Flick did give a few pointers.
Flick misses the defensive work
“It always distinguished us that we could defend”, he said, and he also said that the German team can’t do it anymore. Two goals were scored by Costa Rica, who had one shot on target in their previous two games to lead Japan 1-0.
After the first half, after which it was 1-0 for Germany, he was “really angry”, said Flick. Too often dangerous situations would have arisen for the opponent. The national coach was much more considerate with the offensive. He also defended Thomas Müller’s line-up in attacking center instead of classic striker Niclas Füllkrug.
The 4:2 would have been enough for progress despite all the shortcomings in the German game – and that included the poor defensive performance and many poor finishes – if Spain had scored at least one point against Japan.
Flick has no grudges against Spain
“I never look at other teams”, Flick said when asked if he had a grudge against the Spaniards. Germany had to blame themselves for the elimination, primarily because of the weak 20 minutes against Japan, in which a 1-0 became 1-2.
Kai Havertz was already looking at the Spaniards. The forward, who played a key role in turning the deficit against Costa Rica with two goals, said: “I’m angry about both.” What was meant was their own performance and the Spanish coach Luis Enrique, who had changed his starting eleven in several positions.
Havertz: “We have to change something”
“Like in a horror movie”felt Havertz, who demanded: “A lot has to happen. It makes us all think a little bit about what’s wrong and what we need to change. It’s clear that we need to change something.”