NAfter all, what you could hear and see, it was a joyful pleasure. Water- instead of football games were announced in the national team, and so the players and also supervisors on Monday afternoon on a bathing lake near their quarters in Venlo in various non-specialist disciplines against each other. Team building is the keyword, which is quite literally to take this time: Finally, a new team is emerging. And shared experiences and conversations should be the cement that holds the structure together.
"You grow together, you get to know each other better," said Manuel Neuer, on Monday still batsman in the canoe on the "Blue Lagoon" in Wachtendonk, but now in his capacity as captain of the national team on the press podium of the German Football Association (DFB). There he sat on Tuesday together with Jonathan Tah, the captain of the U 21, who after the two qualifiers with the A team in Belarus on Saturday (20.45 clock in FAZ live ticker for the European Championship qualifier and on RTL) and against Estonia on Tuesday (20.45 clock in the FAZ live ticker for the European Championship qualifier and RTL) then right after the junior training camp and then traveling to the European Championship. This should also demonstrate solidarity and is part of the image that the DFB is currently happy to surrender.
Tah, the 23-year-old center-back of Bayer Leverkusen, looked good next to the 33-year-old Neuer as he talked about how to deal with each other and the qualities of the new generation. Some things are reminiscent of the years 2009 and 2010, in which the later world champion team was emerging. Because there were young players who were mature and ready to take responsibility. Such a moment could have come back now. Neuer said he talked to Tah on the way to the press conference about how many players from the A squad could still play in the U21.
They came to seven. "It shows that we have a good growth, many talents who have already played on a first-class level, who have already gained experience at a young age," said Neuer. "It shows that we are prepared for the future." Tah gladly accepted the ball. "We now have a responsibility to take the scepter more in hand," he said. The Placet from above, from the national coach and also from the captain, is certain to him and his contemporaries. To promote the process of growing in and out, there is currently no institutionalized team council, as Neuer reported – everyone should be able to get involved.
"We know that especially the young players have to take responsibility," said Neuer – and emphasized that "must" noticeably. "Everyone is motivated and there is a lot of talk, communication is important to us." So there will be a lot of talk in the national team. Even in the absence of Joachim Löw, who was able to leave Freiburg University Hospital on Monday evening and watch the public training match on television this Wednesday in Aachen (5.30 pm on RTL Nitro and in the FAZ.NET livestream). But sometimes it is also very interesting, which is not talked about.
Neuer made no move when asked about Leroy Sané and the Guesses about a change to Bayern. No, he could not and would not give advice, "Leroy is experienced" and someone who already "knows what he wants". And no, he has not even talked to him about it. Really not? But even more surprising sounded something else: that Neuer said he had not yet talked to Loew about his plan to give this season Marc-André ter Stegen opportunities in the German goal. It was on Tuesday expressed quite clearly that new holds the no idea, with which he can easily make friends. "Basically," he said, "you always want to be on the pitch as an athlete, always play, that's always been the case with me." One will see how things will go this year, he added – and that ter Stegen must first get fit again.
This was allowed to be understood as an attempt to mark one's own territory, even if it was a new one that was uncomplicated. Combined with his surprisingly keen eye on the goals next year, it was like a double challenge from the captain. "Of course we want to attack next summer," Neuer said. "We want to go through the European Championship qualifiers so that next summer's European Championship is so good and competitive to win the title." And, as he did not need to add, with him in goal, the "old Hare, "as he said elsewhere, and not with a younger one.
In Venlo and in the absence of ter Stegens Neuer could chat quite loosely about the goalkeeper situation. over Sven Ulreich, his club mate, who earned his first nomination as the third goalkeeper (also for Bernst Leno who was injured as well as Stegen). Or about the next generation, in the person of Alexander Nübel, for example, which is actually just the one after the other. After his injury feels new again in full possession of his powers and abilities, and not just since the Cup final, in which helped his Bayern with two fabulous saves against Leipzig crucial to double. "I do not feel any hot breath," said Neuer, the number one, facing ter Stegen, the first competitor. Whether that was true or not: change, rejuvenation, everything important and good – but please be nice with him on board.
Manuel (t) Jonathan Tah (t) Marc-André ter Stegen (t) Joachim Loew (t) Leroy Sané (t) DFB (t) Bayer