Off at the EM
Missed scoring chance – Müller came, saw and missed
With Thomas Müller, the national team should be more stable. But the return itself was proof that something went wrong in Joachim Loew’s empire. The Bayern professional hung out and turned into a tragic figure in the end.
The 81st minute in the round of 16 at Wembley is already one of the most unfortunate moments in the history of the German national team: Thomas Müller runs freely towards the goal of the English goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and just misses the goal. The big chance of equalization is gone, Müller sinks to his knees in the football temple Wembley and probably knows straight away: “That’s it. Such an opportunity will not arise again in this game.” And so it happens. The English even hit another hit against a disordered German defense and win instead of having to go into overtime. Müller’s miss will engrave itself in the collective memory of football. It is one of the images that symbolize the end of the Löw era.
It remains to be seen whether the inglorious end of Löw’s fifteen-year term in office will also mark the end of the Bayern professional’s second national team career. ARD expert Bastian Schweinsteiger definitely suggested that he resign. It remains to be seen whether Hansi Flick, the future national coach, will see the same thing or if Müller will say goodbye on his own initiative.
Thomas Müller is not to be blamed
But one thing is certain: Even if Müller had sunk that one shot in the English goal, it would not have changed the fact that his much acclaimed and much-requested return was only a symptom of the downfall of this team, which Löw is ultimately responsible for. That he had sorted it out was a mistake. By the ad hoc return immediately before the tournament, which was more like an act of desperation (the same applies, of course, to Mats Hummels), Löw wanted to save his departure. But it was too late for that. Even with all their experience and class, the comebackers could not compensate for the weaknesses and inadequacies of the team.
Müller is not to be blamed. The 31-year-old, who found his way back to old strength in an impressive way under Flick at Bayern, gratefully accepted Löw’s offer. He really got into it, and was celebrated for it. On and next to the square. “Radio Müller” also worked in the DFB quarter in Herzogenaurach.
In terms of sport, the return was mixed
In terms of sport, his return was mixed. There was an effect to be seen, but not a major one. Müller rotated, was a pass station, passer-by, starter, but he could not play away the fundamental errors in the Löwschen system. Probably no player in the world would have been able to do that.
His appearance in the game against England was a reflection of the whole comeback. He played a great pass to Goretzka in the first half and even directed the team with his hands. He also made a bad bad pass, which almost led to the Englishman’s first goal if the other returnee Hummels had not just prevented the goal. In the end, he missed the great opportunity that might have meant an extension.
It’s bitter for him and annoying for the followers, but of course not the end of the world. If the ball had gone into the goal, the history of this European Championship might have been a little different for the national team. But just maybe. That remains speculation.