Sunday November 14th 2021
The DFB team in the individual review
Gündoğan scores “Kackt goal of the year”
By Tobias Nordmann
Well, what can we say: Hansi Flick is the most invincible national coach that ever existed. He is now responsible for the German national team for seven games, and he has won all of them. This has never happened before. At the end of the World Cup qualification there was an entertaining win against Armenia. The national team, which had been decimated by Corona and injuries, was again happy to play three days after the 9-0 shooting match against Liechtenstein, but occasionally also vulnerable in the newly formed defense. England professionals Kai Havertz (15th minute) and Ilkay Gündogan (45th + 4 / penalty and 50th) and Jonas Hofmann (64th) scored for the Flick team that had long since qualified for the final in Qatar. Former Dortmund’s Henrich Mchitarjan (59th) scored the goal for the hosts with a penalty kick. Our individual review.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen: Oh, poor Herr ter Stegen. One would wish him from the bottom of the heart that he would play a game for Germany and become a hero. Now it was clear that this role against Armenia would rather not fall to him. There were two reasons for this: First, the game was no longer important enough to make itself immortal, because Germany had already qualified for the World Cup in Qatar next year. And secondly, Armenia (as expected) was not the opponent who took the German goal under constant fire. Bitter realization after this 27th international match, in which he was overcome with a penalty shot by ex-Dortmund’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan: Germany conceded four goals on the way to the World Cup. Two against North Macedonia, one against Romania and now one against Armenia. Ter Stegen always stood in the gate.
David room: Actually, the last international match of the year should be a good one for all those who were allowed to audition because of the serious personnel problems. However, that was not the case for the man from TSG Hoffenheim. His teammates largely ignored him. Captain Thomas Müller and his colleagues found much more pleasure in plowing the right side than in staging the best preparer of the past second division season. The left-back (or whatever the role) played very far up front which gave him very long ways back. It didn’t always work out. Good for him: the Armenians sometimes played their fine counterattack ridiculously lousy.
Jonathan Tah: His last international match was a bad one. A very bad one. One that changed German football forever. Because after the 0: 6 clap against Spain exactly a year ago something happened that was actually unthinkable: national coach Joachim Löw had to fear for his job. Somehow he managed to convince his bosses. But not sustainable. Well, back to Tah. Against Spain he was completely overwhelmed (like everyone else). Against Armenia, the giant from Bayer Leverkusen was not sovereign in a duel only once, when he was easily shaken by Khoren Bayramyan after 27 minutes. Otherwise, however, indomitable. This was also the case with the host’s best counter-opportunity, when he had three men under control (who, however, also stood a little in the way). What he was missing: a good opening of the game over the long ball.
Matthias Ginter: What applies to his neighbor Tah also applies to the man from Mönchengladbach: The long balls in the game are not his. This lack of stylistic device is a very good argument for Mats Hummels, who is still not considered, but remains a candidate for Qatar. Ginter is too. He’s just reliable and very solid. Not much more, however. Didn’t look good at the end of the first half after Florian Neuhaus lost the ball, which gave Armenia an excellent opportunity that ended in a minor debacle. Otherwise there is nothing to report. Neither good nor bad.
Thilo Kehrer: The defender, who is not a regular at Paris St. Germain, is absolutely set at the Bundes-Hansi. Not only because it can be used flexibly, but also because the Qatari luxury ensemble has learned a lot in training billions. Is extremely robust in a duel and cleared on the ball even under pressure. He didn’t have to prove anything against Armenia. Was the first build-up player in the team and made a mistake in the first half. Made 60 passes. All arrived. The truth, however, also includes: Magic and risk games were not there.
Ilkay Gundogan: Without the Bavarian machinists Joshua Kimmich (Corona quarantine) and Leon Goretzka (injured after a horror kick against Liechtenstein), Gündoğan is set. He has a sensational technique and a remarkable calmness on the ball. He made the first tongue click with a very fine leg shot. However, it was like so often with him: The City-Star did not deliver an outstanding game for Germany (it was always a good one). For most of the time, despite all his commitment, he was unable to break the monotony of attacks. However, the longer the game lasted, the better it got. Played more and more passes in depth. But he lacks the furious dynamism of Goretzka and the galling of Kimmich. After all, he still scored two goals! A penalty that was punished by VAR the first few minutes after the foul, and the “poop goal of the year” (Tip to Arnd Zeigler, these hits are regularly presented and awarded!). A harmless shot from 18 meters slipped past the hand of international debutant Stanislav Buchnev. Compassion is in order.
Maximilian Arnold, from the 60th minute for Gündoğan: The Wolfsburg had to wait more than seven years for his second international match, only three days for the third. Played solidly, but remains only a back-up candidate due to the insane competition.
Florian Neuhaus: Oh yes, the midfielder’s career was already really picking up speed. Even FC Bayern is said to have been interested in the 24-year-old. But currently his career has taken an emergency stop. Doesn’t really get on his feet in the club, which he recently complained about offensively. That caused displeasure. A clarifying discussion should take place. With a lot of new self-confidence, Neuhaus will not deny that. Because his performance against Armenia was very mixed. Although he always indicated what a great technique he has and how pronounced his move towards goal is (once that led to a penalty for Germany), he also made a lot of mistakes. A fatal loss of the ball enabled the hosts to make the best counterattack in half time. And in the second half he reached too hard in the penalty area, also a penalty.
Kevin Volland, from 73rd minute for Neuhaus: The man from the Monegasque principality had a good opportunity, but his shot was blocked. Remains a candidate because he’s a good striker.
Leroy Sané: Everything has been said about the man from Munich. He may be in the best shape of his career these weeks. Not only works relentlessly backwards, but sometimes also works magic in his core discipline, the offensive game. Hardly a game passed recently (neither for Germany nor for FC Bayern) in which Sané was not the best man, or at least one of the best men. Let’s make it short: that was not the case against Armenia. Sané tried hard, but not as determined and strong as usual. Let’s make it short (II): it doesn’t matter.
Julian Brandt, from the 60th minute for Sané: The Dortmund-based man, who was no longer nominated, still got the chance of a 30-minute comeback. And without the big aha moment. If he wants to go to Qatar, he has to deliver more.
Thomas Müller: Everything has been said about this man from Munich, too: Under Flick, he is again the offensive heart and mind of the national team. He is the initiator of good moments and the head of communication. Will be challenged significantly more in his roles in the coming year than against Armenia and all the other nations in the World Cup qualification. Had his best scene in the preparation of the first German goal when he perfectly cleared preparer Jonas Hofmann. The substitute captain was on the move a lot and involved in dangerous attacks, this time without coming to a conclusion himself.
Lukas Nmecha, from the 60th minute for Müller: The brawny center forward was allowed to play again as a joker after his strong debut against Liechtenstein. He was agile on the right with a good finish. But he did not succeed in everything, tried to force some things.
Jonas Hofmann: If the man from Gladbach is no longer injured or slips into a completely bizarre crisis, then he has his place in the Qatar squad for sure. This time he was allowed to play where he actually belongs: on the right offensive flank. And in this role, too, he collected as many good arguments for himself as he did recently as a full-back. When something went on in the somewhat sluggish German game, the polyvalent player was almost always involved. Had smart walks. And even more smart ideas. For example, the one-two before the 1-0. Or the aggressive counter-pressing, which he finally refined to 4: 1.
Ridle Baku, from 84th minute for Hofmann: Well, was allowed to play. But nothing more.
Kai Havertz: The Londoner started the game a bit casual. Hit the outside post after a cross from Leroy Sané. A few minutes later, he did a lot better. He pressed the flat pass from Hofmann perfectly over the line. Havertz once said that he could imagine giving the center forward for Germany in the future. That was a good proof of work for his application. But it wasn’t particularly noticeable afterwards. The physically robust defenders of the Armenians hit him hard. So the search for a buffalo in the center remains.