DFB disaster in Qatar: Klinsmann presents analysis of the failed World Cup team

“I always said…”
Klinsmann presents thesis on the DFB disaster

Jürgen Klinsmann observes and analyzes the World Cup in Qatar for FIFA. Before the semi-finals, the former national striker reports on initial findings – including a rough analysis of what the DFB team could have failed at in the unusual World Cup.

In the opinion of the former national coach Jürgen Klinsmann, the mental attitude of the players and how they deal with the conditions are particularly decisive for success at this World Cup. “I’ve always said it’s going to be a tournament where you have to be mentally and physically well prepared and able to adapt,” said the 58-year-old in Al-Rajjan at a press conference held by FIFA’s Technical Study Group head he is.

Some countries didn’t manage to do this and were therefore eliminated early, said Klinsmann when asked about the premature elimination of major European nations such as Germany or Spain. “Other teams have adapted well to the season, the Middle East and the timing of the season. You had to adapt to a lot of things.”

“You need a number nine for that”

According to the findings of the study group, the influence of goalkeepers in previous World Cup games is remarkable. Compared to the 2018 World Cup in Russia, the goalkeepers are therefore more involved in the game, stand higher and, above all, save significantly more penalties. The value rose from 17 to 36 percent, including penalty shootouts from 25 to 34 percent. “It’s incredible,” said former goalkeeper Pascal Zuberbühler, who praised Croatia’s Dominik Livakovic and Argentina’s Emiliano Martínez for their saves. “Martinez saved incredible balls. Livakovic advanced his team twice.”

According to Klinsmann, the trend back to playing with a classic centre-forward is also increasing at this tournament. “There is a tendency to reach the goal via crosses,” said the former international. “For this style of play you need a number nine that is looking for degrees.”

The reason is that many teams are now so well organized that the opponent has less opportunity to reach the goal, especially through the middle, even with a lot of possession of the ball. National coach Hansi Flick had mostly done without a classic center forward in the German preliminary round, Niclas Füllkrug only came into play as a joker in all three games and scored a total of two goals.

(This article was first published on Monday, December 12, 2022.)


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