National team against Belgium: Flick promotes the explosiveness of the summit – sport

When it becomes known a week before the Bundesliga summit that FC Bayern have contacted Emre Can to explore a possible transfer to Munich – who still believes it’s a coincidence? And who doesn’t believe in subversive psychological tricks? Can, one of the leaders of the Dortmund high-altitude flight and an honest man, has contact in conversation with Sport 1 confirmed. He had “phoned the coach”.

To be fair, however, it should be noted that the Bayern coach’s name at the time of the call was Hansi Flick, and that Can was not playing for Borussia Dortmund at the time, but for Juventus Turin. So this is where the story of the Munich insidiousness ends, sorry, it was a fairy tale from the start.

Nevertheless, there is a certain peak explosiveness in the case. The day before the international match against Belgium in Cologne, Hansi Flick revealed that he still has a soft spot for Can’s style of play, so he is considering including the 29-year-old Dortmund midfielder in the starting eleven again – at the expense of a prominent player Munich competitors. “Stability in the game and conviction on the defensive” have priority in the basic strategic considerations, emphasized the national coach. In addition to a remarkable performance by his eleven, Flick also expressly wants a presentable result against the fourth in the FIFA world rankings, whose strengths he primarily localizes on the offensive.

What else boosts performance by a few crucial percent? Dedication and enthusiasm, i.e. “mentality”, says Flick

The contrast between Bayern and Dortmund is now undermining the national team, because Can’s opponent for the job next to Joshua Kimmich in midfield is Leon Goretzka, 28, who should celebrate the same anniversary as Matthias Ginter in a match against Belgium. It would be his 50th international match. It is clear that Ginter will play in the center of defence. However, Flick hinted that Can, who is fundamentally more defensively oriented, was the more appropriate choice than Goretzka, “that’s just the way we’re thinking,” he explained.

The fact that a Dortmund player could be given preference over a Munich player is shocking from the point of view of proud Bayern officials, but it is in line with the current trend. Not just because Borussia Dortmund is currently at the top of the Bundesliga table, but because the BVB team has expressed those complementary virtues on its way to the top that are summed up under the term “mentality”. A few days ago, DFB sports director Rudi Völler said that Germany hadn’t defended so well at the World Cup and didn’t hit the goal so well, but that “the few percent of mentality and passion” that made Morocco or Argentina so strong were also missing would have done. And what did Hansi Flick say about Emre Can and his clubmate Marius Wolf at the same event? “Both stand for BVB. Both stand for mentality.”

Certainly a German time and trend reversal does not have to be proclaimed directly, on the other hand it is striking and meaningful that the critical findings of Hasan Salihamidzic and Oliver Kahn on the state of the Bayern team had at least a similar tenor as Völler’s World Cup analyzes and flick.

Who wants it more?, that remains a key question in team sports. In addition to the footballing components, a maximum of dedication and enthusiasm – aka “mentality” – can raise the performance level of the collective “by three to five percent”, says Flick, “and in the end they are decisive”. His reckoning: a three percent drop in conviction and willingness to make sacrifices in the last 20 minutes of the World Cup match against Japan (1-2) “cost us the tournament”.

Flick had also called Can before the World Cup, he was still looking for a six. Finally, he disposed without the BVB professional (and without a six). That was very bitter, says Can, “but the truth is that I didn’t play much in the first half of the season and wasn’t good enough when I was on the pitch”. Things got better in the new year when he was allowed to take up a permanent position in defensive midfield in the BVB system. “Ten games in a row on the six did me good,” he says, they gave him rhythm and orientation, “because I know how to move and behave tactically. I want to show that in the national team now too .”

That Dortmund in the national team is currently a little in are, should hardly mean that the Bayern players in the future out will be. Flick will not doubt the special value of the proven duet Kimmich & Goretzka. However, the pair Kimmich & Can could be an alternative and give the German game a different emphasis, ideally even the balance between offensive and defensive, which is always missing against better opponents. The experiment got off to a good start in the 2-0 win against Peru in Mainz. “Emre did really well in training and in the game,” said Flick on Monday. The second mentality Dortmunder Marius Wolf also received praise for the start of his national team career, the continuation will follow according to Flick on Tuesday: “Now it’s about confirmation.” In Cologne against Belgium – and in Munich against Bayern.


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