Germany – Türkiye: Stop the experiments!

Opinion national team

Stop the experiments!

Status: 20.11.2023 | Reading time: 4 minutes

“A big pinch of disappointment” – 2:3 against Türkiye in Nagelsmann’s home premiere

National coach Julian Nagelsmann criticized the attitude of the national soccer team after the 2-3 defeat against Turkey on his home debut. “We didn’t have the emotionality in all positions,” said the DFB head coach. WELT reporter Dirk Schommertz recaps the international match.

Germany loses in its own stadium against the weakened Türkiye. In the first defeat under Julian Nagelsmann, the national team’s weak points were mercilessly exposed. The coach also has a part to play in this.

It took three games and the new euphoria surrounding the German national team was already significantly dampened. To be honest, you have to ask yourself whether the mood has improved again after the many sobering performances in the past few months? In the third game under the direction of new national coach Julian Nagelsmann, the DFB team suffered their first defeat. The national team followed the 3:1 against the USA and the 2:2 against Mexico with a 2:3 against Turkey. The DFB selection thus equaled the home defeat record from 1956 – back then there were four bankruptcies in one year.

It was once again shocking how weak the team was defensively. It was particularly frightening because the training days leading up to the game were under the heading of “defensive stability”, but the team was then shown again where their biggest weakness was – namely defensive stability.

In the ten international matches that have taken place so far this year, the German national team has conceded 20 goals, with only a 2-0 scoreline in the game against second-tier Peru in March. A selection that has stood for compactness and good organization for many years has become a fragile structure that falters as soon as the opponent turns up the heat. On Saturday it was a weakened Turkey, number 38 in the world rankings, that caused the German team big problems.

Motorcade in Berlin: After their team’s victory, Turkish fans celebrated their success not far from Kurfürstendamm

Source: dpa/Paul Zinken

Rudi Völler, who took care of the team on an interim basis against France in September immediately after Hansi Flick was released, showed in just one game what you need to pay attention to first: standing safely behind. In the 2-1 win in Dortmund, just a few days after the 4-1 defeat against Japan, the national team hardly allowed their opponents any big chances, even if they didn’t come with a full band.

The three-man chain is unstable

Now Lothar Matthäus, the record national player, said on RTL that he understood that the national coach wanted to try something out. But he also said that he thought the time for trying things out was over after Hansi Flick was given leave.

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The 150-time national player was referring in particular to Nagelsmann’s measures with Kai Havertz. The national coach had called up the Arsenal FC professional, who usually plays up front, on the left back – and afterwards attested to his “outstanding performance”. The praise is surprising because the German team has once again revealed that they are nowhere near as stable at the back with a back three as they are with a back four. In addition, it became clear again on Saturday evening that captain Ilkay Gündogan and Joshua Kimmich do not work together in the double six in defensive midfield. They are too similar in their playing style. Perhaps Kimmich wouldn’t be better off in the right-back position since there are problems in the defense.

And once again the opponent is celebrating: Yusuf Sari (r.) scored the winning goal for Turkey in the game against the German national team

Those: dpa/Federico Gambarini

The experiments, which it was once said would no longer happen so often on the way to the home European Championships, are with all due respect. But that has to end, also considering that there are no longer as many opportunities to get used to it. There will be another test match against Austria in Vienna on Tuesday, and next year there will be two or a maximum of three more before the German team moves into their European Championship quarters in Herzogenaurach on June 9th.

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It is understandable that a new national coach tries to put his stamp on a team and convey his ideas. But perhaps in this case Julian Nagelsmann would be better advised to ensure that the team finally gets stability and becomes more stable again. At the moment it is simply too vulnerable, too volatile. A lot of work awaits the national coach.

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“We can now start again to paint everything black and see everything as bad. We can do that, but we won’t get any further as a football nation,” he said on Saturday evening after the game. He added that he was far from seeing everything negatively. That speaks for him, no question. But with all due respect, the German national football team has simply offered too many areas of attack in recent months. The superiority of the first 20 to 25 minutes against Turkey was also deceptive.


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