Thomas Müller: Embracing the Challenge of Being Germany’s Versatile Veteran

Thomas Müller is the France expert. No other player in DFB history played against the Équipe Tricolore so often (nine times) and the Bayern star also shaped the last comparison between the neighbors to date: a little over six months ago, Müller scored in a 2-1 win in the friendly the first goal. Therefore, the veteran can consider it a good omen that the hot phase of the European Championship preparation begins with an international match against France (Saturday, 9:00 p.m. in the live ticker). Because: Müller has to prove himself – great merits or not.

However, the good news has a dark side, because the national coach also said that Müller is someone who can – and probably has to – “come to terms” with the role of a substitute player. “He already got used to it at Bayern Munich.”

Nagelsmann: “Müller has importance outside the pitch”

While Hummels is “not the ideal choice” as a backup in his central defender position, he sees no problem with Müller in this regard. “Thomas knows what importance he has in every role. Whether he plays a lot or is someone who comes in and can then contribute his elements,” explained Nagelsmann.

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Müller is also a player “who also has significance off the pitch. He is a face of German football, one for the fans. He can always fill this role.” Just like the national team’s go-kart excursion, where Müller, the cheerleader, promptly won the race.

The national coach’s statements carry the risk that Müller – put negatively – will be perceived more like the mascot of the DFB selection.

The Bayern professional can take prophylactic action against this if he carries out sporting advertising on his own behalf in the two tough tests against France and next Tuesday against the Netherlands (9 p.m. in the live ticker).

Müller demands: Get off your high horse!

Müller knows what it takes, not just in terms of his own performance. “Everyone involved in football in Germany and especially us players have to come down a bit from our high horse,” emphasized the 2014 world champion in an interview with “Sport Bild”.

Despite the “technically gifted players” in the squad, you have to “push the limits at every moment on the field”. This quality has been somewhat lost and needs to be reactivated.

Tough competition for Müller

The competition in the team’s offensive cosmos is great. As the central leader, Niclas Füllkrug is ahead. Behind it, things get exciting in the possible Müller positions.

In the last two games against Austria (0:2) and Turkey (2:3), Nagelsmann fielded Leroy Sané, Florian Wirtz and Kai Havertz – plus Gnabry and Julian Brandt, who, however, were not nominated.

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Jamal Musiala has been in such outstanding form that Nagelsmann can no longer get past the 20-year-old. Things are getting even tighter in attack because the VfB duo Deniz Undav (center forward) and Chris Führich (wing) are playing well and are being praised highly by the national coach.

Nagelsmann has created further options with attacker Maximilian Beier from TSG Hoffenheim and left winger Jan-Niklas Beste (Heidenheim, had to leave injured).

Müller: The chance will come

Müller, who played as a central striker, hanging striker, right and left winger and in the attacking midfield during his 126-game international career, is the senior in the attack department.

“He is a player who doesn’t focus on himself, but on the team. We need that,” emphasized Nagelsmann. The fact is that due to the limited training sessions in the national team, you have to slip into “more or less prefabricated roles”.

“Players who can handle it have the chance to be at the tournament. Those who can’t handle it can communicate that honestly, but have no chance of being there,” said Nagelsmann.

Müller has apparently decided on the first option. Knowing full well that his chance will come at the European Championships. Sooner or later.

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2024-03-21 22:25:00
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