At the start of the new international match year, the DFB team has been spraying something like euphoria again for a long time. The 3-0 win against Iceland shows that the German midfield is world class even without a “world-class player”. Four theses on the game in Duisburg.
With all due respect to Iceland: In terms of football, the 46th position in the FIFA world rankings is certainly not the benchmark for the DFB team at the moment. The defeat in Duisburg was now the sixth in a row for Arnar Vioarsson’s team, who without their playmaker Gylfi Sigurdsson developed no offensive threat.
Nevertheless, the performance of the team should not be belittled by Joachim Löw. The first half in particular was refreshing because there were so many attractive combinations. “We let the ball go well,” remarked Ilkay Gündogan, the 3-0 goal scorer, who was excellent in the game with his midfield partners Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka, but also attackers Kai Havertz, Leroy Sane and Serge Gnabry harmonized.
In addition to the convincing playful performance, there was also the body language of the team, which was changed compared to the 6-0 debacle in Spain. The players coached and applauded each other when the actions were successful. Even Löw was very communicative by his standards and gave many instructions from the sidelines.
The bottom line was that the DFB team gave a positive overall picture and signaled that they had ticked off the 6-0 disgrace against Spain and worked on it. “We have firmly resolved that you can see the passion on the pitch. That we all really appreciate being able to play for our country. That you can see in front of the TV that there are eleven guys on the pitch who really want to That worked out well, “said Goretzka, who demonstratively knocked himself on the DFB eagle after his early opening goal in the third minute.
1. DFB team with more football and passion
Even Uli Hoeneß, one of the biggest critics of the national team, was “totally satisfied” with the performance of the Löw-Elf in his new role as TV expert on RTL. “It wasn’t just the result that won me over, but the way it came about. The team played as enthusiastically as you imagined. They offered everything in terms of running, they set the tone in a playful way,” he said Honorary President of FC Bayern.
Löw himself held the ball flat. His team had “sharpened their senses”, but: “We have to discuss the second half, there were fewer chances to score.” His demand for the remaining international matches in March against Romania (Sunday, 8.45 pm) and North Macedonia (Wednesday, 8.45 pm): “Keep the pace high for over 90 minutes.”
If there was anything to criticize about the German game, it was that it was very left-wing. Emre Can, whom Löw made provisional left-back after the failures of Robin Gosens and Marcel Halstenberg, had the confidence to do a lot with the ball, but also had the advantage of having an agile partner on his side in Leroy Sane who initiated a number of attacks .
On the other hand, little went over the right side. On the one hand, this was due to the fact that Kai Havertz often pulled into the middle. On the other hand, it was also because Lukas Klostermann, who was strong defensively, but mostly a little unimaginative offensive, was not a factor. The RB Leipzig professional was neither involved in a goal opportunity nor did he hit a cross.
Especially against deep opponents like Iceland, a more courageous right-back would do the DFB game good. Ridle Baku, who has caused a sensation at both VfL Wolfsburg and the German U21s for months, would be a suitable candidate – at least a more suitable one than Thilo Kehrer or Matthias Ginter. The 22-year-old is also used more and more often as a right winger because of his offensive urge. Löw should and should have him on the slip with a view to the EM.
Löw also offers many well-known options on the front line. One thing is clear: it will be difficult for Timo Werner to go to the European Championship as a regular player, as long as Serge Gnabry, as a disguised ninth, works as well in the coming games as he has in the national dress for over a year.
3. A world-class midfield – even without “world-class players”
Havertz, who is now familiar with the role of the wrong center forward, scratches his feet, “all-rounder” Müller could join in – and the currently injured Marco Reus also has the right to be an important part of the national team at the European Championship.