Because national coach Hansi Flick lacks an accurate attacker, he orders job sharing in the top attack. In the 1-1 draw against England, that worked tolerably – a defender of all people scored the German goal.
The legacy that Berti Vogts left to German football is quite manageable. Although he won the 1996 European Championships with the national team, officially as national coach, the team actually coached itself under the guidance of Matthias Sammer. Vogts has one sentence in particular: “There are no longer any little ones in world football.”
Vogts will probably thank legions of football coaches for this wisdom. Because when there are no more little ones, there are only big ones. And so every easy win against Liechtenstein, North Macedonia or Armenia becomes a real triumph. Hansi Flick also benefited from Vogts’ football socialism, which makes everyone equal. Flick’s start as national coach in the summer of last year was fantastic; Goal followed goal, victory followed victory. However, only against teams that would have been considered small in the pre-Vogts era.
Flick has a striker debate
So the question arises as to how the German team, which was intoxicated by qualifying for the World Cup, would look against the bigger of the big. So far, the team has responded with a resolute “Okay – but next time it will definitely be better”.
The team kept up well against Holland (1:1) and Italy (1:1) and could have won, but didn’t. And on Tuesday night in the Nations League game against England: Similar pattern. Game controlled for long stretches, but again a draw in the end. 1:1, how could it be otherwise. Next time they want to “up the ante” and “do it better,” promised Flick.
Stupid only for the national coach that the draw series against the big of the big now breaks a striker debate. After the England game, Flick was asked whether the offensive was the biggest construction site in the German team. He replied evasively that there was “great quality” in this position too, but didn’t name any players.
Leroy Sané remains a mystery
Who should he have mentioned too? Jonas Hofmann made it 1-0, a trained midfielder, but mostly used by Flick on the defensive flank on the right. And the other offensive forces skillfully evaded strict evaluation. Müller, Musiala and Havertz shared the position in the storm; sometimes one pushed into the top, sometimes the other, nobody scored a goal. Everyone worked all the harder to build up the game, it seemed as if the three of them wanted to enter into a kind of indulgence bargain for the many missed opportunities with their running work.
But who would want to be mad at them with so much diligence? At least not the national coach.
Later he also brought on Timo Werner, one of his favorite players. Fast as an arrow, always on the move, a laborer in the best sense of the word, but without fortune in the end. And then there is Leroy Sané, he too. Highly talented, maybe the most talented striker on the team – and at the same time the most enigmatic guy. At the moment, it seems, not even the player understander Flick can reach him. On Saturday against Italy, Sané was just as listless as he was unlucky; Flick only gave him seven minutes of play against England. In this form, Sané even has to worry about his place in the World Cup squad.
Flick doesn’t have much time left to force luck. They face Hungary on Saturday, Italy again on Tuesday, and then a long break without an international match. The calendar is going a little crazy; because of the World Cup in winter, there is no so-called international window in the fall. Flick must hope that his Sturm part-time workers will stabilize in their clubs. Havertz and Werner at Chelsea, Musiala, Müller and Sané at Bayern.
Job sharing definitely works
A finding that should give Flick courage for the tournament in Qatar: the model of job sharing in attack can certainly be expanded. Jonas Hofmann was not only one of the best players against England because of his goal; with his sprints on the right offensive side he could definitely have operated as a striker. As is David Raum on the left wing; he, too, more attackers than defenders. Five out of eleven players with a penchant for Sturm und Drang, that’s a force. Shouldn’t that be enough to win against the greats of the greats?
In six days in Mönchengladbach against Italy, the European champions. The next chance for this storm that needs so many chances.