The women’s EM mission is undermined by the DFB
With high expectations, full of anticipation and without much pressure from the DFB President, the German footballers tackle the EM.
Before the planned departure from Frankfurt/Main, the new head of the association, Bernd Neuendorf, said: “I’m not someone who says that women have to get to the final or semifinals, otherwise it’s a disappointment.” National coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg once again warned of the tough competition for the record European champions in England.
Neuendorf does not want to give the DFB women any specifications for the performance. “I’ve always emphasized that I’m not a president who says: You have to get so far,” said the 60-year-old of the German Press Agency. “I trust the coaching staff.”
Defender Sara Doorsoun from Eintracht Frankfurt put it this way: “We want to win the title.” “Total anticipation” prevails not only with the experienced Wolfsburg player Almuth Schult, who has to give way to the Frankfurt goalkeeper Merle Frohms. Of course, everyone in the squad of 23 around captain Alexandra Popp is dreaming of the final at Wembley Stadium on July 31st.
At the start of the European Championship against Denmark
Practically everything is at stake for the eight-time European champion on Friday (9 p.m. / ZDF) in London-Brentford against the 2017 European Championship runners-up. “The start against Denmark is our most important game – that’s our focus,” said assistant coach Britta Carlson.
Germany failed in the quarter-finals in 2017 with the team led by former Wolfsburg player Pernille Harder – at that time still under national coach Steffi Jones. A defeat against Denmark would put the 2016 Olympic champions and 2003 and 2007 world champions under enormous pressure in the second group match against title contenders Spain (12 July). Outsider Finland is the last preliminary round opponent on July 16th. In the quarter-finals, there is a risk of a knockout game against hosts England, who opened the European Championship on Wednesday in a sold-out Old Trafford in Manchester with a game against Austria.
The mission: Back to the top of the world
As a player, Voss-Tecklenburg was there four times in European Championship triumphs – but she doesn’t want to know much about it anymore. “Without wanting to belittle the achievements of previous years: the level is tactically, technically, athletically much higher,” said the 54-year-old in an interview with the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” on the current status of the world class, where Germany is not yet back, but again wanted: “That is our job, and I would also like to win the DFB title as a coach. But it has become more difficult and a lot of people haven’t gotten to it yet.”
Voss-Tecklenburg basically had three years to prepare her team for the tournament in England after the bitter World Cup quarter-finals in 2019 against Sweden and the missed Olympic participation. Neuendorf visited the DFB women in one of their two training camps in Herzogenaurach and gained “a great impression”. He didn’t have the feeling that there was a problem somewhere in the preparation: “That’s the best prerequisite for being very successful. I trust them.”
The national coach fears that many would expect German soccer players to have to win every tournament. “It is important to me that it is clear: It will be very close at this European Championship and also depends on luck and small things. We’ll have cool opponents who can really do something,” said Voss-Tecklenburg.