The ghosts of 2018 have already reared their ugly heads at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar for Germany as Die Mannschaft succumbed to a stubborn-yet-talented Japanese outfit in a 2-1 loss at Khalifa International Stadium.
Manchester City star Ilkay Gündogan got Hansi Flick’s men off on the right foot during a dominant first half when he slotted home from 12-yards to give the European giants a fully deserved 1-0 lead, but that dominance was not capitalized on as Samurai Blue flipped the script in the second forty-five to steal a march on progression to the knockout stage.
Second-half strikes from Bundesliga-based duo Ritsu Doan (SC Freiburg) and Takuma Asano (VfL Bochum) sealed another surprise result in the winter tournament and has left Germany with a mountain to climb in the vein of Luis Enrique’s Spain who is 3-0 up on Costa Rica at the time of writing.
For Germany, who came into the tournament on the back of a labored 1-0 win over lowly Oman that left Flick on the back foot and scrambling to reassure fans that there was little cause for alarm, it was a result that drew comparisons to their massively disappointing campaign in Russia four years ago and the data has backed that up.
Despite boasting 73.8% of the ball against Japan, Germany still managed to take home none of the points on offer similar to their 2-0 loss against South Korea in 2018 where they managed 74% yet still yielded nothing of value.
It is another period of frustration for one of the international games’ top sides who continues to come up short in the wake of their fourth World Cup win in 2014.
Questions will no doubt fly in thick and fast as Flick has much to answer for, namely some puzzling tactical choices on the day the likes of the continued utilization of Kai Havertz as a number 9 as well as Niklas Süle at right-back.
The likes of Niclas Füllkrug, or Youssoufa Moukoko – now Germany’s youngest ever player at a World Cup – offer far better options through the center-forward channel over the Chelsea midfielder, while Thilo Kehrer – or reverting Joshua Kimmich to right-back – presents a more balanced approach over deploying Süle in unfamiliar territory.
With Spain offering their next opponent, a loss against La Roja would condemn Germany to another early flight home and a possible need for another massive retooling job on the international stage, and thus far, Flick’s penchant for trying to be too clever has already risen to the surface.
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Source : 101greatgoals.com