The German national football team is no longer an elite squad, as evidenced by their early exit from the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Germany is eliminated from the World Cup group stage, just like Russia. Even if Costa Rica was defeated 4-2 on Thursday, the damage had already been done. The historic exit of Germany is the most recent twist in a turbulent four-year period.
This time, after Spain fell to Japan, their withdrawal was even more agonizing since they put their fate in the hands of others and paid the price for it. Germany has shown it is no longer a tournament team by exiting the group stages of two consecutive World Cups and the Round of 16 at last summer’s Euros.
Germany has several talented young players but lacks an actual number nine. Only Antonio Rudiger appears to be a worthy successor defensively in the new generation. Since Joshua Kimmich moved to the midfield, the right-back position has been a mess, and the German’s fundamental lack of quality at wingback has now caught up with them.
All these problems stem in some way from the state of German youth football. By instituting academies in the early 2000s, Germany’s system was able to generate technically gifted and strategically astute players.
Those efforts helped Germany achieve some success in 2014, but the country has been reluctant to adapt since then, allowing the rest of the globe to pass it by. Although reforms have been put into place, it will be at least ten years before they can see any results.
Problem with Coaching:
There has also been a problem with coaching. The German national team was a roller coaster ride under Joachim Low, who evolved into a coach who rarely struck the perfect balance and ultimately stayed in his position for too long, seeing the country through the two tournaments prior but not into a new era.
Hansi Flick, a coach who transformed Bayern Munich into a risk-taking, winning machine in his brief time there, gave hope. Flick’s football flickered in Qatar 2022 as Germany never pressed with the necessary ruthlessness. Problems persisted, and creativity was weak. Flick was harshly reminded that Germany is not Bayern Munich for his dubious decisions.
The lack of quality:
There is no doubt that Germany has been on a downward trajectory in recent years. They failed to make it out of the group stage at the 2018 FIFA World Cup and have only won three of their last ten tournament games. This points to the fact that they are no longer elite as Qatar 2022 draws ever closer.
The team is aware of it as well, as evidenced by the post-Japan game statements of Ilkay Gundogan and Manuel Neuer. The team’s performance and their coach’s confidence were fleeting after the match against Spain, and Germany is not a supreme power anymore.