Opinion

How to fix Germany after Die Mannschaft's Euro 2020 exit

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
Germany are in need of a rebuild
Germany are in need of a rebuild / Markus Gilliar/Getty Images
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Joachim Low's hugely successful tenure as Germany boss is finally at an end.

During his time at the helm he crafted some of the all-time great German teams, with his crowning achievement being a World Cup triumph in 2014.

For all his great work the end of Low's tenure has been pretty disastrous. Prior to crashing out of the Euros to England they exited the 2018 World Cup at the group stages. A heavy defeat to Spain and a shock loss to North Macedonia have also harmed Low's legacy.

Now, Germany are preparing for a brighter future under Hansi Flick. It is clear that the former Bayern Munich man has a tough job on his hands, but exactly what should he be looking to rectify over the next few years?


1. Commit to a rebuild

Hansi Flick
Hansi Flick needs backing / Martin Rose/Getty Images

The first thing to note is that rebuilding Die Mannschaft is not going to be a painless process.

Numerous tough decisions on personnel, tactics and style of play need to be made. The best thing Germany can do is back their new manager.

Flick's work at Bayern Munich during the 2019/20 season was extremely impressive. Coming into a serious mess partway through the campaign, he implemented a ruthless style that allowed Die Roten to control games. They would eventually secure a famous treble, besting Barcelona 8-2 in the Champions League along the way.

Aside from Jurgen Klopp perhaps, there is no coach in world football better placed to take Germany forward. He deserves time to turn things around and it is vital he is given it.


2. Make a decision on veterans

Mats Hummels
Hummels might have come to the end of the road / Frank Augstein - Pool/Getty Images

One of the main criticisms of Low's reign was his flip flopping over the international future of Germany's veterans.

Both Mats Hummels and Thomas Muller were ostracized, before being welcomed back in time for Euro 2020. We are not saying that these senior players need binning off - although Hummels probably does.

However, Flick must make a decision early on about whether he wants experience over youth for the next tournament cycle.


3. Decide on a system

Joachim Low
Low was indecisive in his final years in charge / Robin Jones/Getty Images

Even more frustrating than Low's indecision surrounding players was his constant chopping and changing of formations.

In qualification for Euro 2020, Germany lined up in all manner of systems before eventually settling on a 3-4-2-1 before the tournament kicked off. Supporters still have serious reservations about the formation, particularly as Die Mannschaft have experienced so much success with four defenders in the recent past.

Flick never used a 3-4-2-1 during his time at Bayern, suggesting that a return to a 4-2-3-1 could be on the cards. This will likely prove a popular move and it makes sense. The extra centre back did not make Germany any more solid at the back, though the absence of wing backs like Robin Gosens would be a shame.


4. Blood youngsters

There is a real exciting crop of youngsters coming through for Germany. Few are more impressive than Bayern's Jamal Musiala, who turned down England for a chance to play for Die Mannschaft.

It is clear that Musiala is the future of this team and the sooner Flick - who gave him his professional debut in Bavaria - gives him regular minutes the better.

Germany have also just won the Under-21 European Championship. There is plenty of talent worth considering in the younger age group as well, none more so than Bayer Leverkusen whizz kid Florian Wirtz.


5. Move Joshua Kimmich back into midfield

For the most part against England Joshua Kimmich - the best defensive midfielder in the world - was reduced to a spectator.

Hamstrung by Low's cautious approach, Kimmich hugged the right touchline and received little support when he did ask questions of the Three Lions' defence.

In hindsight, despite some impressive performances fielding Kimmich at right wing back was a waste of his talents. When he's in the middle of the park he takes over games more often than not. Play him alongside Leon Goretzka and you have one of the best balanced double pivots in European football.

Germany are not blessed with options at right-back, so Flick may have to take the hit of playing a weak player in order to free order Kimmich in his best role.


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