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Rebuilding on the ruins: how far is German football from the next glory?

The crossroads of change and the dawn before the night
— written after Germany was out of the World Cup
Germany under Frick failed to show any further performance at the World Cup in Qatar. Like the last World Cup, the Germans swallowed the bitter fruit of being knocked out of the group. So, what are the wrong moves in German football, and where is the key question? This article will start with the performance of the German team in the World Cup, the existing problems and the future development direction, and analyze the internal causes of the predicament of German football in recent years.
1. The gains and losses of the three wars in Qatar
Before the World Cup
Out of objective and rigorous consideration, the author does not use the hypothetical presupposition when interpreting the list, so this part will not mention the players who are not included in the World Cup list for various reasons. Before reading the list, let’s make a list according to the position of the “kicker”:
Goalkeepers: Neuer, Trapp, Terstgen
Centre-backs: Rudiger, Gintel, Jule, Schrotebeck, Kesha
Full-backs: Ram, Corell, Klosterman, Gintel
Defensive midfielder: Kimishi, Gretzka, Brent, Jingduoan
Attacking midfielder: Gertze, Muller, Musiala, Sane
Winger: Gnabri, Hoffman
Centers: Haverts, Phil Krueger, Adeyemi, Moukoko
There are nine people on the defense line, more than half of whom belong to the type of both sides, which is obviously not the problem. The problem is in the middle and front, several of the attacking midfielders and wingers are of the type that can be (or at least have some) on the side, but none of them can really touch the first-line attributes (stake or front).
And the World Cup as the most intense competition, the position logic is often recursive, that is to say, the arrowhead in the front can retreat to the second line in certain periods and play a role in the area where it is relatively easy to fight. on the other hand, the essential second-tier players can not really top the first line and solve the problem in the area closest to the goal.
And the so-called big center, no forward and other concepts are derived from this. Germany has been crowned four times in the past, and this is not the case: although Klose has played in the second line for a long time in the past 14 years, he has made up the skill package in many environments; in 1990, the offensive deterrent of Klinsmann, the “golden bomber”, was also quite strong; in 74, it was needless to say that Gad Muller was strong. Going back to Bern in 1954, although more than half a century has passed, the German team is famous for two arrowhead figures: Lahn and Walter.
Before the World Cup in Qatar, Germany played only one warm-up match.
The number of warm-up matches and the selection of opponents are for the purpose of looking for the state of the players and adapting to the environment of the national team, and the most familiar with the physical condition of the players is undoubtedly the coach team of the national team. Frick and his assistants need not be questioned about the state of preparation of the German team.
(photo) the battle with Oman exposed many problems.
Some of the problems Germany encountered against Oman were against Japan. Although Oman and Japan are east and west, the methods used by Asian teams to deal with European teams are still very similar: rich levels of defense and simple counterattacks. Although the German team won in the warm-up match, it did not fundamentally find a way to solve the problem, which foreshadowed the subsequent defeat to Japan.
(photo) Phil Krueger shows all the qualities the center needs, but he is a far cry from his predecessors
two。 The center paradox in the group stage
Before we start this part, we should first clarify the definition of power center. The division of “big” and “small” of the frontcourt players in the football field is the main direction of dealing with the ball. The breakthrough of holding the ball in the front, the straight plug of dispatch or the threat of long-range shooting can all be regarded as “small”; on the contrary, the back to the goal, the suppression of the centre-back, the withdrawal to catch the ball, and the back to do the ball can be regarded as “big”. The division of “big” and “small” determines the direction of movement and the direction of dealing with the ball in most rounds. On the other hand, what the big center needs to do in most rounds (with and without the ball) is to move toward his own goal, that is, to the rear and side rear of his own formation.
From this, we can find that the big center and the high oppression actually go in two different directions: in order to achieve the goal of “high position”, what the high oppression needs is a large number of repeated runs to the front of the formation and the front of the side. and this runs counter to the bottom logic of the big center.
In three group games, Phil Krueger, Germany’s only Indian center, did not make a start. This shows that Germany is in this position to adapt to the lack of high-pressure playing talent.
In retrospect, Klose showed his qualities as a “big center” in four full cycles throughout four World Cups. Klose does not have the advantage of height most of the time, nor is he a so-called high center, but he can use his ability to catch the ball and reverse run in the crowd to complete the task of the center in both directions. He is a complete and starter center in high-pressure tactics.
On the contrary, when there is no qualified center, the center who lacks the “small” side of the quality needs to be substituted, in order to use the physical advantage to make up for the technical disadvantage and ensure the effective output in less playing time.
All technologies need to be supported by force, and the integrity of force and otherwise depends on consumption, high pressure to the side of the huge consumption is inevitable. Frick’s failure to start Phil Krueger is logically understandable, which is a necessary prerequisite for his insistence on high-level oppression.
(photo) it is no accident that Klose became the top scorer in the World Cup.
3. Five under the change
In the battle against Japan, the key is to change five. As mentioned above, Germany’s lack of real first-team players is an important reason for its poor performance. Under the five changes, the importance of first-tier players has been multiplied.
In the three changes, the three forwards are logically problematic: the energy lost in the backcourt may not be made up by the crazy running of two or three people in the front court, not to mention that these two or three people are often responsible for solving the core problem of the attack. However, the five-forward change gives the four-forward or even five-forward formation the possibility to maintain a basic balance for half an hour, because the number of substitutes is sufficient (five changes can be replaced for half of the starting line-up), so the running capacity of the substitute can be pulled to the upper limit, thus holding the whole structure in a situation where the formation seems to be unbalanced.
(photo) the use of Mori Po’s one-to-five exchange is better.
Germany is unable to replace the five with the immediate effect of Japan, in essence, it is because there are no people who can solve the problem in the core area of the attack. The most typical representative is Gnabri’s single-knife opportunity to choose to do Hoffman (Gnabri has its own offensive value, which is only mentioned here).
If you can exert the power of the five changes to the extreme, the substitute players must have absolute tactics in attack, such as Miyaku’s flank breakthrough, Asano’s anti-running and forward insertion, even if it is a fresh move, it is also necessary to achieve sufficient efficiency in a limited round.
(photo) against Japan, the four-game failure led by Gnabri is also a microcosm of the whole game.
4. be in deep distress
Local coaches and traditional second-tier players
At the start of the Bundesliga season, thirteen of the 18 teams are coached by Germans: Nagelsmann, Terzic, Tedesco, Falk, Baumgart, Schwartz, Bretenrette, Fisher, Stresh, Rice, Werner, Kramer, Masson.
These coaches have more or less differences in arrangement and tactical arrangements, but there is one important point in common: when the overall weakness of the second-tier players (note: this refers to the position of the court, such as the shadow striker, the 10th position), pull out a midfielder to add to the encounter line.
(photo) as a full-back or full-back? This directly determines whether to follow the underlining logic.
It is difficult to draw an accurate conclusion on the weakness of the second-tier players in the German league, but we can still find some examples in the past few years: Kruzer beat PSV the next day after spending the night club, and was excluded from the national team because of discipline problems in the same year; Steinder, the Europa League eliminated Fiorentina with a hat, and won the Confederations Cup Golden Boot to help the “German second team” win the championship in the summer of the same year. Guernabri slaughtered Tottenham Tottenham in the Champions League away game.
The youngest of these people, Gnabri, was born in 1995 and is now 27 years old. From then on, Germany does not have a second-tier player who can keep a steady output at the Champions League level. Muciara and Wilz are the leaders of the new generation, but compared with several players of the previous generation, their core areas do not have enough means to solve problems.
(photo) “Godfather” Lonick, but his tactical thinking also brings a series of problems.
5. The ecological dilemma of local players in the Bundesliga
In the 2006 World Cup, Germany ushered in the first real black international-O’Donkel. Since then, Germany’s black international players have sprung up like bamboo shoots after a spring rain, and several world-class players have emerged. In contrast, the hard core quality of German players is declining.
Taking the full-back as an example, Marcel Jansen in the 10’s could not only defend both inside and outside, but also complete an efficient forward attack in individual rounds. In today’s German full-back, the defensive flaws exposed by Rumm have directly led to the collapse of tactics, Max has been beaten into a sieve under the strength of the Europa League, and Halstenberg has shown enough ability in a small number of national team competitions. but his physical problems prevent him from participating in the intercontinental tournament healthily.
(photo) the emergence of O’Donkel is of epoch-making significance.
The emphasis on local players is that overseas German players can still make use of the corresponding league environment to exercise all aspects of quality.
Cross showed 100% offensive energy in the Bundesliga, and in La Liga, combined with solid basic skills at the historical level, finally became the four champions of the Champions League. Haverts, Rudiger and Jingduoan each have their own problems, but without exception, they can help the team play to the level of the Champions League final.
(photo) the Premier League trio is an indispensable element of the German team.
The defect of the quality of German local players is reflected not only in the middle-level players, but also in the key points. Bayern before and after the Champions League is a remarkable achievement, in which the role of foreign players is quite great.
Take the epidemic year as an example, the role of Levan needless to say, Tiago, Arrabal added technology, Koeman, Davis added speed, Coutinho added ball control and rhythm, Frick’s use of foreign players shows us a very useful side, because this way of thinking is used by the German national team in the past and can always be used in the future.
The problem is that it is difficult to have local players with this level of hard core quality and key characteristics in the Bundesliga at the moment. This directly leads to the limitations of Germany’s tactics in many cases.
(photo) A group of foreign aid, including Arrabal, is an important component of Southern Star.
6. The fault of traditional German media
Among the traditional German media, the one who is most keen on building an evaluation system is the “kicker”, whose logic is rigorous, extensive and thoughtful, which is indeed commendable. But as a German local media, it is inevitable to wear tinted glasses in its view of local players. The following will analyze the advantages and disadvantages of football players’ ratings from two aspects from the first issue of ratings before the three World Cups.
In the summer of 2014, as many as seven players were rated world-class. Among the German players rated intercontinental or above, all but three goalkeepers were included in the World Cup squad (Royce later withdrew due to injury).
This situation is very similar to the world champion of Beckenbauer and Rummenigge in 1974-six world-class players and most intercontinental players were included in the squad (the rating system at that time was quite different from what it is now, but does not affect the principle of this expression). In the end, 14 years of Germany won the Hercules Cup, realizing the feat of an European team winning the Cup in South America for the first time.
In 18 years, the situation was turned upside down-no one in the Bundesliga was world-class except for Terstgen overseas. Before the World Cup, the rating of “kicker” had been a wake-up call for German players, and the result of the group’s exit proved it. What is most shocking is that as many as five people at the intercontinental level did not go to Russia.
(photo) both Stark and Tower were “intercontinental” in the summer of 18, but failed to make it to Russia.
The situation in 2022 is a little special, because the World Cup is placed in the middle of the season, which can actually be used as a reference for the summer of 22, but it is enough to reflect the problem: the unmanned world class, or even the intercontinental class, has shrunk sharply compared with 18 years.
At the intercontinental level, these people were cut back for a variety of reasons. In the end, only seven people joined the team to participate in the Qatar World Cup, only four non-goalkeeper players, and only Schroebeck, the local player.
What is more deadly is that Bayern, as a pillar of Germany, has not been rated at the intercontinental level except Neuer. The “kicker” rating this time has almost given the German team the death penalty.
When it comes to the shortcomings of “kickers”, you need to understand a rule: ratings tend to be more tolerant in winter than in summer. On the one hand, summer is the end of the season, and although the rating is still half-way, it is more or less affected by the final results of the league; on the other hand, big matches are often linked up after the end of summer. The European Cup and the World Cup are the touchstones of players, and the “kicker” rating is more cautious.
However, footballers are highly likely to make mistakes in the credibility of individual players’ ratings-Schroterbeck has won intercontinental and first place in the previous two ratings, going back. Humbers and Boateng (including world-class) can do this. In other words, the kicker’s assessment of Schroterbeck is that he can lead the team’s defence as a Bundesliga history-or at least Germany’s top centre-back, as Hummel and Boateng did.
But the truth is not a lie. Schroebeck, who lost Hoffler, Kubler and Linhart in the World Cup, has completely exposed the lack of his core qualities and the importance of football players’ tinted glasses towards local players in recent years. The same thing happened to Rumm, and the man who sat in this seat four years ago was Schultz. Similar examples abound.
The main reason for the decline of the credibility of the “kicker” scoring system may be due to the influence of mainstream ten-point systems such as whoscored, the German five-point system can not open the gap, and the rating with rankings has formed a large degree of ability and evaluation upside down. This logical pattern of light performance and heavy data is particularly obvious in the major German media.
(photo) Schrottbeck is highly favored by the media, but he is not good enough.
7. Future course
The rich tactical resources are far from exhausted.
In essence, the Bundesliga’s tactical soil is the foundation of the German team’s tactical soil. In the past few seasons, many midstream and downstream teams in the Bundesliga have come up with different tactics, bringing a bright performance to the fans in the Bundesliga and European matches, such as:
One high, one quick.
Poulsen + Werner of Leipzig, Kinchek + Wighorst of Wolfsburg and Kuyisen + Matta of Mainz all essentially return to the one-high-one-fast two-forward logic of two or three decades ago. Or, in more detail, the underlying logic of this kind of double strikers is a main confrontation and a main shot.
For a large number of mid-stream teams, instead of spending their salary space on a single arrow, it is better to share the risk in two and use more people to gnaw down the most difficult bones. This tactical thinking is conducive to the real sense of the training and training of the big center, but also conducive to the technical training and training of the players who are responsible for shooting.
(photo) Poulsen and Werner still maintain a full competitive standard to this day.
The second-tier players are the core.
As mentioned above, players with shooting responsibilities are more likely to be trained under the two-forward system. One of the most typical cases is Lewandowski. During the period of Dortmund, Levan, who was behind Barrios, played close to the ninth and a half or even the 10th position, which greatly improved his technology and consciousness in the arc and even the 30m area of the restricted area. it laid a solid foundation for his strong firepower and excellent cooperation consciousness that he far surpassed others in the restricted area in the future.
Another case in which the training direction is slightly different is Havertz. In the later period of Bayer Leverkusen, the team lacked a practical point in the middle and the killing of the restricted area (due to the limitations of Flanders and others), and Haverts, as the core, refused to give way, which made up for the missing attribute of the team in this respect. In the future, his rich frontal experience played a vital role in the strong offensive energy he showed in the Premier League.
(photo) Levan, behind Barrios, has fully honed his offensive skills.
Three halfbacks.
On the face of it, three centre-backs and high oppression are contrary to each other: if one person in the front court is moved to the backcourt, then there is a lack of one person in the front court where high oppression is carried out, but in fact, many coaches have found the corresponding solution. Werder Bremen this season is an outstanding representative: by tilting the front-court formation to one side and using the diamond-shaped quartet to clip the opponent’s backcourt catch points, it can still achieve the effect of high-level oppression even when the front-court numbers are not dominant.
The above points are just a few of the stars in the Bundesliga over the past few seasons. For the German team, there are many other strategic means that they can use to replenish their arsenal.
(photo) the three halfbacks of the “Iron and Steel League” are an important guarantee for the team’s success.
8. A new generation of coaches brings a new wave
In addition to the detailed tactical points mentioned above, the new generation of Bundesliga coaches are also likely to bring more tactical content.
The two important labels of the academic school and the Red Bull system will also be accompanied by the new generation of coaches, even if the “marking school” dividend has almost come to an end. Germany, as the birthplace of tactical significance, will not get rid of this influence in the short term.
(photo) Leipzig is the most innovative existence of the Bundesliga
For Germany, the most profitable tactical choice is “the old way and the new way”, and this tactical change needs a whole new generation of coaches to complete.
In the Bundesliga in the next few years, more and more seemingly “retro” tactics will return to the field, and the dominance of the Bundesliga in Europe will be further strengthened than in the past few years. It even returned to the prosperity of the Bundesliga four teams in the late 1970s.
In addition to tactical things, a new generation of Bundesliga coaches is also likely to reshape the locker room politics of many established teams. Many so-called “team bullies” are more likely to be purged, while young players who are easily popular are more likely to show their heads and even reach the top teams through the connections of a new generation of coaches.
(photo) this season, Augsburg under Marson is eye-catching.
9. “501”, factional struggle and political internal friction
After Leipzig was promoted to the Bundesliga, the Bundesliga’s “50.1” policy suffered another great impact. Now, five years after Leipzig’s first season, the declining trend of local players in the Bundesliga and the widespread use of foreign players as key points in Europe have not changed in nature, and there is a good chance that they will not change in the next few years.
From this point of view, the positive and negative effects of “50: 1” on the Bundesliga and the German team are negligible. On the contrary, even if the “501st” is abolished immediately, the status quo of the Bundesliga and the German team will not be greatly improved in the short term.
The political internal friction of the German Football Association is reflected in the level of the national team, that is, Bayern and Dortmund compete for the core position of the national team.
(photo) A crowd from Borussia Dortmund will be the backbone of the new generation of German team
Watzke and Zolke are likely to be the leaders of the German Football Association in the next stage, which is in line with Borussia Dortmund’s trend of introducing a large number of German international players in recent years and contributes to the progress of a new German team led by Borussia Dortmund.
With Muller, Neuer and others fade out, the new German team will be reorganized around several capable players of Borussia Dortmund, and new young players and more reasonable football association management will also come. The experience of reaching the top of the world four times in the past has made the German team realize the importance of a strong leadership group, and this time, it is time for the Hornet to carry the flag.
10. Write in the last words
Being out of the group stages of two consecutive World Cups is not the end of German football. German football has reached a crossroads of change. If you are a German fan, please give them some more time, please wait patiently for a while.
The dawn before the storm is always dark, but it is also because of this that the light that is about to bloom on the eastern horizon is even more brilliant.
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