The curse of being the defending champions has struck yet another nation as Germany bowed out of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia in disastrous circumstances, losing out 2-0 to South Korea who had failed to win a single match till now in the group stage. The Die Mannschaft join the list along with Spain and France in recent years to perish in the first round in defense of their cup. Although things looked to have stabilised after Toni Kroos ‘s free-kick won them all three points against Sweden, but that was a brief turnaround in fortunes. The defending champions capitulated in search of that solitary goal which never arrived. No Leroy Sane to Mesut Ozil & Sami Khedira's lack of pace, let us look back at some key points which marred Germany’s campaign and why it went so horribly wrong for Joachim Loew and his men.
• No Leroy Sane: Julian Draxler won Germany the Confederations Cup in 2017 in Russia, and he had the backing of the coach to be an important figure for his side going into the World Cup. But not taking Leroy Sane, Manchester City’s title-winning winger even in the 23 man squad seems to be baffling. Sane is a versatile player and was in much better form than Julian Draxler going into the World Cup. His pace and trickery would surely have made a difference when Germany were in desperate need of the goal.
• Yet to find Miroslav Klose’s replacement: Joachim Loew system is such that there always has to be a target man up front to complement the host of midfielders they have. Miroslav Klose, their record goalscorer did this job fantastically for 12 years, but since his departure, his successors have not lived up to the expectations. Timo Wener was shunted left and right as he failed to have an impact as the target man. Mario Gomez too failed to find the back of the net as the strikers compounded Germany’s misery. Germany Knocked Out of 2018 FIFA World Cup Following Defeat Against South Korea, Twitterati Come up With Mixed Reactions.
• Lack of pace: Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira were found dreadfully short of pace a number of times during the time they were on the pitch. Particularly against Mexico, the game seemed to pass by them which brought the obvious danger of their side getting exposed on counter. Even in attack, the German midfield seemed to take those extra touches that cost them dear.
• Complacency: Well you would not associate this word with an efficient team as that of Germany, but the players and the coaching staff seemed to be too overconfident with their ability. Right from Jogi Loew’s team selections to lack of urgency in games when there was the need to step it up, the German team were complacent with their attitude, and the result is for everyone to see.
Well, it might be time for Germany to look for a new start with new set of players and management. The kind of players who are eager to perform and certainly heads must roll if Germany is to return being great again.