Bayern Munich’s Thomas Müller was left out this time but Leon Goretzka was included; yet, it seems regardless of the personnel, even a much improved Germany (in comparison with the Joachim Löw days towards the end) cannot seem to muster much more than a draw whoever the opposition.
Aside from Jonas Hofmann, nobody seems to be capable of scoring for Germany. Joshua Kimmich scored the other goal of the campaign but his job is not to score goals. Neither Timo Werner nor Kai Havertz seems to be able to get on the end of chances. Hofmann took his chance very well and could have had a second if he had elected to try to score instead of passing to an offside Werner. I was thinking that Hofmann might as well start upfront. However, I also know he normally plays off of Breel Embolo or Alassane Plea at Gladbach and hence, that might not be a good option. Flick brought on Lukas Nmecha late on to very little impact. With just over five months left till the World Cup begins, Flick needs to figure out a solution to this problem.
Flick has largely stuck with a back four; today, he went with what seemed to be back three and it didn’t really work. The absence of Antonio Rüdiger was telling; the inclusion of Thilo Kehrer did not help either. Nico Schlotterbeck did well for the most part including playing the ball forward for Hofmann to claim the assist for Germany’s sole goal. There were multiple giveaways and nervy moments in the box; an outstanding Manuel Neuer stood tall on at least two occasions to ensure Germany got a point today. The midfield seemed to lack control of the match today as well and Joshua Kimmich’s performance dropped a level as a result. I, for one, am hoping that Flick returns to a back four.
Five in midfield seemed to cause some confusion as I found Leon Goretzka in spots I usually don’t find him in. Without Müller, a level of organization seemed to be missing even when Germany countered. Perhaps the problem was the back three. The midfield did not really control the game today.