Exactly ten days to the date that Spain beat Germany 6-0, DW Sport tweeted about the German national side. Now, the Deutsche Welle is Germany’s international broadcaster and their ‘multimedia content in 30 languages reaches 249 million weekly users’. Their quote for the tweet?
“This Germany team does nothing but win.”
Now, you’re forgiven if you are a little confused at this point but DW Sports aren’t talking about Germany’s men national football team. They are talking about Germany’s women national team or DFB-Frauenfußball who were, and are, on a phenomenal run with seven wins out of seven and are currently unbeaten in 2020. Not only that, they’ve scored 43 goals in the process while conceding a grand total of zero.
The reason for the tweet? They had just racked up win number seven against Greece in the Euro Qualifiers via a 6-0 scoreline with the coincidence too freaky to call coincidence. The DFB-Frauenfußball are amongst the best in the world and kicker is that they’ve done it in under fifty years between 1970 and 2020. They’ve won multiple World Cups, eight of the twelve Euros played, have an Olympic gold to their name and are currently the second-best Women’s national team in the game.
It’s a record to be proud of and it has seen a few fans migrate over from the German men’s team and given their current circumstances, few will blame them. Four days after DW Sports’ tweet, the German Football Federation confirmed that Joachim Low would remain as their coach until the Euros. Now the only thing shocking about that statement was the fact that it came four days early, with it technically supposed to be released today.
In it, the German Football Federation (DFB) confirmed their “unanimous” support for the 2014 World Cup winner and that is despite the statement they released after the historic loss to Spain. A statement that implied that Low needed to ask serious questions about not just himself and coaching style but about whether something was wrong with the team or with him. Because ever since the debacle of the 2018 World Cup, Joachim Low has been trying to transform Germany.
Because the team that shocked and awed at the 2014 World Cup, struggled to cope against faster, younger and more pressing based teams. It saw Low drop/retire a few players off, something that he believed was necessary to transform Germany into a modern team. But that has come at a massive cost for Low and his side with questions asked every time they take the field as to why Matt Hummels, Jerome Boateng and Thomas Muller aren’t a part of the side.
Now if Joachim Low and his modern team were working super miracles while producing possibly the greatest football ever seen in the modern era, then no questions should or would be asked. Because it makes sense moving to a modern era, where players like Timo Werner, Serge Gnabry, Leroy Sane, Leon Goretzka, Florian Neuhaus and many others are built perfectly to play it. But he’s struggled to do it and the players are clearly not the problem, especially when they’re all thriving for their clubs.
It is possibly the perfect group of players built for the modern era, even if the defense could do with a little of the past injected into them. But Low has struggled to not just coach this generation but he’s struggled to sort out everything, something that Spain showed the world. Because that was a Spanish side well past it’s best but filled with budding superstars and it thrashes you 6-0.
But place that game on it’s own and it means absolutely nothing, just another loss in another international game, as the DFB have done, but combine it with all the rest and you get problems. Two wins in their last six games, all in the UEFA Nations League, absolutely no clean sheets while they’ve conceded 13 goals in the process. Then you take a microscope to the last six and even more problems come to light, with Germany turning five leads into draws. Combine that with a leaky backline featuring heavily, with their struggles at creating goals still a key problem and it all points to the modern experiment not working.
In all honesty, Germany looks broken and that’s not their biggest problem at all. That goes to the fact that for some absurd reason, Low has managed to convince the DFB to keep him on. Again. Twice in two years the German head coach has faced the FA and while his plan, the first time around, made sense, you just don’t see an end to it this time. Which is shocking, especially at a time when German coaches and coaches in Germany are thriving.
Off the top, you’ve got Jurgen Klopp, Julian Naglesmann, Marco Rose, Thomas Tuchel, Niko Kovac and Hansi Flick now amongst a thousand others and they’re all waiting. Waiting for that glorious day when Joachim Low gets the boot and one of their names gets called up to represent their country, although it’s questionable as to whether Klopp would leave Liverpool. But that's another problem altogether and one that apparently Germany doesn't want to have.
Because for all the stereotypes of being efficient, the Germans have been just that and ruthlessly so especially in the near past, at moving on. They did it with players (Ozil, Boateng, Muller and Hummels) and have done it with managers in the past with Jurgen Klinsmann, Rudi Voller and even Franz Beckenbauer. It’s been wonderful to watch just how efficient and clinical they’ve been at times but for some reason, they’re dragging their feet here.
Germany's 6-0 defeat by Spain was their worst beating since a 9-0 defeat by England in Oxford in 1909. The last time they conceded six or more was the 8-3 first round defeat by Hungary in the 1954 World Cup.— Keir Radnedge (@KeirRadnedge) November 17, 2020
That is not something Germany can afford to do, especially as Spain, England, Turkey, Belgium and even Italy build their new generations. Brazil are possibly the only ones still in the same boat but they’re building towards the 2022 World Cup, with all their hopes and dreams pinned on the fact that Neymar will do something while being backed by a squad. That’s another problem altogether but what it does is hand Germany the perfect chance to fly level with the great Selecao.
It’s a dream that they’ve been chasing ever since they started winning World Cups and it’s a dream that they’ll still be chasing unless they move on. Because for all of Low’s promises, transforming the German national team with a group of young and hungry players, winning games while showing a sense of style and identity - it has all gone nowhere. Instead, what fans have been left with is empty promises, a manager who still believes he has it while better candidates wait and then eventually move on.
But make no mistake, Low might just go down as one of Germany’s greatest managers and not just because of the way his side have dominated the game. Or because of the fact that they won the 2014 World Cup, ending a fourteen-year drought. Because he did it when nobody believed they could. Yet, while they’ve handed him time until the Euros 2020, that will take place next year, time is running out for Germany to win something with this generation.
They’ve got two World Cups and two Euros left before the next generation needs to be ushered in and the way things are going, both those tallies will drop to one. And with Euro 2024 played on home soil, defeat is not an option.