How have Germany responded after their World Cup nightmare?
It’s been a brutal summer for Germany after their disastrous World Cup.
Joachim Low’s team were one of the favourites to go all the way in Russia. Going into the tournament, they’ll have been very confident of defending their title.
But they lost two of their three games and crashed out after finishing bottom of the group.
Despite Germany’s woeful showing, Low’s managed to hold onto his position. That’s partly a result of his past success, but also down to a lack of available alternatives.
Time to move forward
Now he has to get Die Mannschaft back on track. And he couldn’t have a tougher game to start the process – Germany host world champions France on Thursday. Germany are 11/8 favourites to win in Munich.
Low has looked to energise his squad with a host of new faces. Sami Khedira has been dropped after looking so off the pace in Russia. Mesut Ozil also retired from international duty in the aftermath.
Thilo Kehrer, Kai Havertz and Nico Schulz have all been called up to the senior squad for the first time.
Jonathan Tah and Nils Petersen are also in after missing out on the 23-man World Cup squad. But the most high-profile absentee in Russia was Leroy Sane. He’s returned to the fold as well.
Change of approach
Sane’s sensational displays out wide for Manchester City earned him the PFA Young Player of the Year award last season. Germany’s slow passing didn’t get them anywhere on the big stage. They really could have done with his pace and penetration.
With the exception of Toni Kroos, Low’s midfield and attacking options all have real energy now. After the World Cup debacle, it looks like the right approach.
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