The pressures of the Nations League has left Joachim Low little time to find a new generation of talent for a Germany side that is rapidly going downhill
World Champions in 2014. Confederations Cup Champions in 2017. High expectations in the 2018 World Cup.
But ever since that Confederations Cup victory, the German national football team has been in a downward spiral. Despite having many talented players at their disposal, Germany is facing its toughest moment in nearly 20 years.
After losing the 2002 World Cup final to Brazil, the Deutscher Fussball-Bund, the German FA, began rebuilding the whole system. The aim was to become one of the best national teams by for 2008 European Championships and the 2014 World Cup under Joachim Low.
The Germans then won the Confederations Cup with a substitute team, reaching the 2018 World Cup in Russia with the label of favourites, and with one of the most talented young squads around. Die Mannschaft failed spectacularly, knocked out in the group stages after losses to Mexico and South Korea.
Germany’s failing form
Low has been confirmed as manager for the future, but results have not changed much since. Germany drew against France in their opening Nations League fixture, and then went on to lose 3-0 against the Netherlands in their second game.
In between, the Germans managed a victory over Peru in a friendly game. To top their group in the Nations League, Germany need to win both remaining matches, in France on Tuesday and then at home to the Oranje.
Aside from the new competition – not as prestigious yet as the main tournaments – it is the overall look of Germany that is lacking compared to their potential. Crashing out so early in the World Cup made it clear that Low had failed, or at least struggled to integrate a new generation of talent.
Missing Mesut Ozil
It might just be a chronological coincidence, but ever since the DFB fell out with the Arsenal playmaker, Germany have begun struggling on the pitch. Not that Ozil’s performance always made a huge difference for the four-time World Champions, but something in the locker room went wrong after Ozil was criticised for posing in a picture with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Ozil was then under-fire for his performances at Russia 2018, and he left the national team as he felt discriminated against.This might have affected the whole team.
Regardless of this, it is clear that Germany need to progress from the older players to the newer ones who impress at club level but have so far failed to do the same on the international scene. The likes of Leroy Sane, Leon Goretska, Emre Can, Timo Werner and so on.
German fans shouldn’t worry too much though. There is plenty of talent out there. Moulding a team is proving harder than expected and might take a while longer. This could mean a bad run in the Nations League, but the real test will be when the qualifiers for Euro 2020 begin. If Low doesn’t have a refreshed, functioning squad by then, Germany could be in real trouble.