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At Wembley, we lost to rival England 0-2, and the German team stopped in the European Cup 1/8 finals. This was the worst European Cup performance in Loew’s tenure. Following the bottom of the team in the 2018 World Cup, he became a “Sixteen Lang” in the European Cup, and Love’s self-redemption ended in failure. But the biggest failure of the German team is not the result of only 1 win in 4 games, but the fact that some of the phased results achieved in the past 3 years have not been shown in this competition. In the face of tremendous results and pressure from public opinion, Loew’s decision to switch to three central defenders and re-call Thomas Muller and Hummels to grind his guns brought even greater disappointment. It was ironic that Hummels started with an own goal and ended with Mueller’s single shot.
The only highlight Haverts
As far as the 1/8 final itself is concerned, the process and results are not so disappointing, almost everything is expected. With the vaccinations in the group stage, you already know very well that in the face of England, which is not aggressive in playing style, it is impossible for the German team to reproduce the wonderful play against Portugal. What’s more, Southgate also simply adjusted the formation from 4231 to a highly targeted 343 (541 when defensive), with the goal to completely lock down the two German wingbacks Kimmich and Gossens like Hungary. Simply put, England is the last type that this German team wants to face.
Love also has adjustments. In addition to the expected replacement of Sane with Muller and Gorecka for Gundogan, who was in a sluggish state, he also replaced “King of London” Gnabry with Werner. In the group stage, Gundogan and Gnabry are recognized as the two most disappointing main players. Gundogan, who played the best season of his career, is completely unable to display his technical characteristics in the national team, has no desire to move forward, and has almost no sense of existence. Gnabry was originally the biggest winner during the reconstruction period after the World Cup. He was the core figure in the “Small Faster Three Forwards” system. However, there was no particle in the group stage. He had the only chance to fly against France in the first round. Portugal just forced Guerrero to take an own goal, and because of the offside, Gosenz’s opening goal was invalid. The last round of Hungary simply “evaporated”, and the two major roles of attacking and finishing in front of the goal were not played out.
Werner, who was sent to play in the Premier League with London as his home court, is obviously to improve the efficiency of the counterattack by Loew’s wishful thinking and use Werner’s speed to create murderous intent. Even if it is unsuccessful, there is still Gnabry this back. This trick almost worked. In the 32nd minute, Haverts quickly sent a straight line after getting the ball from his left rib. Werner reversed offside and inserted the left rib of the penalty area to catch the ball and accelerate to throw Stones away. Unfortunately, Pickford, who shot a low shot in the left corner of the small penalty area, was hit by Pickford. The legs fell to the ground with a “clamp” to resolve. This is the first opportunity for the two teams to score a goal after the start.
With Werner’s characteristics, you didn’t expect him to be able to hit a hit. But such an opportunity often only appeared to him-the German team never had a similar opportunity in the group stage. Change to a forward who handles more calmly in front of the goal, perhaps rubbing the ball gently, so as to pass the fallen Pickford. But Werner’s choice to push is also reasonable, and the angle is chosen well, and he can almost penetrate the crotch. I can only say that it was a bit of luck.
Similar to the first game against France, Havertz retreated slightly and became the third central midfielder besides Kroos and Gorecka, responsible for leading the team from defensive to offensive. Compared to any match in the group stage, Havertz was the most active and active player in this game, and his willingness to influence the game was the strongest. He had the courage to take responsibility like a core player, and he was the only team in this game. The bright spot.
Soon after the change of sides, Havertz’s left-footed volley shot from within the penalty area forced Pickford to make another brilliant save. In the 81st minute, Sterling made a mistake in a return pass under the pressure of Cross, and Haverts took the steal to the center line and sent a diagonal straight line to help Muller form a single-handed position. Unfortunately, the latter’s right-footed push from the penalty zone line will miss. The left goal post, lost an equal opportunity, also kicked out the last hope of the German team. Perhaps the only thing to be thankful for is that it is not Werner who is playing solo…
Positioning and defensive system is terrible
The German team had only three chances to score in this field. But in England, there were actually only 3 times. In addition to 2 goals, there was also the danger that Hummels resolved in front of the goal caused by Mueller’s return error before halftime. You can certainly question the German team’s playing too conservative, too respectful of their opponents, and not fully displaying their offensive expertise, but why not England? As Cross said: “Before England opened the scoring, the game was very balanced. Both teams completely restricted each other. We hardly gave England any chance, and we didn’t have many opportunities ourselves, but we played very well.” Trin’s goal in the 75th minute was even England’s first goal in the second half. In the whole game, England had only 5 shots, while Germany had 9 shots.
This is the strong dialogue in a typical knockout match, even full of the final atmosphere. The two teams, who have no secrets to each other, are extremely cautious, but they are always murderous. The game is full of tension from beginning to end. Between 1 to 1 and 0 to 2, there is actually only a thin line of difference. And in the sports battle, the German team has a greater chance of opening the record.
After Gorecka, who had a stronger desire to move forward and a more fierce defense, was sent in, the German team was able to make more bold straight lines in the middle of the first half when the wing was severely restricted. In just 8 minutes of the opening, Gorecka quickly jumped in after sending the ball to the center circle. Muller turned the ball and got rid of Stones, and then passed straight. It was brought down by Rice in the arc of the penalty area. In the eyes of former German international Schauer, this was a red card foul, but the referee Markley only showed a yellow card. After all, there is Walker beside Rice and he is not the last defensive player.
After Cross and Muller stepped on each other, Haverts made a low shot with his left foot and was blocked by the wall. Shortly after Sterling broke the deadlock, Kimmich created another free kick at the front of the penalty area, but Mueller’s curve shot was still blocked by the wall. The German team’s hard-trained set-piece offense finally achieved nothing in this competition.
In addition to the futile positioning of the ball, the German team’s three-center defender system finally proved to be completely ineffective in strengthening the defense. In the group match 3 games, 5 goals were conceded, and the time of losing the first goal was from the 20th minute to the 15th minute to the 11th minute. The premise is constantly that, against Portugal and Hungary, the opponents scored the first shot on the goal. It is enough to prove that this defensive system is a failure. For England to be able to fall for 75 minutes, in fact, it has been “improved”. In the process of conceding a goal, left center back Rudiger failed to grab Sterling and failed to return to his defensive position in time, which eventually led to bad results. The German U21 coach Kunz, who is an expert on the ball, clearly pointed out: “The three central defenders mean that they have to line up in the penalty area. You can’t have one person interspersed in another position, which will cause all chaos.”
During the second loss, Rudiger also made a serious mistake. He completely ignored Kane and allowed the England captain to score with a header without defensive pressure. Kunz believes: “This is our defensive problem throughout the entire tournament.” As a champion of the 1996 European Cup, Kunz also believes that the two opportunities Werner and Mueller wasted are not decisive. Yes, we did not grasp the two opportunities today. But as a former forward, I have to defend them a little bit. We have never really played well. I think this three central defender has not really improved the defense. Stability, and the role of preventing opponents from getting a chance.” Another expert on the ball, Kevin-Prince Boateng, who has just returned to Hertha Berlin, also agrees with Kunz’s point of view. In wasting these two opportunities. The defensive performance today, as well as the defensive performance in other games, is really bad.
Plan A is right, the fault is that the response is too slow
Although the defensive effect of the three-back system is not good, and there have been calls from the outside world for the German team to return to the four-backs, it is entirely reasonable for Loew to insist on 343 in this game. After all, once the four-backs are changed, Gosens’s biggest discovery will not Don’t take it away. And don’t forget how frightening Halstenberg’s half-hour play against Portugal was. If there is a temporary change, I am afraid that the gain will not be worth the loss.
In terms of this game, Loew’s “A plan” did nothing wrong, and the game trend was completely expected for a long time. The final decision is the on-the-spot adjustment. After 69 minutes of the game, the two coaches both made their first adjustments. Loew unsurprisingly sent Gnabry to replace Werner. And Southgate also sent Grilish as the fans hoped on the scene and took down the teenager Saka. In the end, Grilish contributed 1 indirect assist and 1 direct assist, while Gnabry was inactive on the offensive end and was also intercepted by Luke Shaw in the middle circle, which directly led to the second goal conceded.
Gnabry continued his sluggish performance in the group stage after his appearance, making him fail to achieve the desired effect. This cannot be blamed entirely on Loew. The challenge for Love is that he did not make adjustments immediately after 0 to 1, but did not switch to Emre Can and Sane until after 0 to 2. That’s right, Loew actually made Emre Can and Sane ready to play before losing the second goal, but there has been no chance of dead ball substitution. But between the first goal conceded and the two standing on the sidelines, more than 7 minutes passed. In stoppage time, Loew was replaced by Wonder Boy Murciala. Everything really came too late, and the substitution didn’t have any effect at all.
The outsiders have the biggest opinion about Murciala, who played a key role in Hungary so late. The former captain of the German team Barack complained that Musia was not on the game. “I don’t understand why the national team coach waited so long to adjust.” But Loew gave his reasons: “Jamor is a good player. He has great abilities, but he hasn’t reached the level that people imagine.” The failed ending and the fact that Mousiya hadn’t even touched the ball after pulling out made this explanation pale.
Another former German international and the general manager of Hertha Sports Berlin, Bobic, criticized: “You have 5 substitutions. The national team coach must be approved. Some of his substitutions in the past have had a lot of problems. “Afterwards, Zhuge, with the German team no longer able to make a fuss through the middle for a long time in the second half, Muller, Gorecka and Kroos were obviously physically weak (there were almost no consequences of rotation in the group stage), and With the two wing guards still unable to surpass the five England defenders, Loew should not only adjust earlier and more drastically, he can even consider changing to 433.
Loew’s three-year revision failed
With “euthanasia”, the German team ended this European Cup tour. Both Loew and his disciples admitted that it was a great disappointment and failure to be out in the 1/8 finals. And Loew’s self-correction in the past three years after the World Cup also ended in complete failure. In the process of reconstruction, Loew has gained something, has been controversial, and has repeatedly failed. And the biggest failure is that he swayed from the outside world’s growing distrust, made too many compromises, and finally lost himself.
Speeding up the offense in the three zones was originally Loew’s primary rectification goal after his World Cup defeat. This goal has been initially achieved since the Europa League as a guest in France in October 2018 changed to play the “three small forwards”. With Gnabry and Sane as the core, supplemented by Werner, Royce, Havertz or Goretzka, this three-forward system without a classic center has been working well, among which the “pseudo 9” Nabri performed particularly well, and scoring was never a problem. But when he came to the European Cup, Gnabry completely lost his previous vitality in this system. He no longer often retreated to the middle circle to get the ball. He used his high-speed breakthrough to attack and create space for his teammates. There was no courage. The touch of the door. Sane, who has experienced a torn cruciate ligament, simply lost his main position due to the continuous downturn for several months and lost his main position. When he finally got the first chance against Hungary and played the whole game, he was booed by his own Munich fans.
Both Gnabry and Sane failed, and the biggest achievement during the reconstruction period-the “Small Faster Three Forwards” was naturally invalidated, and the goal of attacking the third zone to speed up was completely defeated. Even if it was a 4-2 victory over Portugal, it was thanks to the two wingbacks that the three forwards were able to operate. In addition, players generally have a heavy psychological burden, especially their lack of confidence in the ability of the back defense to withstand pressure. They dare not take risks in the frontcourt, are afraid of making mistakes, and play too cautiously, which led to the return of the hypnotic slow-paced transmission and control three years ago. Compared with the result, the scene is a greater failure.
For more than a year after the World Cup, Loew implemented “small class teaching” in order to establish the main lineup as soon as possible, even excluding Mueller, Hummels and Boateng to mature the new generation of leaders. However, the new crown epidemic led to a chaotic plan, and Loew had to recruit more fringe players and newcomers to cope with the dense schedule of the three-week match. The instability of the lineup directly leads to fluctuations in scenes and performance, as well as a great increase in public opinion pressure.
At the same time, Loew has been debugging back and forth between the three-back and four-back system. During the second UEFA Europa League group stage, he changed from three-back to four-back. However, after an upset loss to North Macedonia in the world preliminaries in March, he went back and forth. Before the European Cup, he returned to the three central defenders and moved Kimmich, who was fixed at the 6th position after the World Cup, back to the right. And Loew’s biggest self-denial, of course, was due to external pressure (especially after the 0-6 defeat to Spain, and under the guilt of his former disciples Barak, Schweinsteiger, etc.) and to make his last one. The insurance is on the competition, and Mueller and Hummels are called again.
It was in the process of Loew’s constant self-denial and left-to-right swaying, the German team’s reform pace took two steps, one step back, and two further steps back, and ultimately nothing was achieved and returned to the original point. No one knows if Loew insists on going his own way and resolutely does not re-call the “two elders”, will he turn around like Louis Enrique. No one knows that if the top leaders of the German Football Association dared to intervene and adjust the national team coaching team decisively, for example, if the German U21 coach Kunz was inserted by Loew (just like Vogts assisted Beckenbauer), it would not Will bring some substantial help at the tactical level. But now we can all know that Loew did not hand over the handsome seal after the World Cup, which was a wrong choice for himself and the German team.
In the already difficult handover period when the “09 champion generation” gradually faded out, the German team wasted another three years. Gnabry, Sane, and Zule did not provoke the main beams as Loew and the outside world had hoped, and it even made people suspect that they did not have such abilities at all; the most outstanding representatives of the Mesozoic era Kimmich and Gore Tska, has not yet been able to lead like Ram and Schweinsteiger; and Mueller and Hummels, who returned to the line of fire, and Neuer and Kroos, the four men who won the 2014 World Cup, also Due to the increase in age and the accumulation of injuries, he seemed a little powerless at some critical moments and failed to create any miracles.
From the first 5 tournaments to at least reach the semi-finals, including the 2014 World Cup win (plus the Confederations Cup in 2017), to the last 2 tournaments were eliminated early, Loew’s 15-year national team coaching career came to an end. . What he left was not a mess, but a large construction site. Rumor has it that Kroos (31) and Gundogan (30) will withdraw from the national team after this European Cup, while former captain Schweinsteiger believes that Hummels (32) and Mueller (31) Years old) will also say goodbye. German football has not relapsed into the dilemma of the turn of the century. The two championships and one Asian championship in the recent three U21 European Youth Championships prove that there is still no shortage of good seed in this football country, but the homogeneity of talents and the lack of individual positions are also objective facts. . It is not practical to expect Flick to immediately repeat the magical scene of saving the six crowns in Bayern’s firefighting. He needs more time.
Of course, Flick will get a much more friendly and relaxed public opinion environment at the end of Bilev’s tenure. Both he and the German team that desperately need to re-instill the belief in winning will get more trial and error and room for growth. But at the same time, the task placed in front of the “six-time champion” will be much more difficult than in the early days of Love-not only to immediately win back the hearts of the fans with beautiful scenes and victories one after another. And at the latest to win the local European Cup in 2024!