After the debacle against Japan (4-1), Germany faces a situation of downgrading compared to the best, nine months from "its" Euro-2024 at home and two days from welcoming the French, vice -2022 world champions.
Coach Hansi Flick, under fire more than ever, will lead the team's training at 11 a.m. in Wolsfburg.
“Shame on you!”: in its Sunday edition, the popular daily Bild does not go into detail the day after Germany's new rout against Japan at home, in a friendly match. “Another disaster”, considers the major Munich daily Süddeutsche Zeitung on its website, while the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung headlines on its site on “The German vision of horror”, with a photo of the billboard from Wolsfburg Stadium and the score of the match.
For Bild, which evokes a “simply embarrassing” team on its front page, only a “miracle” against France on Tuesday evening in Dortmund (9:00 p.m.) can still save Flick. From the end of March 2022 to mid-September 2023, Germany played 17 official matches and won only four times. The identity of the opponents she has beaten says a lot about the current level of the Mannschaft: Peru (2-0), Costa Rica (4-2), Oman (1-0) and Italy (5 -2). Or second-rate teams, if we except Italy, reigning European champion (2021) but absent from the 2022 World Cup.
Hence this observation made by Rudi Völler, appointed sports director within the German Federation (DFB), on Saturday evening: “We are no longer at the first level in Europe”. And midfielder Ilkay Gündogan, promoted to captain of Germany, added: “We should perhaps say that currently, from a playing point of view, we are not at the level of a team like that that we played this evening. The claims are far from reality.”
A conclusion also drawn by “FAZ”: “with the 4-1 defeat against Japan, the Hansi Flick era hits rock bottom. And, in the end, only the verdict remains: not up to par.” A “Tieffpunkt”, a lowest point, which Germany thought it had reached at the end of March against Belgium, for its first defeat (3-2) against the Red Devils since 1954! Or against Colombia in mid-June (2-0) in Gelsenkirchen. But Flick's men continue to dig deeper match after match...
Present in the last four of all major competitions for an entire decade from 2006 to 2016 (three World Cups and three European Championships, the peak being reached in 2014 with the world title), Germany has never experienced since disappointments with the best result of a round of 16 at the Euro in 2021.
Known in the past for its youth teams, Germany is going through a deep training crisis. Olympic vice-champion in the summer of 2016 in Rio, she did not make it past the first round in Tokyo five years later.
Worse, in Hopes, the fiasco of Euro-2023 (elimination in the group stage) means Germany's absence from the Olympic tournament in 2024 in Paris. And the European title won this summer among the under-17s against France only brings a little balm to the heart.
The federation (DFB) has initiated a training reform, which includes the disappearance of rankings in youth championships, to allow clubs to develop players without the pressure of relegation.
But this is not unanimous. The vice-president of the DFB and president of Borussia Dortmund Hans-Joachim Watzke, one of the most powerful men in German football, strongly criticized this federal project, fearing a loss of competitiveness. It was immediately reframed by President Bernd Neuendorf.