Only Serge Gnabry knows if he wants to send all these descriptive messages out to the world. But if this was the intention, then the striker did an excellent job providing a comprehensive report on the state and mood of the German national team. In short: the location and atmosphere are excellent.
Gnabry smiled slightly awkwardly at the DFB-Elf press conference before including some terms that would easily make him into any wake-up call. Gnabry was able to report “a lot of fun”, and he identified a strong “community” on the team and saw some highly motivated people who grew on their mission and then “closed together”.
Janabri did not spread any lies on Thursday. Because the drum workshop, in which the team took part the night before, was clearly a success. For example, there is a lot of video footage on the internet of very happy aliens banging little drums, and if appearances aren’t misleading, these aliens were beating drums at breakneck speed and with a strong sense of rhythm. Fun, speed and intuitive movement as a group: you can definitely use that in the garden.
There is little time left to prepare for the World Cup in Qatar
So national coach Hansi Flick must be very satisfied that the team-building measures are having the desired effect. The only question is: How sustainable is all this?
Flick has to contend with a task at Herzogenaurach these days that actually has one good side: it’s equally complex for all the national coaches in the world. Officially, the training classes currently in use at DFB headquarters form the basis of a small European tour, which takes place as part of the Nations League and begins on Saturday with a match in Bologna against European champions Italy (kick-off from 8:45 pm). At the same time, Flick must also use the time to prepare his team as best as possible for the tournament that will begin in just six months.
At least everyone knows who to blame. Ladies and gentlemen, responsible for customizing tournaments and calendars, they have now decided that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar should take place exactly when football professionals usually long for the well-deserved Christmas and winter break afterwards. The first half of the season was tough with their clubs. For example, the last Bundesliga match before the World Cup was scheduled for November 13, and it takes no prophetic foresight to predict a rough time for the participating national teams shortly thereafter.
Players must travel to the principality from all over the world, continent or country and must not allow themselves to fatigue the plane after landing, as Germany’s opening match against Japan is already in the program on November 23. That takes exactly ten days between the last league appearance and the start of the World Cup, so it would be interesting to know what Flick’s predecessor and former coach Jogi Loew think of these general circumstances. Probably: not much.
Training camps have always been especially important to Joachim Löw
Under Löw’s leadership, training camps were a kind of ritual procession in which the senses were sharpened for everything to come in the tournaments to come – in which, after extensive oversight, nearly all the basic decisions were made: Which players get eleven mandates to launch? How can position units be grouped together so that the set is better than the sum of its parts? And what does he do with the atmosphere in the team if this or that player has to sit outside?
Even today, the 2014 world champions talk about the spirits that woke up in the cozy Campo Bahia, because without that spirits, there would have been no 2014 world champions in Brazil. The exact opposite was heard from the 2018 preliminary round qualifiers about the general conditions in Russia. The area in Watotenki, which has lost its reputation, should not be used as the main reason for the early failure, and no liability claims have been made against the operators. To this day, no one in the DFB delegation at the time denied that there could have been better places to develop the collective belief in the Gold Cup, which is often underestimated.
Everything will be a little different at the 2022 World Cup. The DFB’s travel department will not receive any words of eulogy if all goes well, and no one will have to admit part of the blame publicly if things go wrong in the winter tournament in Qatar. Und auch der Bundestrainer Flick weiß, dass er jetzt das Fundament gießen muss für alles, was in sechs Monaten stabil sein soll – und er weiß außerdem, wie wertvoll es ist, wenn durch eine Zusamintefürkunuft Sächt e Zusammenefenerkunuft she wears.
In the tradition of Löw, for example, Flick traveled with Bayern Munich to a short training camp in the Algarve before winning the Champions League in 2020, while the European competition decided not to. There was hardly a player from Munich who did not have particular praise for the procedure then.
What does all this mean for the winter championships in Qatar? Maybe a lot, maybe a little. But Flick should have been pleased that midfielder Jonas Hoffmann was able to report on Thursday that there was a real “training camp figure” at Herzogenaurach.