There are a few moments where Hansi Flick talks about his career. With some stubbornness he seems to enjoy, the national coach usually prefers to talk about his team when asked for CV assessments. What does it mean for him to return to Munich for the match against England? So where did he win the cups with Bayern Munich until 2021? He said he hoped, like all of us, that the team would be supported.
It took a turn to get Flick to make a statement about himself at Monday’s press conference: a reporter from Britain’s Channel 4 asked about the significance of the national team’s famous 5-1 defeat to England in the 21st World Cup qualifier. , the latest edition of Fencing in Munich. Michael Owen scored three goals at the Olympic Stadium, as Linke and Notny Warns defended Germany. Flick noted that he was working as a league coach at TSG Hoffenheim at the time.
Now it would be a bold thesis that in twenty years people will still be talking about this Tuesday’s Nations League game, which will fill the summer break, and the game is unlikely to play a prominent role in Flick’s career either. However, the match is a milestone: For the first time as a national coach, the 57-year-old has put himself under little pressure. “We have to do things better, no doubt,” he said. Better than facing Italy.
Lots of room for improvement, not all that dramatic – were it not for time constraints this season
Since Flick took over as national coach, he has mostly been allowed to declare victories over Armenia or Liechtenstein. Well, in Saturday’s 1-1 draw in Bologna, he lost speed, intensity and creativity, among other things, and his mild temperament did not hide. “It’s important that there is a desire to be proactive,” he said on Monday when he reported on his analysis. After all, it worked out at least once: after a 1-0 deficit, which Flick counted, 28 German balls touched in a row and he equalized in the 73rd minute.
A lot could be improved, some good, and everything is not so dramatic in Germany’s top soccer team, so that would be a likely outcome after ten internationals under Flick, so far without beating a supposedly big opponent – otherwise. Limited time this season. After all, the current series of four Nations League matches, one against Hungary on June 11 and the other against Italy on June 14, serves as an alternative to a large-scale training camp ahead of the World Cup in Qatar in November. And perhaps now for the first time we can see if Flick can really find proper solutions to some of the problems his predecessor Joachim Loew faced for years.
In any case, what Flick spoke about before the England game sounded like the best football debate about the national team in the recent past. It was about Leroy Sané, who weakened after a strong fall at Bayern Munich and in the national team in the second half of the season and again failed to impress in Italy. It was about the shape of the important block for Bayern, which included seven players against Italy. And it was about positions that had been considered weak points for years: the outer defense and the central attack.
Midfielder Timo Werner was defended by Flick without being asked
Regarding Sane, Flick initially seemed to be partly responsible for the change: he used the winger, like Bayern Munich coach Julian Nagelsmann, on the left instead of the right last year, showing Sane’s undeniably impressive skills and, exceptionally, also when DFB is no longer talked about for its occasional phlegmatic analog game – until now. Flick also noted the importance of being “prepared” for activity on the pitch in relation to Sane. Flick said he trusted their “enormous quality.” However, this does not mean that the 26-year-old, who was substituted an hour later in Bologna, will necessarily play.
So things should look different against England, “there will be a change or another,” Flick said. This could affect full-backs David Raum and Jonas Hoffmann, who came on as a substitute at Bologna. Ilkay Gündogan could start in sixth place, coming in instead of Leon Goretzka against Italy. After all, Kai Havertz would be a candidate to take on England with more attacking fitness. Flick striker Timo Werner defended without being asked: what he does for the team is often underestimated, “He creates space in front of the defense.”
In these rooms there should now be more Flick vs England game ideas. In this case, the national coach will perhaps speak exceptionally on Tuesday about how much he would like to return to Munich.