Hansi Flick admitted the final whistle shook his head. It lasted no more than a flapping of a hummingbird’s wings, but it is more likely to speak of the state of the national coach than the charitable debates he later disseminated widely to television audiences and reporters. When the Spanish referee blew the final whistle, Flick’s hopes of having more than 1-1 on the scoreboard ended.
Again: 1-1 in Amsterdam after the match against the Netherlands, 1-1 on Saturday evening in Bologna after the Italy match, 1-1 in the England match in Munich. You don’t have to be a detective to conclude that this series can’t be a coincidence.
While Flick couldn’t avoid his critical facial expressions, teammate Gareth Southgate was delighted. The England coach had an intense handshake tour with members of the German coaching staff (he even paid respects to the German Football Association’s press officer) not just for reasons of sporting fairness. He was also relieved that his opponent let his exhausted team get away with a draw after all. The 1-1 draw was a good result for Southgate. But for the Germans?
The flick brought movement – the team’s reaction was dynamic and lively
The Mönchengladbach striker, who defeated the German team in the match before choosing whether to be happy with his goal or disagreement with the outcome of the match, said he had no difficulty in deciding: he prefers to quarrel. The 51st minute took the lead. In retrospect, he was able to list a lot of good things, but still could not get past one main fact: “Maybe it was a small flaw that we scored only one goal” – he would have saved himself the words “maybe” and “small”. She is allowed.
The national coach changed seven players compared to the previous appearance, but was unable to replace a top scorer. The hunt for the man who reliably turned the crosses into blows and suddenly magically took the shot continues, but investigations into unknown persons are still ongoing. Internationally satisfactory midfielders are called Modest or Lewandowski in the Bundesliga, with every 1-1 draw the absence of the classic specialist becomes more pressing. Kai Havertz earned his merit as a reserve striker on Tuesday, but had no real chance of scoring.
Flick’s great exchange was on the one hand a rational maneuver that seemed necessary given the high tempo of this series of international matches, and on the other hand a measure that could be understood as a teaching gesture for some well-known players.
In Italy, mood-driven players such as Serge Gnabry or Leroy Sane have not lacked the necessary determination. And so Flick took a stage victory on Tuesday, at least from an educational standpoint. He succeeded in organizing the competition. The movement brought the team a powerful jolt, and the band responded dynamically and lively. The fans felt well entertained, and FC Bayern would like to see a lot of sympathy in the stands more often. “Today’s match was the way we planned it. The way it was played was great for the fans,” Flick managed to say. The presence of the spider-legged beauty Musiala alone raised the level of enthusiasm significantly.
Flick will have to put up with the growing discontent in the team
The selection of the remaining four – Manuel Neuer, Antonio Rudiger, Joshua Kimmich and Thomas Muller – was based on structural considerations. This quartet should ensure the stability of the structure. Rüdiger in particular can see this as another upgrade to his status. His gains in the football exchange brought him a contract with Real Madrid, and he is now one of the essential staff in the national team.
Nico Schlutterbeek acted like a kind of little partner on his side. While the Freiburg defender dared to take the opposing hemisphere and sometimes lose the ball with it, Rudiger kept watching the match responsibly. We don’t know yet what the German defense will look like at the World Cup in Qatar, but we at least know that Rudiger will be at his heart.
Schlutterbeek has to contend with his future Dortmund teammate Niklas Sule for the position of next man, but despite sincere praise from the national coach (“real boost”), he wasn’t convinced he had amassed extra points. The fact that he conceded the penalty shortly before the end, which Harry Kane used to equalize the score, was more the result of an accident than misconduct. But Schlutterbeek left the crime scene guilty. Opinion? He answered with a smile that exceeded a thousand words. What was he supposed to say?
If he looks at the range of his options, Flick should note that five months before the World Cup begins, sensitive boundaries are becoming noticeable among the players. He will increasingly have to mitigate the disappointments of the team. Ilkay Gundogan, for example, earned the place in the middle, in which he did not make unjustified claims, but even the special applause that he so well deserved when he was replaced did not comfort him. Gundogan was the guy who organized the German game, carried her and gave her a very good dose of tiki-taka, but he came home a little angry.
It was about the losing win and it was about himself not being able to play again and, oddly enough, he had to make way for Leroy Sane in the 83rd minute. In his opinion, they were both related, but he just scored that as a code message because he knows what’s appropriate: “We must be It’s cooler, we catch the ball better, we buy a little more time,” Gundogan said, as if he missed himself in those last few minutes. A surprise victory over a team like England might be the “development step” the team needs, then he admitted, and he’s undoubtedly right: Flick’s national team is making progress – while staying slick.