Löw finally sets the upheaval in motion
A defeat that gives Joachim Löw air: The national coach has just in time recognized the signs of the times – at the 1:2 in France his eleven show things you haven’t seen for a long time.
The 2-1 defeat at the hands of world champions France, however, should give the national coach, who has come under heavy criticism, some air again. It’s true that the DFB team, which still has no wins in the Nations League, is still in acute danger of relegation. The courageous performance of the strongly reformed and rejuvenated German team over long stretches was nevertheless a signal of hope for a better future – provided that the national coach continues to his finally set in motion change.
As a consequence of his sluggish and loss-making performance in Amsterdam, Löw waited in Paris with a system change and a courageous line-up. It remains to be seen whether he rang in the rejuvenation out of desperation and defiance or out of later conviction and renounced world champion Thomas Müller or left-back long-drawn Jonas Hector.
Finally Löw tackles the announced “far-reaching changes”.
In any case, the appointment of the inexperienced Thilo Kehrer (first starting eleven), Nico Schulz (second starting eleven) and the post-nominee Serge Gnabry (second starting eleven and comeback after two years of abstinence) finally corresponded to the “profound changes” Löw spoke of after the World Cup – and which he had not yet made. He also united Timo Werner and Leroy Sané, in the front row. He had last dared to do this just under a year ago at the respectable 0-0 win against England at Wembley Stadium. In the end, he had bet on a chain of three.
With an average age of 25.36 years compared to the starting line-up against the Netherlands, which was more than two years younger, this team promised speed and dynamism. And she kept what could be expected of her for an hour, after all. Sané, Gnabry and the everywhere present Werner brought a speed and straightforwardness into the German attacking game that you haven’t seen in German international matches for a long time.
The offensive trio continues to need Löw’s confidence
The fact that there were still a number of inaccuracies and misunderstandings accompanying their actions and preventing a higher pause, shows above all that this young trio still has to mature. But this requires the continued trust of the national coach. In midfield, Toni Kroos and Joshua Kimmich pulled the strings as the centre of ball conquest and creativity. And on the wings, Kehrer and even more Schulz showed that they don’t have to be emergency solutions. The poor exploitation of chances in the first half, coupled with diminishing strength, the quality of the opponent and a controversial penalty led to an unfortunate defeat.
It remains to be seen whether Paris will be the birth of a new German team. First of all, this team deserves more chances. The rejuvenation process, as the match against France showed, has no alternative. Just in time, Löw, who has been holding on to his World Champion axis for too long, recognized the signs of the times.