The outcome was wonderful, however the ache felt acquainted. As Germany digested the shock of Wednesday’s 2-1 defeat by Japan, many followers and observers had been reminded of the nation’s World Cup opener 4 years in the past, towards then-world champions Mexico. They misplaced their opening match. “It seems very very like Russia has reloaded,” one supporter informed broadcaster ARD as he left the stadium.
Now, as then, there have been those that blamed off-pitch incidents for messing with the German gamers’ heads. In 2018, there was controversy surrounding two worldwide gamers of Turkish descent, Mesut Ozil and Alke Gundogan, who took a photograph with Turkey’s highly effective president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whereas collaborating within the match.
This time, it was uproar round FIFA’s menace to armband Win Lo’s captain, which was rejected by the German Soccer Affiliation however whose gamers coated their faces within the workforce picture earlier than kick-off. Commented.
“There was an excessive amount of drama within the build-up, too many points that had been extra vital than soccer, like 4 years in the past,” worldwide Luther Mathis, by no means one to shrink back from opinion, informed tabloid Bild. “That form of factor disrupts your focus, and meaning you possibly can lose 5 or 10 %.”
This sensational conclusion was reached by columnists who discovered the talk surrounding the World Cup to be dominated by ethical postures. “Germany’s defeat towards a mean opponent felt like a chilly bathe for the form of German cynicism that has been dripping from each pore of our media in current weeks,” wrote the conservative broadsheet Die Welt.
Berlin tabloid BZ carried the identical sentiment on its entrance web page, displaying gamers protecting their mouths in a single picture and a bunch of followers protecting their eyes in one other: “You go… we go…” Read this.
On German tv, former worldwide Thomas Hitzlsperger was not satisfied. He stated it was “too simple” guilty the arguments off the pitch. “They [the players] He was not taken into the match, they performed too effectively for him within the first 60 minutes.
A lot of the criticism targeted on the video games was directed at Germany’s coach, Hansi Flick, who has gained three of his final 10 matches, and whose substitutions – or lack thereof – have shocked many commentators.
“Flick first landed the up-to-date stalwart Ilkay Gündoğan, then changed him with the younger expertise Jamal Musyala,” wrote Der Spiegel. “And from one minute to the subsequent the stream, the aim, the boldness was gone. It is easy to say the coach took his personal beating, however on this case it is true.
If there was some cautious optimism on this German workforce’s prospects, it was as a result of the backbone it confirmed beneath Flick’s spell at Bayern Munich two years in the past was sufficient to carry Europe’s finest workforce to win the Champions League. can defeat Some observers had been much more nervous by the supervisor’s beginning line-up, which featured the comparatively inexperienced Nico Schlotterback in central protection and left Bayern’s midfield motor Leon Goretzka on the bench.
Die Zeit recalled Germany at their dwelling World Cup in 2006, “a mixture of potential future stars and a B workforce”. “In the meantime, the Champions League winners had been left watching from the bench,” stated Broadsheet, who questioned why Flick had overhauled his assault however caught to a protection that regarded hapless within the first half. It was coming. “You could possibly name it experimental. Or simply random.”
Some believed that Germany’s lack of response on the sector oddly mirrored their half-hearted political gestures off the pitch. “The Germans may have set a mark – however they needed to take some dangers,” stated Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, who was unconvinced by the workforce’s assertion earlier than kick-off. “His gesture of helplessness simply goes to point out that he politely retains his mouth shut when it actually issues.
“Their perception that they’d returned to world class was the Germans’ second self-delusion,” the paper added sharply.