There are people who like to nag a lot. In particular, many of them have crawled out of their caves of anger in recent years when it comes to the German national soccer team. While it was rather quiet in September at the first course under Hansi Flick, the first critics are already sneaking out again. Your accusation: The game against Romania in the World Cup qualification was not really good. You can see it that way. But you don’t have to. Because (a) Romania was the first stronger opponent of the new era under Hansi Flick and (b) the DFB team showed things that had been missed for a long time. After the early deficit by Ianis Hagi (9th), Germany fought back with the greatest intensity and maximum passion. And also with a high risk. The team built up so much pressure that the Romanian protective wall broke at some point. Serge Gnabry (52nd) and substitute Thomas Müller (81st) averted the first defeat of the new national coach. His record continues to read excellent: four games, 14: 1 goals – and almost qualified for Qatar. Everyone has to decide for themselves whether they should be happy about it. We opt for the individual review.
Marc-André ter Stegen: At FC Barcelona things are not going at all for the goalkeeper these weeks. Whereby you have to be more precise. Without the goalkeeper, things would be much worse at FC Barcelona. The team is in terrible shape. And correspondingly in a terrible crisis. Nice thing for Ter Stegen to play again in a team that was furious and successful recently. Probably the best number two in the world was allowed to play because Manuel Neuer twitched the adductors. The stupid thing for him is: For Germany he rarely catches games in which he can excel. That was the case again. At the early 0-1 he was powerless. The mistakes had happened to his foremen. What Ter Stegen always does well: He chooses a fast and courageous build-up game. Sometimes plays long, flat passes. That is rather unusual. But brings good switching moments with it.
Jonas Hofmann: The situation for the offensive player from Borussia Mönchengladbach is a little bizarre. With what he can do best, he cannot score for Germany. Because in the front rows the competition is far too big, a little too overpowering. But the 29-year-old can still be important. Because he’s a polyvalent guy, watch out. Means: He can play in many positions and adapt quickly. He’s currently doing that in the rear right position. This is one of two major German construction sites. The other is the central striker (more on that later). Hofmann does his job well. However, it is also like this: He is hardly challenged as a defender against the so far rather weak to moderately strong opponents. He was brave in the attack against the Romanians, had many good runs but not that many good crosses. On the defensive he did not look good twice on counterattacks by the Romanians and was overrun. Can he really be the solution? From the 85th minute Lukas Klostermann: He came and should help to get hold of the result. This succeeded, but without any significant action. He has now played for Germany for the 14th time.
Niklas Süle: There are a lot of wild stories being told about the man from Munich these days. The giant is in really good shape these days. At Bayern he is the most consistent and best defender. It hadn’t been like that for a long time. Also because his physical condition did not allow it. But instead of talking about this good to very good Süle, they prefer to talk about how things stand for his future. Rumors that he has to / wants to leave FC Bayern cannot be discussed away. At the same time, a possible change from Antonio Rüdiger to the record champions is discussed. Current status of the whole theater: everything can, nothing has to be done. In the national team, the two protagonists now play side by side. And recently did very well in combination. It wasn’t that great against the Romanians. But that was less due to Süle. He kept getting involved in the build-up; according to club coach Julian Nagelsmann, he has a “tens” gene. And in his core area of ”tidying up” he performed the tasks with ease. Couldn’t be defeated on the ground or in the air. Had his most noticeable moment in the duel with George Puşcaş (48th).
Antonio Rüdiger: Well, the defense chief had a terrible start to the game. At the 0-1 he was too passive in the duel with Hagi, then he let himself be tunneled and has to be chalked up for having largely caused this goal. But Rüdiger is a type of mentality. He did not let himself down, but bit himself vehemently into the game. His problem is: he can easily become overwhelmed when he really wants to do something well. With standards he tried to correct his mistake. The attempts were more like the Brechtstenge model. His duels seemed a little too wild at times. But it turned out well. In the end he made a slight mistake that forced Kehrer to give him a yellow card.
Thilo Kehrer: The man from Paris St. Germain was the big winner of the first course under Flick. Because he is a polyvalent type (really a bad description), he is considered to be the solver of many problems. He is currently playing on the left side of defense. Robin Gosens is usually based there. He’s seriously injured, but at least he can look forward to his first offspring. Kehrer and Gosens are two different types. While the man from Paris is the defensive variant, the currently injured person drives the game with his wild urge. Stupid for Kehrer: Of all things, what he can do best didn’t always work out well against Hagi. At the 0-1 he played a major role in the deficit alongside Rüdiger. Otherwise, he always had problems with the son of the Romanian legend Gheorge Hagi. Couldn’t offer the German team any help up front, that was a shame for Leroy Sané.
Joshua Kimmich: The substitute captain had to take a beating. The Romanians were always tough on the key player, sometimes arriving too late, which was painful for Kimmich on several occasions. But because he is what he is, he did not allow himself to be unnerved. The man from FC Bayern led the game strongly, distributed the balls cleverly again and again and always remained stable on the ball under the pressure of the attacks. If there are still questions about why Kimmich has to play in the center and not on the right wing, games like this give the answers. And that impressively. However, like the entire team, he had a few problems with concentration, in other words with precision. But “the bottom line” he found the game “really cool.”
Leon Goretzka: The strongest footballer that Germany currently has to offer was initially pretty little seen. As conspicuous as he is as a type, he began to be so inconspicuous. You don’t actually know that from him. Because he is actually always present. When he was behind, he came a little late as the last rescuer. To interpret that as a mistake, but that would be wrong. Because others had bucked. The longer the game lasted, the more the focus was on the Munich man. With depths he repeatedly created danger and space. The dynamism he has is one of Germany’s strengths. Was involved in both goals. The 1-1 through Gnabry he initiated with a clever pass in the middle to Marco Reus, who finally dropped for the goalscorer. On the winning goal, he headed a corner onto the long post, where Müller müller’sch had sneaked out.
Serge Gnabry: Well, what else can you say about this man. In the German offensive, where there are plenty of good options, he is the best. If a man is really good at hiding the lack of a center forward, it is the 26-year-old. In his 30th international match, he scored his 20th goal. This rate is outstanding. His graduation was also outstanding: determined, quick to act, precise. If the German offensive game would always work like this, then the thing with the missing striker would be completely irrelevant. But that’s not how it is. Gnabry didn’t manage everything as perfectly that evening, either, as he did at the goal. Sometimes he struggled sitting, sometimes with his head and sometimes even going it alone. He was only rewarded once.
Marco Reus: Age is not a category in which the national coach thinks. Flick thinks in terms of quality and form. Reus has both. However, it was a bit of a surprise that the Dortmund player was allowed to act as a playmaker and Müller only sat on the bench. Reus did a good job. Is always a win with his joy of playing. Had good moments building up, but bad luck in my own closing campaigns. Missed a huge chance to take the lead in the middle of the second half when he volleyed the ball over the goal from close range. You can forgive him for it, after all, he had prepared the balance. From the 67th minute Kai Havertz: He was drawn to the center of the storm. Was also sought with high flanks. A new variant in the German game. He had good scenes but not outstanding ones. Was just stopped once on the way to the leadership (76th). He helps the German offensive, but he is not (yet) the solution to the storm problem, even if he would like to be. He has already declared the role for himself.
Leroy Sané: His story was remarkable. After a weak European Championship and a very weak start to the season, he was whistled by his own fans in Munich. Sané looked battered, he didn’t want to succeed anymore. But then we went to the national team in September. And with Flick it clicked. Sané plowed and fought. He not only fought for every ball, but also for good actions. They followed. Increasingly. At Bayern he last played furiously. Also because he has good support with Alphonso Davies. The left-back creates space for Sané with his advances. He lacked this help against Romania. Kehrer couldn’t, he was busy. Sané rarely had strong scenes on the ball. Instead, he was busy pressing and kept getting balls. He received applause for it. From the 89th minute Karim Adeyemi: The storm hope from RB Salzburg came in the last minutes for Sané. Introduced another counterattack class. Once again hinted that it could be of great help in the future.
Timo Werner: Herrje, Germany is looking for a striker and has Timo Werner. He actually has many strengths, but can only rarely bring them to bear. It’s not always easy at the club and wants to find shape and happiness in the national team. But it didn’t work. It fell way too easily after five minutes and almost got “rewarded” with a penalty. But that was rightly withdrawn. Stupid, meanwhile cheeky action by him. What one cannot blame him for: a lack of effort. Hardly any player in the DFB team attracts as many sprints as Werner. But the problem is: These sprints often don’t make sense. Werner is not playable or not easy to play. Many passes end up in his back or drive him far away from the goal. He’s just not the target player in the penalty area that it needs. He is still urgently sought. A spectator, however, has already found him and told the national coach: “Hey Hansi, where is Terodde?” From the 67th minute Thomas Müller: Somehow did everything differently than Werner, somehow everything better. With Havertz, who was also substituted, he also had a second man in the center. With Müller came unrest and danger. His goal was remarkable. Actually, he ran out to the corner to offer himself for the short version, but finally left again quickly, strolled across the penalty area and suddenly stood completely free at the far post. Only one person can sniff out such paths.