Germany started their World Cup campaign with a defeat against Mexico in Russia. The defending champions also faced a defeat against Austria in the pre-tournament friendlies before coming into the World Cup. The Defending champions were knocked out of the World Cup after a 2-0 defeat against South Korea in the group stage game. Kim and Son scored two late goals in the injury time to destroy the hopes of Germany fans as South Korea finished third in the Group F above Germany. It is the earliest exit for Deutschland in the World Cup since 1938.
Germany just needed one goal to qualify for the Round-of-16 but South Korea denied their qualification by scoring two late goals in the injury time. Let’s take a look at the reasons behind Germany’s failure in this World Cup lead by Joachim Low.
● Non-selection Of Leroy Sane :
Joachim Löw opted with Bayern Leverkusen’s star player Julian Brandt over Leroy Sane ahead of World Cup in Russia. Manchester City’s winger was one key player for Pep Guardiola in winning the Premier League title while, Joachim had other ideas and dropped Sane over Brandt. This is also one of the reasons for Germany’s crashing out of the World Cup as they lacked fire up front. Sane hasn’t scored a single goal for Germany’s senior side in his 12 appearances for his nation since making his debut in 2015. But Sane contributed 10 goals and 15 assists in 32 appearances for Manchester City under Pep Guardiola in Premier League and was in a great form. But Löw stated his reason that, “He will be back again from September. He had not arrived at international matches yet.”
Low also added that, “It was very close decision, if it was a 100 metre race, it would have been a photo finish.”
● Non-utilization Of Marc-Andre Ter Stegen:
Ter Stegen becomes the first Barcelona player to exit World Cup after a 2-0 defeat against South Korea. Löw’s pre-tournament player selection has also been heavily criticized by the fans. Low went for a recently recovered Manuel Neuer from an injury over in-form shot-stopper, Ter Stegen. This selection made no sense as Ter Stegen was one of the best goalies around the globe last season. Considering the form he should have been selected ahead of Neuer. Barcelona’s shot-stopper was forced to watch the game from the stands as Die Mannschaft facing defeats against Mexico and South Korea. Neuer although was good but should be blamed for Son’s goal as he was dispossessed high up the pitch. Ter Stegen’s selection could have made some difference for Germany in this World Cup.
● Lack Of Experience:
Löw has been doing a good job for Die Maanschaft with winning trophies since taking charge of Germany but he has been criticized lately for his lack of making correct decisions in the selection of players. Löw had an experienced side in Brazil for FIFA World Cup 2014 with experienced players like Per Mertesacker, Philip Lahm, Miroslav Klose, Lukas Podolski and Bastain Schweinsteiger. This current German side in Russia were clearly lacking experience, while experience was a key weapon for Löw in Brazil which won him the crucial World Cup. Philip Lahm is a big miss in this Germany side as he used to lead the side well in the past for Germany and current skipper Neuer hasn’t been at his best in goalkeeping too having recovered from an injury just before the World Cup.
● Thomas Muller And Mesut Ozil Failed To Deliver:
Thomas Muller and Ozil haven’t lived up to the expectations from the fans and coaching staffs of Germany as well. Thomas Muller wasn’t even in the starting line-up for Germany against South Korea and came off the bench later in the game. Likewise, Ozil was dropped from the side after the defeat over Mexico. Arsenal’s midfielder has also been struggling and failed to deliver goods for Germany when the nation needed him the most.
Thomas Muller has been one of the top players when it comes to World Cup as he has won Golden Boot award in World Cup 2010 and Silver Boot in World Cup 2014 in Brazil. Mesut Ozil and Muller were the joint assist leaders in the World Cup 2010 in South Africa for their nation. There will be no surprises if both these players retire or are dropped from their national side.
“It wasn’t only Ozil, number of other players didn’t perform as they normally would. I didn’t think Thomas Muller had been that convincing in the first two matches and I wanted to make a point there,” said Joachim Löw.
● Löw’s Faulty Tactics:
Joachim Löw made many vital mistakes in this big tournament which paved way for Germany’s exit in the group stage. His tactics wasn’t helping Germany in any way to get into the Round-of-16 as Löw took off Jonas Hector and introduced Julian Brandt in a final role of the dice. Just like he had done against Mexico, the Bayer Leverkusen youngster hit the woodwork from outside the area as he came in. Kroos got three crucial points after a foul was made on Werner just outside the box. Both Mexico and Sweden were looking to use the space behind left by Kimmich and that was a big mistake as there should be a backup and cannot be exposed everytime. Though this tactical schematic is the brainchild of Löw, he must take responsibility for its shortcomings.