After the historic win against Italy, Hansi Flick goes into analysis while the tired DFB kickers go on vacation. For the World Cup in Qatar, the national coach already has a fixed axis - and a few problem children. Thomas Müller criticizes that there is still a problem in a certain area.
After their five-goal gala, the national players jet off on their well-deserved vacation, and Hansi Flick's praise was still ringing in their ears after the long-awaited mood booster at the World Cup. "You have to pay the team a huge compliment for the way they played football," said Flick after the 5-2 (2-0) spectacle against Italy, and he added with a smile: "That's how we present ourselves that before."
The biggest win against the European champions in 83 years put the German Football Association (DFB) team in collective confidence for the tournament in Qatar, which starts in five months. Even the rather reserved Ilkay Gündogan spread cheeky tones. "If we do it like we did today," Gündogan said confidently, "many teams will have a hard time against us."
After the "important milestone" and the "ignited rocket" the stressed stars around Captain Manuel Neuer started their holidays with a lot of confidence - not without instructions from their boss. It is important to switch off "mentally, too", says Flick. In the new season until the World Cup (from November 21st) it's going to be "one after the other, especially for those who play internationally". Therefore, everyone needs "three, three and a half weeks vacation". This is more than deserved.
Before the national coach, unbeaten after his first season in office (nine wins, four draws), puts his feet up, he will "analyze" the most recent Nations League four-pack with his coaching team. Because as nice as the combinations in Mönchengladbach were, as much as the lively game inspired the fans, there is still a lot of work to do before the World Cup.
"We have good players, a good attitude, a good project - but we still have all sorts of deficits to say that we are perfect, that nobody can beat us anymore," analyzed Thomas Müller. You can beat anyone yourself, says the Bayern professional, "but we still have to do better when it comes to football-wise things."
This mainly referred to the first three appearances in the Nations League, which all ended 1-1 in Italy, against England and in Hungary. But the storm in Borussia Park makes Flick go into the summer break with a “great feeling” after the “real stress test”. In the games in September against Hungary (23rd) and in England (26th), you have to "tweak one or the other screw," said Flick: "Because it wasn't all good."
Nevertheless, the successor to Joachim Löw is calm in the next few months. He has found his WM axis. Neuer offered world-class performances in goal, Niklas Süle and defense chief Antonio Rüdiger should clean up before that. Joshua Kimmich is in defensive midfield and Müller in attacking midfield. In the storm, Flick trusts in Timo Werner. "The axis," Flick stated with satisfaction, "worked."
After his two goals, Werner dealt against his critics. Goals are always good, said Chelsea's recently hapless attacker: "For me, double and triple when you're publicly counted after every game." Werner was also self-critical, but the goals did him good, both visibly and audibly: "If the top form came in October or November, nobody would complain."
This also applies to Leroy Sané. He remains the big problem child in the DFB team, even if he showed more commitment against Italy. The Munich must fear for his place. Flick has alternatives. Gündogan, Jonas Hofmann and Jamal Musiala are pushing into the starting XI. The competition remains fierce.
Flick has to name his squad after the matches in September. With two successes, the four-time world champion would have reached the Final Four for the first time at the third attempt. "Wins are important because they are good for self-confidence," said Flick. And sent his players on vacation.