Former Germany goalkeeper Oliver Kahn has criticised the national team after their semi-final exit at Euro 2012.
Joachim Loew’s men suffered a last-four loss for the second consecutive major tournament after slipping to a 2-1 defeat to Italy, having made a number of tactical changes that have since attracted widespread criticism.
And the former Bayern Munich man believes that Loew’s side were naive, and should have performed far better in the clash.
“I was surprised (by the loss to Italy), especially on a tactical basis. I do not know why we would focus on our opponents so much,” Kahn told Welt.
“And secondly, the attitude of the players. When we went 1-0, then 2-0, down, I didn’t feel like we had a plan B. The players did not look like they could force themselves on the game.
“You cannot afford to make individual errors at such a high level. The higher the level, the more concentration is required.
“Blatant defensive errors will be immediately punished by world class players. For both Italy goals, Mats Hummels and Philipp Lahm were too far forward.
“And then, of course, we have to ask the question – why do we keep losing in the big games? I see a trend in recent years in German football – very important, central values that have distinguished us, are now lost.
“But that’s our identity. They are sometimes seen as antiquated, and often ridiculed, but with them come a belief system that is above all others.
“It sounds more modern – false nines, inverted full-backs. But what is overlooked is that each system can only work if the players are enriched with certain virtues.
“When the battle is hard, there comes a time in football when will, passion, discipline, aggression and even some dirt is required.
“We seem to be convinced that we can solve everything through quality play. This is true, and important, but in my view, the secret of success lies in the combination of these things (skill and passion).
“For instance, take out the value of responsibility. To take responsibility in football is a very important factor for success.
“If a player does not take responsibility, such as for the goals conceded, then it is difficult to win games like the one against Italy.”