Friday, August 23, 2019

Germany squad needed shake-up after Nations League nightmare

David Nugent in Editorial, European Championships 19 Mar 2019

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Germany boss Joachim Low caused a stir with his announcement of his latest national team squad. Only three players remain from the squad that won the World Cup in 2014 in Brazil. The only three players Manuel Neuer, Toni Kroos and Matthias Ginter were in that World Cup-winning squad.

That could be explained by the passing of five years. However, that squad was a relatively young one. In addition, only just over half the World Cup 2018 squad have made Die Mannschaft’s latest squad to take on Serbia and The Netherlands.

Low had to change things after recent nightmares

German head coach Joachim Low was under immense pressure after the former World Cup champions not only endured a nightmare World Cup campaign but also suffered relegation in the Nations League.

It was clear from the team’s recent displays that Low had to do something to attempt to fix the mess that the national team had got them themselves into.

Low’s solution was to drop some of the underperforming stalwarts in the likes of Bayern Munich trio Thomas Muller, Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng. All three are still good players, but have for some reason struggled to produce their best form for the national team. Low has told the trio they will not feature again under him.

New players brought into the squad

Germany have a built a reputation as a top country for producing talented young players. Their production line has seemingly slightly slowed in recent years. However, Low has brought in some promising uncapped players into his latest squad.

The new players are Lukas Klostermann, Maximilian Eggestein and Niklas Stark. It is interesting to note that none of the trio play for the traditional big clubs such as Bayern or Dortmund. Klostermann and Stark have impressed for the German youth teams. Impressive domestic campaigns so far have also earned the talented trio call-ups to the full national team.

Klostermann has a burgeoning reputation as one of the best up-and-coming right-backs in the Bundesliga. The 22-year-old has helped RB Leipzig to maintain the best defensive record in the German top-flight. He also has leadership abilities having captained the u-21 side.

Werder Bremen star Eggestein has earned his call-up because of his all-attack style of play. The 22-year-old central midfielder may struggle for game time over the next few games, with the likes of Ilkay Gundogan, Toni Kroos and Leon Goretzka in front of him in the pecking order.

However, he could make a big impact in the future. Only Joshua Kimmich has covered more ground in the Bundesliga than the versatile star.

Hertha Berlin’s Niklas Stark is an exciting young ball-playing centre-back. The 23-year-old can also play as a central midfielder and has been a crucial player in Germany u-21 team in recent seasons.

The trio are not the only inexperienced players in the squad, though. There are a number of other fresh players in the squad like Kai Havertz, Thilo Kehrer, Jonathan Tah, Nico Schulz and Serge Gnabry, who all only have a handful of caps each. Low has gone for revolution rather an evolution of his squad.

Germany still have a talented group of players

The fact that Germany can afford to drop players like Hummels, Muller and Boateng shows that they have quality in reserve. The Germany team has not seemed to have the same edge and excitement factor in recent years as it did when they won the World Cup. The team has seemed pretty stale.

Low has stated he is looking to change the way the team plays in the Euro 2020 qualifiers. The squad is certainly not short of quality heading into their friendly game with Serbia before a crucial Euro 2020 qualifier against old nemesis the Netherlands.

Germany have shown time and time game over the years how they bounce back from adversity. Die Mannschaft are odds of 8/1 to win Euro 2020, despite the fact that they are in a big transitional period. Those odds show just how highly Germany are rated and I can see the new look team becoming a force to be reckoned with in the next few years.

Is Joachim Low’s changes to his Germany squad going to revive the former world champions?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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