That’s a wrap for round one of the 2020 UEFA European Championship with the end of the long-awaited match between France and Germany last night.
Seeing fans at the stadium in this COVID-19 world delivers a taste of what we have been missing since the outbreak. The return of football fans does bring a difference in Allianz Arena, although only limited attendance is allowed for now.
This European Championship will be the last assignment for Joachim Löw before he steps down after almost 15 years serving as the national team coach.
Löw’s one last final mission
The Nationalmannschaft and Löw went through many great moments from great triumphs to the lowest of lows–horrific 0-6 loss to Spain, the heaviest defeat since 1931. Having been humiliated in the last World Cup, Löw’s magic touch doesn’t seem to work anymore.
Facing the world champions in Group F opener stirred up anxiousness among fans as Germany national team has been poor and inconsistent for the past three years. The last friendly match with a bonus of huge win 7-1 against Latvia was much needed to boost the players’ confidence and spirit.
Regardless of not being amongst the major favourites, I reckon that this was the best Germany team I have seen since the early exit in the 2018 World Cup. The defeat would be Mats Hummels’s biggest nightmare in the most important match where they should’ve made no mistakes. Considering how awful they have been, they performed well last night but Les Blues was just too good and far too solid.
Germany has many world-class players with eight Bayern players in the squad which is why they are still a threat in the tournament. Last night’s match unveils the ugliest problem of the four-time World Cup winner as they struggled to score a goal. Having the best goalkeeper and relying on strong midfielders to carry the game won’t do much to the team. This squad has stopped producing talented and ruthless strikers ever since Miroslav Klose retired in 2014.
Germans need to chin up and move on
The defeat was harrowing for a team that is trying to build its strength off positive vibes. But, in all fairness, it was a decent game by both teams. It could have been worse for Germany if the goals hadn’t been disallowed for offside.
Losing in the first match means the whole team must regroup and prepare for upcoming matches against Portugal and Hungary. Although they seemed promising in the second half, the Germans are under tense pressure now if they don’t want to leave early.
It wasn’t the way they wanted to start the tournament but it is what it is. France reassured they are in a class of their own with the best squad on the board. Löw must pivot confidence after this and, theoretically, he isn’t wrong in saying everything is possible. However, it is much more challenging to buy into the optimism after Löw stresses the team’s unity and the plan fails to manifest.
On the bright side, at least we know Hansi Flick will take over after this summer and we can be great again. So let’s keep our fingers crossed for the next two games… Pack ma’s Jungs!