The nightmare endured far too long is finally over.
Germany are knocked out at the Round of 16 after losing 2-0 to the Three Lions – for the first time in 55 years since the 1966 World Cup. This triumph vindicated Gareth Southgate’s masterclass, who had been harshly criticized for playing defensively in group stages – believing he’s squandering England’s golden generation of youth talent.
The dearth of Germany’s centre forward
This was expected to be a tough matchup for Germany. It indeed turned out to be after an awful performance that they could have done better if only Joachim Löw came out with a winning plan. The Nationalmannschaft did well at the beginning of the game. Still, as the game progressed, they fell back, allowing the British to take the lead.
Oh, please take me back to the time when winning wasn’t doubt but rather by how much. Despite having many talented talents in the squad, we failed to deliver – thanks, but no thanks to Löw for tarnishing his own legacy with a 3-4-3 impotent system that, alas, couldn’t bring out the best in them. The Germans were poorly coached, and they gave away too many opportunities including Timo Werner’s failings to finish after a good pass from his Chelsea teammate, Kai Havertz – and that’s when we miss Miroslav Klose.
Mats Hummels saved the day, and of all the German players who made the starting line-up, he is one who can walk away with pride. I can’t highlight enough how amazing his defence performance at Wembley, although the final third was shambles. England’s captain, Harry Kane missed a great chance to score after being denied by Hummels’s timely tackles by the end of halftime, which still leaves me in awe.
Leaders of great teams don’t rely on luck
Had only Thomas Müller not missed the chance to equalize, things would definitely be different. Perhaps it was exactly how English fans felt 11 years ago when Frank Lampard’s goal that never was. But then again, some days you win and some days you lose. For a team that relies on luck way too much instead of an effective tactical setup, we deserved to be sent home. If Southgate’s plan was to stop the Germans from holding the ball too long, then it perfectly worked as our midfielders struggled to move forward and can only pass it back to their backline. Robin Gosens and Joshua Kimmich were practically non-existent – England surely did their homework well.
Germany suffers a well-deserved defeat after an inconsistent performance in group stages which we surprisingly made it to the Round of 16 with a bit of luck. We were supposed to be where we are supposed to be. As painful as it is, we have reached the lowest point in the Nationalmannschaft history that I’ve ever witnessed. It’s, however, not a shocking result for us; the usual sense of German determination, desire and hungry to win wasn’t there right from the start. I’m disappointed not because we lost, but we lost before it is ever fought.
Though it was inarguably an embarrassing exit to be humiliated by England, yet to be fair, we were never the better team. The Three Lions didn’t beat Germany, but they put them out of their misery. The Nationalmannschaft has been below par for some time now, and this 2020 European Championships unveiled the team’s shortcomings three years ago. The defeat thus marked no fairy tale finish for Löw’s era that lasted far too long.
A new era under Hansi Flick
A bitter pill to swallow, this once ‘mighty German football’ is irreparably damaged, and regretfully, Hansi Flick has some work in his hands to revive this Germany team. The pressure is now on him for the 2022 World Cup. The loss might break our hearts, but the thought that we are now in good hands give me hope. At least we know he’ll make the right decisions, and Kimmich will definitely move back into his best position – midfield.
Hopefully, it won’t be too long till we get to chant, “the Germans always win.” It happened, we move on, we’ll rebuild this again, and we’ll come back stronger. Weiter, Immer Weiter! (Always carry on! Just carry on and on!)