German Footballers Deliver Dismal Performance

German Footballers Deliver Dismal Performance

The defeat of the German footballers on Friday evening can be attributed to a single cause – discouragement. Throughout the season, they demonstrated a lack of determination, risk-taking, and self-confidence against France in numerous instances. Giulia Gwinn, who scored the goal with a hand penalty ten minutes before the end in the 2-1 defeat in Lyon in the semi-finals of the Nations League, remarked, “We weren’t brave enough in the first half, we played a bit of scaredy-cat football.”.

The team, under the leadership of National coach Horst Hrubesch, didn’t just lack self-confidence in the first half but continued to play without it for long periods in the second half too. The German team seemed highly motivated to secure their Olympic ticket early by defeating France. However, this motivation didn’t translate into additional energy; instead, it led to increased nervousness and insecurity.

The German team struggled to exit the game cleanly when France pressed high. This struggle wasn’t due to a lack of necessary skills among the German footballers, but a lack of courage. Although there were occasional offensive moves, they were isolated actions or corners. The impressive combinations in the final third, which the players had exhibited at the European Championships, were nowhere to be seen.

The team that had something to lose in the game became obvious quickly. While France, as the Summer Olympics host, played with freedom, the German side saw a rise in uncertainties and misunderstandings. “We just made too many mistakes,” said Hrubesch, likely referring to the defense. After two individual errors, the German national team conceded goals from Kadidiatou Diani and Sakina Karchaoui with a penalty kick just before half-time.

Hrubesch commented, “We actually started too late. The second goal broke our necks a bit.” Klara Bühl, who posed a slight goal threat along with Alexandra Popp, added, “It looks like shit today. But I think if we take that with us and are more efficient in the next game, are more at it, maybe want a little more – then we can score some goals.”.

The German attacking game is too predictable

Under Hrubesch, the German team plays a rather one-dimensional football style, which is easy for opponents to anticipate and thus demands strong conviction in individual actions. The system (4-4-2) is always the same and is designed for an extremely wing-heavy attacking game with two aerially strong strikers. France defended well against this, barring the corners, which Germany played with a consistent variation.

Captain Popp admitted, “First of all, I’m glad that we still have the chance. Of course we could have closed the bag somehow today.” She continued, “But it is what it is now and we really have to combine all our strengths and we have to be clear that we have to get everything out of it from the first to the last minute.”

Popp and her team will head to Heerenveen on Tuesday, where they will face their last Olympic chance for Paris against the Netherlands, who lost 3-0 to the world champions from Spain. In the game for third place on Wednesday (8:45 p.m./ZDF), victory is the only option. If not, the DFB team will confront another significant setback following the failed World Cup.