Can Germany Improve Before Euro 2020?

The sound of Zombie Nation by Kernkraft 400 played twice through the speakers on Friday night at Hamburg’s Volksparkstadion. Thanks to Toni Kroos and Serge Gnabry, the new goal music for Germany arrived. However, beyond the electronic beats is a twitchy, spluttering performance by Germany. Joachim Low stated after the match that this is not why he wants his team to play going forward. This is pretty obvious to everyone. However, no one knows how Germany should be playing either.

The latest rebuild from Joachim Low, a rebuild that some belief should be taking place without the manager, has seen him replace the assistant coach, enforce retirement from Jerome Boateng, Thomas Muller, and Mats Hummels, and a move away from the incredible possession style of play that allowed Germany to win the World Cup in 2014. Still, their 4-2 defeat at the hands of the Netherlands continues to confuse everyone.

Germany vs the Netherlands

During the first half of the match, Germany sat deeper, had less of the ball, and looked explosive during the transition. It worked, for the most part. One of the fundamental changes from Low was to make Germany faster, which is something that Gnabry, Timo Werner, and Marco Reus could provide. Gnabry made a massive difference during the first half of the game.

However, the reactive nature of the first-half performance from Germany didn’t seem to be the overall plan. Low commented after the game that less running and more access to the ball would have been perfect. Both Nico Schulz and Joshua Kimmich discussed not having enough control, whereas Reus stressed about everything that was avoidable. Germany gave the ball away far too often while attempting to move forward. So what should Germany look like?

Germany’s Potential Improvement

Earlier in the year, Germany managed to defeat the Netherlands, which allowed everyone to believe that the team has turned a corner. Kroos even stated before the match in Hamburg that a team with a new style, new faces, and a new system, the team has done quite a bit. With comments like these, the team is still trying to figure out where to go as opposed to where to turn. This German squad is nowhere near where they need to be, and there’s tons of work for them ahead of this upcoming tournament.

The attacking force is supposed to be the critical element of the German team. However, the inability from Low to obtain the best from Werner Reus is quite concerning. The return of Leroy Sane will also be a welcoming addition to the team, but the defeat against the Netherlands squad has nothing to do with the absence of Sane. Everything revolved around the forwards, and they lack controlling the ball. The question on everyone’s mind is whether this German team has the necessary skills and the time to improve on their defeat. Can it be accomplished or should a new manager step in and guide the team to greatness?