The German national team shows a very mixed performance in the 1-1 draw in Italy. After a good initial phase, the Flick-Elf is increasingly losing control of the game. The reaction after conceding gives hope. An analysis.
It really was the much-talked-of endurance test for the German national team. In the 1-1 draw in Bologna, Hansi Flick’s team met the reigning European champions with Italy. A team full of glamor and prestige.
At least the team that won the European title last year. The Italians, who offered the DFB-Elf a tough battle of attrition on Saturday evening, consisted mostly of inexperienced players who are part of the upheaval after missing the World Cup qualification.
No Bonucci, no Jorginho, no Immobile – the opponents were called Frattesi, Tonali or Gnonto and had little or no international experience.
Accordingly, the DFB-Elf came out with the aim of radiating total dominance and showing which team has the better individual players on the pitch. The game started well for the Germans. A lot of ball possession in the first quarter of an hour, impressive ball relays and a first chance through Serge Gnabry after a fine individual action.
The Italians, it seemed, wanted to confine themselves to defending and only sporadically finished on the counterattack. But Roberto Mancini’s team showed that they wanted to offer their fans in Bologna more than 90 minutes of pure defensive battles.
More and more, the Italians dared to go forward and showed directly how vulnerable the German team is through the outside positions. The Italians broke through both on the side of Benjamin Henrichs (right) and on the left flank of Thilo Kehrer (left).
The negligence in the defensive network had no consequences until the break. The strong striker Scamacca only hit the post from a distance. Süle and especially Rüdiger fought many duels with the beefy attacker. It was not uncommon for them to remain second winners.
At the beginning of the second half, the Italian pressure increased noticeably. Carried by their tifosi, the home team almost played themselves into a frenzy. In this phase, the DFB-Elf lacked the means to really counteract it. “That was not enough. We need more intensity in our game,” said Joshua Kimmich after the match.
Too little intensity, too careless on the defensive and too little depth in the game up front. The chain of errors grew longer by the minute. “After the first 15 minutes, we bought our guts,” said a somewhat dejected Hansi Flick in a TV interview.
Punishment followed immediately with the goal conceded to make it 0-1 in the 70th minute. Gnonto, who had just come on as a substitute, was allowed to cross unhindered, as Kehrer only gave escort. In the middle, Pellegrini pushed in unhindered. Weak defense on the flanks and no assignment in the center – no new, but almost tried and tested mistakes in the national team.
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What followed was the glimmer of hope that evening. The team didn’t collapse in on itself, but scrambled to their feet. A year ago the team would have fallen apart. Without believing in yourself and your own strength. But just three minutes later, Kimmich equalized. The Bavarian even had the winning goal five minutes later.
“They played boldly and courageously and were aggressive again,” praised TV expert Lothar Matthäus. Flick also drew a lot of positive things from this final quarter of an hour (“We came back immediately”), without closing his eyes to the truth. “Overall it was a poor performance,” the national coach knew.
The time of perseverance slogans or smooth talk is finally over under Flick. Not only is the defense still shaky, the offensive is also often too toothless, especially on the outside. “We acted with too little speed on the outside,” explained the national coach and certainly meant Leroy Sané. The Bavarian is in a deep form crisis and also lacks a lot in terms of body language.
Hansi Flick knows that too. There are still many weaknesses in the game of the DFB-Elf. Nevertheless, the national coach will take the few positives out of the Italy game in order to win the next endurance test. Because that will follow with England next Tuesday, June 7th (from 8.45 p.m. in the live ticker on FOCUS Online). What does the next mean, it would be the first major opponent that Flick defeats. It shouldn’t just be the last one.
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