Germany has not been the usual self in the past few years. Considered as one of the best and consistent teams in the World, there has clearly been a slump in their performance. The most important question now for the fans is whether Hansi Flick is the right man for leading Germany.
Hansi Flick had an impressive spell with Bayern Munich after taking over as the interim manager. He soon turned the team’s fortune and went on to win all the trophies on offer. However, when Germany came calling, the 56-year-old was not able to turn down the offer.
The Die Mannschaft has officially started their campaign with Hansi Flick last week. Germany faced Liechtenstein, Armenia and Iceland in the World Cup qualification match and won all of the matches comfortably. All this leads to the question of whether Flick is the managerial answer for Germany.
HANSI FLICK RETURNING TO GERMANY SIDE
One thing Hansi Flick brings to the table is his pedigree and familiarity with the national side. Flick was part of Joachim Lows managerial team that won the 2014 FIFA World Cup. He knows the national setup and will surely find it easier to adapt.
It is not just his prior experience with Germany that makes Flick the ideal choice. The German was instrumental in turning the Bayern Munich side into a goalscoring machine. He galvanised the team which was in crisis and quickly made them a well-oiled machine, scoring goals for fun.
His resume includes winning the sextuple, a feat only done by the Barcelona side of 2009. The 56-year-old employed an attacking philosophy and used counter-pressing to good effort. This was evident from the number of goals his side managed to score, including the 8-2 drubbing of Barcelona in the quarter-final of the Champions League in the 2019/20 season.
BRING THE BAYERN CORE
The next factor that will help in supporting the cause of Hansi Flick is his experience with Bayern Munich. Flick was the manager of Bayern before joining the German national side.
Why this is important is the role Bayern Munich plays for the national team. Currently, 8 players in the German team are from Bayern Munich. This includes captain Manuel Neuer, Niklas Sule, Thomas Muller, Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, Leroy Sane, Serge Gnabry and Jamal Musiala.
His familiarity with the players will help him to build his new team around. The midfield pair of Kimmich and Goretzka will be vital for this as well as the wingers Sane and Gnabry. Flick was able to extract the best from them. Muller is an example of a player that Flick has helped, with the veteran German hitting incredible assist numbers in the last two seasons.
But this does not mean that Flick will be able to turn around the German side very easily. The one thing that Germany requires the most is confidence. The Germans were notorious for being clinical and consistent in the past, always performing well in international tournaments.
However, from the 2018 World Cup onwards, the fear that Die Mannschaft have over their opposition is waning. Even smaller sides like North Macedonia were able to sting the former world champions. Thus Flick will have to work in reinstalling the belief that they are still the best team around.
Secondly, the manager will have to work on key areas especially in the defence and the centre-forward position. Timo Werner is currently the main striker of the team and the former Leipzig man seem to have lost his confidence in front of the goal. Flick will have to put more trust in the 25-year-old and help him get back to his best.
Similarly, the defence has not been the best for Germany. Often vulnerable to quick counter-attacks, Flick will have to work with his existing options and build a regular centre-back pairing. One fault towards the later end of Joachim Low’s tenure was the chopping and changing of the playing 11. Building a core and fitting in the extra pieces is the right way to regain the consistency that Germany requires.
PROMISING GERMANY START FOR FLICK
The verdict, Flick is the best person to take over the job from Low. He is familiar with the system and is a proven winner. More importantly, his attacking style suits the philosophy and he has the players to implement it.
Germany in the last few years showed a lack of unity in the squad. If Flick can gain the confidence of his players and apply his tactics, there is no doubt that Die Mannschaft will be a force to be fearful of in the Qatar World Cup of 2022.
But till then he will have to increase the confidence of some of his players and form a working and resolute defence. If the recent victories during the World Cup qualifications are something to go with, the future does seem promising.
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