5 Reasons why Germany crashed out of the World Cup
5) Lack of Target Man
For much of the 2014 campaign, Low resorted to using Mario Gotze and Thomas Muller in false 9 position trying to utilise their sharp movement in order to create chances. While the idea worked in many games but against the sides that tend to sit deeper, Germany had their difficulties. But back then, Low had the option of falling back to the ever reliable MiroKlose. However, with the World Cup’s record goal scorer not around anymore, Low used Werner in hopes that the young forward would only prove a much quicker alternative to Klose. However, the RB Leipzig striker failed to get in the kind of positions needed to make a difference. Germany lacked a presence in the box. No wonder that Mario Gomez’s appearance off the bench made a huge difference to Germany’s play time and time again. Low’s proclivity to play Werner despite the forward clearly not impressing and reluctance to play Gomez hurt their chances in the end.
4) Awful tactics
Die Mannschafft regularly played 4-2-3-1 despite the formation not working in the tournament throughout. Moreover, Germany became a lot more predictable than they have been in recent years. The opposition full back pressed the winger forcing them to cut inside where they had neutralized all the spaces. As a result, the likes of Draxler and Reus had to regularly come short to collect the ball. Their performance against Sweden and Mexico was a cry for help for Low to change his tactics but the trainer failed to do so. In all three games, Gomez came off the bench to add some aerial threat.
3) Lack of pace
Manchester City’s Leroy Sane might have smirked when Germany’s lack of pace was exposed in the tournament. It was nothing less than shocking to see Germany so slow in attack. In Kroos and Ozil, the now dethroned Champions had two of the most creative yet slowest players in attack while their wingers Draxler and Muller too are not known for their pace. So much so that Low had no other option but to put Werner on the wings in order to add some pace. It was only Werner who attempted to go to the byline and put some crosses in for the target man but in all the games, it was too late. Julian Brandt though selected could only feature from the bench makes one wonder what might have happened if Sane was indeed in the squad to run at the defenders.
All the goals Germany conceded in the World Cup were due to the counter attacks. And startling as it may sound but Low’s side had no answer to them. In the first game against Mexico, Luzano and Chicharito regularly used their pace to run at the defenders with the Kimmich and Hector regularly exposing Boateng and Hummels. Meanwhile, Khedira too proved incredibly slow and so did Kroos, who also had an uncharacteristic sloppiness to his game. Sebastian Rudy was seemingly the answer before he broke his nose. In addition, whilst chasing games, Low’s decision to push Ozil deeper further elevating their proneness on the break with a lack of defensive cover.
This was perhaps the biggest reason behind Germany’s demise in Russia. Even before the world cup, Low’s side had looked slightly overconfident despite their obvious poor showing. In fact, in the last 10 games, Germany have won only 2 games with one coming against Sweden and the other against a lowly Saudi Arabia. The senior players and even Low regularly spoke of being wary of being complacent but Germany were just outdone and in the end had to face sheer embarrassment.