The international break continues this week.
In between the international friendlies, the UEFA Nations League and the CAF AFCON qualifiers also continue as teams battle for points and a chance to move further up on their respective logs.
One national team in the eye of the storm is the German national squad. The most-talked about football side in the world at the moment is experiencing a crisis, enduring a bad patch of form and has been on the receiving end of the harshest of words from critics in the sport.
Some are blaming the manager. Others are pointing accusing fingers at some players in the squad.
And why not?
Their last win came in the World Cup game against Sweden. That was in June.
They’ve suffered 5 defeats in their last nine matches and things are about to get worse for them as they face the prospect of UEFA Nations League relegation. And France might just be the team to put that final nail in the coffin for the Germans as they face the World champions next.
What now is the way forward for the Germans?
1. Start scoring goals!
During the 2018 World Cup, the Germans only managed to score two goals. That’s 2 goals in 3 games – the only two in their last 5. The three goals they conceded against Netherlands brought the tally of goals conceded in their last 6 games to a total of 8 goals – an average of one per game.
Asides from being World Cup winners, the Germans are up against a side that has scored 11 goals in their last 6 games. That’s almost an average of two goals per game.
If they’re to turn things around, the perfect place to start is this game against the French. And they have to find a way to outscore the world champs.
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2. Avoid a “heavy” defeat, if they can’t win
For a team bottom of their UEFA Nations League group, climbing back up will be pretty hard. It’s not something that will just happen overnight. They will be made to work hard for it.
With this in mind, it’s very likely that the French side may be too much for them.
If the Germans can’t defeat them, can’t force them to a draw, they must try all they can to not lose by a large margin. A heavy loss will further dampen the spirit and may even lead to calls for drastic measures which may include the sack of Joachim Low.
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3. A change in strategy maybe
The players who were at the heart of the 2014 World Cup winning team are still very much integral parts of this side. Neuer, Boateng, Hummels, Hector, Kroos and Muller are all still playing. This may be good for the Germans.
If it isn’t broken, you shouldn’t have to fix it, right?
But maybe the Germans, with these regulars, have become more predictable.
Leaving their latest generation of Draxler, Ter Stegen, Sane and Brandt waiting on the sidelines may be the mistake they’ve been making all these while; a mistake that has cost them dearly since the turn of the year.
There’s no better for Germany to turn their fortunes around. A win against France will be a huge boost for them. It will give them a breath of fresh air, plus confidence to go for more wins. But can they win this game?
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