Germany must compensate for the loss against Japan in the World Cup


doha, Queue – There is a 1980s Richard Pryor film called “The Toy”, in which Jackie Gleason’s character lectures his son about the difference between “truth” and “reality”. Four decades later, Germany Boss Laughter Flick might want to do the same thing.

“truth” of their 2-1 defeat at the hands of Japan is that they dominated possession (74% to 26%), put together 2.4 more than expected goals (plus one converted penalty), forced some great saves from Japan’s keeper Shuchi GondaHit the woodwork twice and had his finishing been better, he would have cruised home ahead of Japan’s spectacular second-half comeback.

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The “reality” is rather different. For all the dominance of the first half, Germany took the lead only because Gonda gifted them a penalty. All those shots – Germany has 26, Japan’s 11 – that add up to a gargantuan expected number of goals? Well, 10 of those were outside that zone, which is relatively sub-optimal. They were undone by Japan’s athleticism, stamina, power and self-belief, precisely the qualities that had historically been the secret to Germany’s success.

There is more truth. central attacking player of germany, Kai Havertz And Thomas Muller, scored a single attempt on goal (and even one was away from goal) between them. Flick had no answer for Japan boss Hajime Moriyasu’s second-half substitution and change of strategy; As a result, this is the second consecutive World Cup in which Germany have lost their first game.

Then there is the harsh reality. next for germany spainwho crushed Costa Rica 7-0. If Germany drop points in Sunday’s game, they can no longer control their own destiny and could be knocked out in the group stage for their second consecutive World Cup. It’s about as unimaginable a prospect as Oktoberfest with non-alcoholic beer and tofu bratwurst.

The challenge for Flick is to understand what went wrong against Japan. He knew that his front line was about square pegs in round holes, but he felt – perhaps understandably – that he had to put his best men out. The result was a puzzle where not all the pieces fit together.

Havertz in the centre-forward mirror shows how he plays with his club, Chelsea, Despite being a highly skilled player who suffers from overcrowding in tight spaces (and the penalty area that Japan packed), Havertz looks like he’s still learning the position. That’s how he ends up with the game, his contribution almost unmistakable, like it.

The 33-year-old version of Thomas Müller, rowed behind him, did nothing but block the space – his teammates, young and electric Jamal Musiala, could have used. Which is probably why the young Bayern star discovered the right flank and broke in Serge Gnabryway instead. With a lot of time and work, you can probably fit the front four together in a way that makes sense, capitalizing on the wealth of creativity provided. ilke gundogan And Joshua Kimmich in midfield. The chandelier does not have that luxury; He has two more games to rectify this and qualify for the round of 16.

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However, Flick likely won’t have many other options, either, because Plan B, off the bench, is qualitatively inferior (besides perhaps, Jonas Hoffman) is completely different from its predecessors. Look at the men he brought in against Costa Rica: yusuf mukokowho turns 18 on the day the tournament begins, Mario Gotzewhose career has come to a halt since scoring the goal that won Germany the 2014 World Cup, and Niklas Fulkrug, 29, who was winning only his second cap. It’s a far cry from the days when Germany had proven centre-forwards like Miroslav Klose or Mario Gomez.

The challenge is how to weather the inevitable media storm that comes with losses in three of your last four World Cup games and how to stop this Spanish juggernaut.

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If there’s a silver lining, it’s that Spain won’t look like Japan at all. His possession game lends itself to combat with pressure and transitions – the German bread-and-butter he hasn’t got to use against Moriyasu’s low block. If this turns into a midfield battle to stay away, Gundogan and Kimmich can certainly hold their own against Spain’s midfielders. And if it comes to physicality and set pieces, well, Germany has the edge there as well.

So Flick can take solace in knowing that there has been no permanent damage to Germany’s World Cup hopes, just some nasty bruising. At least until he scores against Spain on Sunday. Then we will know how much reality stings.

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