The Nations-League defeats of the DFB eleven against the Netherlands and France nourish hopes for an exciting Bundesliga season. And they show that Sané is no Mbappé after all.
1. The Bavarian crisis will continue
“I didn’t notice that they were down during the training”. That’s what national coach Joachim Löw said last Friday about the Bayern players in the DFB squad. It was the answer to a question about a possible lack of self-confidence on the part of the Munich players, who had not won four games in a row with their club before.
Because he did not have the feeling that the players were struck by the failures, Löw bet against the Netherlands on a strong Bayern block. The result is known: Thomas Müller missed a big chance when he only hit the outer net free in front of goalkeeper Cillessen, Jérôme Boateng made an unusual number of mistakes in the game structure and was also slow in the two-fight lead, Manuel Neuer played a decisive part in the 0-1 with a bad positional game, and Mats Hummels attracted attention mainly by playing down the mistakes of his team afterwards and denying the defeat.
The result: Boateng left the national team slightly stricken and Müller found himself on the bench against France. Hummels and Neuer played just like their Bayern team mate Niklas Süle and made no big mistakes, but could not excel particularly. All in all, the Munich team showed why the series champion of the past years is weak in the Bundesliga and only sixth in the table with four points behind the BVB. Only Joshua Kimmich convinced in the DFB jersey – but that in the midfield and not as an outside defender like in the club.
Before the international break, coach Niko Kovac in particular had been blamed for the crisis in Bavaria and sharply criticised. The Nations-League games have shown: The Munich players are simply not in form. This doesn’t bode well for the upcoming tasks in the championship, Champions League and DFB Cup and, conversely, means that the Bundesliga should remain exciting.
2. Sané is no Mbappé
The fact that Löw did without Leroy Sané in his squad nomination for the World Cup in Russia caused great incomprehension. After all, the 22-year-old offensive player from Manchester City was voted the best young professional of the Premier League last season and is still considered the greatest talent in German football.
Because he has an enormous pace, an impressive technique and a strong finish, Sané was even compared to France’s shooting star Kylian Mbappé. The 1:2 (1:0) score in Paris showed why this is nonsense at the moment. Although Sané showed a lot of strength in the first half, he kept the French back team busy with Serge Gnabry and Timo Werner and took the penalty kick to lead the DFB team.
But he also suffered many slight ball losses and often made the wrong decisions – for example in the 21st minute. With a counterattack he was actually free and could have walked towards Hugo Lloris alone. But instead he took the tempo out and played a sloppy cross pass to Werner, which the French keeper caught. In Fruity King, they offer many opportunities to make as much money as you can and reach the blue sky.
Mbappé did not show his best performance in the national jersey in the game against the DFB selection and was not involved in the two goals of his team. But the 19-year-old moved much more intelligently than Sané, set his pace better and ran away from his opponents in a nice regularity. What distinguishes them both above all: Mbappé has scored nine goals in 24 international matches, while Sané are still without a goal for the national team in 15 appearances.
Serge Gnabry Honours
- Olympic Games Silver Medal: 2016
- UEFA European Under-21 Championship: 2017
- Olympic Games top scorer: 2016 (shared)
3. Löw doesn’t need Schulz and Kehrer, but Schuhrer twice
Joachim Löw surprised France with a new system. In 3-4-3, which defensively became 5-4-1, he played with two players from outside: Nico Schulz and Thilo Kehrer. Both did a good job, but some of their game was not as good as it might have been.
For Schulz, it was the offensive. The 25-year-old from TSG Hoffenheim is used to playing in the Bundesliga via the left side of the pitch. There was little to see against France. On the defensive, he was stable: he even won a running duel with the rushing Mbappé – as one of the few in the German team.
On the other hand, Kehrer set strong offensive accents. Again and again, he was running behind Gnabry, overloading the right attack side and creating overpaying situations. But the PSG defender had problems on the defensive. Again and again France’s left-back Lucas Hernández broke through over Kehrer’s right side and prepared for the 1:1 victory.
If you could make one out of both players and then clone them, the German side might have two perfect backs. Schulz and Kehrer would become Schuhrer, so to speak. Until the genetic engineering is ready or both work on their weaknesses in a different way, Löw has to cut back – either offensively or defensively.