German Sport

Surprising return: Hansi Flick hopes for a turnaround with Müller


Status: 09/04/2023 21:47

So Hansi Flick is once again banking on the “eternal” Thomas Müller. The Bayern striker should help the ailing national coach out of trouble – although there were alternatives.

If it had been up to the current form and goal threat, Hansi Flick would have had to nominate Kevin Behrens from Union Berlin for Niclas Füllkrug, who was suffering from a tendon irritation.

Behrens is currently the best German header, has scored four times in the first three Bundesliga games and also performed brilliantly in the second half of last season – thanks in part to him, Union are now playing in the top league. Behrens is already 32 years old, but Müller will be 34 on September 13th.

Führich and Beier Solutions with perspective

Of course, it is possible that Flick is not just looking for short-term solutions for the two friendlies on September 9 in Wolfsburg against Japan and three days later in Dortmund against vice world champions France (live on the first) – or medium-term, i.e. until the European Championships in the next year. But even if Flick were to think in perspective, solutions other than the “eternal miller” would have been conceivable.

Chris Führich, for example, is partly responsible for VfB Stuttgart’s spectacular start to the season with his freshness, speed and game intelligence. He has scored two goals and two assists so far. Maximilian Beier (two goals, one assist) started with great potential at TSG Hoffenheim, 20 years young and technically top.

A Müller goal in the last eleven league games

So what does Flick expect from Müller? The 121-time national player is not in bad shape, he was in Thomas Tuchel’s starting XI for the first time this season in the 2-1 win in Mönchengladbach and showed a decent performance. However, he has not had a run in scoring goals, since April 8th there has only been one goal in eleven Bundesliga games. What Müller definitely brings with him is experience – and his well-known good mood.

She has disappeared from the DFB entourage since the World Cup in Qatar at the latest. Among other things, the difficulties of the DFB in dealing with the rainbow-colored captain’s armband and the difficult succession planning after the resignation of manager Oliver Bierhoff contributed to this. But also frightening sporting performances by the national team, such as at the World Cup and then against Ukraine (3: 3), in Poland (0: 1) or against Colombia (0: 2), have spoiled the anticipation of the home European Championship in 2024.

Lots of tactical and personal mistakes

Flick only partially dealt with the criticism confidently. Tactical and personnel errors also increased. His adherence to a three-man chain after the World Cup even provoked criticism from his own team: Emre Can clearly stated that stability would be given up as a result.

Seems increasingly helpless: national coach Hansi Flick

Despite a weak year, the national coach also stuck with David Raum for a long time, but Flick simply cannot find a permanent role for Ilkay Gündogan, who plays outstandingly at Manchester City and now at FC Barcelona, ​​and sometimes pushes him back and forth several times in a game. Also amazing: Most recently against Colombia, Flick had nominated five trained central defenders, but he called up defensive midfielder Can in the middle of his back three.

No real trust in filling jug

With Niclas Füllkrug, Flick also seemed forced to be lucky. Instead of integrating him into his team and its processes in the months leading up to the World Cup, he nominated the top scorer of the past season just before the tournament. In Qatar, Füllkrug was by far the best-formed German offensive player, but when courage, dominance and goal threat were needed in the last group game against Costa Rica, Flick left Füllkrug on the bench.

Instead, Müller played, had no effect, was substituted and then spoke about a possible resignation. He later explained his willingness to always be available to the DFB if ​​necessary: “During the time after leaving, I thought about it. I was also in good contact with Hansi Flick. As long as I’m a professional footballer, I’ll always be available when I’m needed.” Flick now believes this moment has come, but it also smells of a bit of helplessness.

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