3 reasons why Germany exited from the Group stages of FIFA World cup 2022

3 reasons why Germany exited from the Group stages of FIFA World cup 2022

One of the most decorated footballing nations of the world and 4-time FIFA World cup winners Germany have crashed out of the tournament for the second time in a row. Last night they faced South American side Costa Rica and registered a convincing win by 4-2 but due to Japan’s memorable comeback, Germany are out of the 2022 World Cup from the group stages.

Heading into the World cup, Die Mannschaft had the highest ratio of expected goals with +10.0 with their expected goal difference being +6.4. But Japan’s incredible comeback against Spain ensured Germany’s flight back home has been booked.

Germany’s win against Costa Rica was only their second win at the world cup group stages since winning the whole tournament in 2014. Hansi Flick’s side showed no change to their approach and game play whatsoever as they replicated the same form as well as performance from 2018.

Although, it is not surprising anymore that a so called weaker team has outclassed one of the giants of the world. This edition of the world cup has been going that way. Despite a win last night against Costa Rica, the Germans failed to reach the last 16 all because of the results they had in the first two matches.

Against Japan, Germany did everything right, dominated possession, had more shots on target (26) but failed to convert the chances they had. Ilkay Guendogan scored the only goal against the Blue Samurais through a penalty but their attacking front did not produce anything extraordinary.

In this feature we will discuss 3 reasons why Germany could not go through to the Round of 16.

1. Lack of attacking threat in the front 3 – Since the 2014 World Cup, Germany have been struggling to find a recognized and a clinical number 9. This is an issue that they have not been able to address for as long as one could remember. During the 2010 edition at South Africa, Germany had Miroslav Klose alongside Thomas Muller in the attacking front but the duo managed to play really well but lost to eventual champions Spain in the Semi-finals. The following edition in 2014 where they won it all, their attacking trio was led by Klose, Muller with Mesut Ozil operating from the middle. However, their dependency on Miroslav Klose and Thomas Muller was exposed in 2018 after the latter’s retirement and Muller not being able to find the back of the net. During that edition, Timo Werner was leading the attacking line with Muller and Julian Draxler providing for him. And we all know what happened, Germany lost against South Korea and Mexico but won against Sweden and the champions curse was all over them. This time around, they decided to go on with Kai Havertz, Serge Gnabry, Leroy Sane and Jamal Musiala as the attackers but the final end product couldn’t land. They lost against Japan by 2-1, followed by a draw against Spain and their win against Costa Rica meant absolutely nothing.

Kai Havertz of Germany

2. Inconsistent Full backs – One of the major reasons behind their depressing exit from the 2022 World cup was their defense, especially the inconsistency among the full backs. Firstly, Hansi Flick fielded three different right backs in all three group stage matches. During their 2-1 loss against Japan, Niklas Sule was playing as the right full back, their next match against Spain saw Thilo Kehrer take the right back position and last night Flick decided to field Joshua Kimmich in that position. Hansi Flick did not back any particular player to play in that position and somehow their team had a scarcity of right backs. RB Leipzig’s David Raum was their only recognized full back functioning from the left but he was not experienced enough to feature in world cup and we all know how much of an impact a full back can provide in modern day football.

3. Over dependency on Manuel Neuer – Germany’s Sweeper Keeper and one of the all time greats among goalkeepers, Manuel Neuer has not been that good as he was a couple of years ago. We all remember his performance during the 2014 World cup but we cant be just living in the past. He missed a lot of matches last season due to injuries and kept only 10 clean sheets in 28 games. This season for Bayern Munich he has featured in 12 games and kept only 4 clean sheets. He was obviously the number 1 choice for Germany but Hansi Flick overlooked the form of Barcelona Goalkeeper Marc Andre Ter Stegen. He was perhaps the best goalkeeper in Spain and one of the bests in Top 5 European leagues. Ter Stegen has been able to keep 11 clean sheets in 14 La Liga outings and conceded only 5 goals on the way.

Also read – Stephanie Frappart set to become the first female referee in a FIFA World cup match