Tuesday , May 28 2024

Germany’s Hansi Flick still bothered by FIFA World Cup elimination!

Although the group stage elimination at the FIFA World Cup is still bothering him, Germany national coach Hansi Flick has already turned his focus to new goals to start before Christmas. In an interview with the Sport Information Service (SID), the head coach of the Germany national team discusses the failure in Qatar, analysing it, and making a successful new beginning for the DFB Team.

Hansi Flick, how are you feeling two weeks after going out of the FIFA World Cup?

Of course that disappointment is still there, especially when you look at the matches, and you think: we could have been there, too. We have to take some responsibility for the fact that we were eliminated early. Unfortunately, it can’t be changed now and it’s a great, great shame.

Have you had any second thoughts about your role?

No. Resigning was never a choice for me. I’ve had great communication with Bernd Neuendorf and Aki Watzke too, we have a good base there.

Your statement on Oliver Bierhoff’s departure seemed to give a different impression.

There’s been lots of reading into it, all I wanted to do was pay tribute to his work once more. We’re sitting here in the DFB Campus which wouldn’t exist were it for him. Our relationship was always characterized by loyalty, appreciation and complete trust. That’s what I wanted to convey.

Was his departure necessary for a new beginning?

I don’t know. Oliver gave so much to German football, so he certainly wouldn’t have been an obstacle standing in the way of being successful again.

How is your in-depth analysis of the tournament going?

If you compare all the data, we were one of the teams that created the most chances to score. But we lacked efficiency in front of goal. Defensively, we only average, we lacked that compactness. Our opponents were able to take advantage of that, they had the efficiency that we didn’t. We didn’t have the consistency to execute our gameplan to 100% over the whole 90 minutes. But we will need that in the future, as that is hugely important. You can’t afford to make mistakes like we did in the last half an hour against Japan, at a World Cup, at this level.

How have you been following the rest of the tournament? Where has the success been coming from?

If you look at Argentina and France, they are both teams that tend to be defensive. Morocco played very good football against France, but they defend with lots of passion, that needs to be emphasised. We saw that energy and passion in the Spain game – it’s a basic necessity to play successfully in this competition.

Could the team have competed against Argentina and France?

We have shown plenty of times that we have it a little easier against teams like Italy, England or the Netherlands. But what’s key is that we have that consistency, that discipline against every opponent, over the full course of a game.

Was it particularly important to have a clear philosophy at this FIFA World Cup, even when you’re using a specific tactic?

We had had our ideas about how we wanted to play football. Of course you can say we had different players in our back four, in different positions. But the fact of the matter is that all of them had the quality to play there. If we had made more of our chances in front of the opponent’s goal, then we wouldn’t be talking about these issues.

Shouldn’t you have settled more decisively on your starting XI earlier, however?

While these aren’t excuses, we did have many games where missed players through COVID or they had to miss out for other reasons. We then had to bring in new players. In Oman, we wanted to play the first half with our starting XI and then change it up, but that didn’t work out as we were only allowed six substitutions. We then decided we had to focus on workload management.

What do you personally have to start doing differently?

We need to find a spark again. We need to regenerate enthusiasm. Every player and coach wants the fans’ support. But we know that the starting mood which was already deflated by previous tournaments would not have been helped by how we played in Qatar. We want to play attractive football and prove to our fans that yes – we can do it. We are proud to be able to play for Germany. And that we’re relishing the chance to play a EUROs at home. Everyone has to give everything, if we want to deliver top performances in every match.

Don’t you feel there’s a kind of tiredness with the national team among the public?

I’d like to ask the opposite: have we done everything in Germany to make people look forward to the FIFA World Cup?

Do you think the view of the World Cup within Germany was too politically charged?

France’s president Emmanuel Macron said something to the effect of “Football has become too politicised. Our players should focus on football, and I’ll handle the politics.” That would have also been a good distinction for us. There was a strong wave of feeling against Qatar in the lead up to the tournament. Many people watched the games, while many others did not. The country was split and that’s unfortunate, because football should serve to unite us. I thought it was exciting to see how the fans from the other teams gave them their unconditional support. We need to try to emulate this more, so that we can play the best possible football for Germany. That’s what we’re here to do, and it would be nice if people could see this. There are others who are better trained to handle the politics.

Does the team need to undergo a rebuild?

Having an age limit…that’s tough. Italy set an example with Bonucci or Chiellini, who both delivered top performances despite their age on the way to becoming European champions. For us, what matters most is the performance aspect. Nevertheless, it’s always good for a team to be given fresh wind. We have several talented young players. We need to keep an eye on them, because we’re also looking towards the future. There’s 18 months to go before the EUROs, and want to help them become key members of the team. We are focused on finding the best starting XI, one where everyone works best together. That’s what’s important.

Have you heard from any of the older players about wanting to retire from the team? Players like Thomas Müller, for example, who already hinted at saying goodbye, before putting it all into perspective?

I will try to take the time to speak to every player over the next days, in order to put the World Cup behind us. I will also speak to Thomas Müller. We have spoken a little already, but haven’t had a chance for an in-depth chat yet. That’s coming up.

The same goes for captain Manuel Neuer?

Manuel is currently injured. I feel very sorry for him, because it’s another tough situation for him to go through immediately after the World Cup. The most important thing for him right now is that he recovers and returns to his old form. That’s the main focus.

The DFB recently announced the creation of an advisory group that will serve to support you going forward. Critics singled out the group members as being more of the same.

Firstly, one must recognise that they are all influential and veteran figures in the world of German football, who know exactly what’s needed. I think it’s great that they have shown themselves willing to help advise us. It’s a good choice in order to help provided a much-needed connection to the clubs, because we can only be successful together. We also have another internal advisory group at the DFB with Celia Sasic and Philipp Lahm, and I think this combination makes a lot of sense.

What are you hoping for in the new year?

I hope that all the players, coaches and support staff stay healthy. And that they are able to enjoy the holidays, relax a bit and recover, while also being able to reflect on questions like, ‘What do I want to achieve in the future?’ What things can we change in order to become even better?

And then you’ll be able to get off to a fresh start?

As I said, we want to manage to excite the fans with our performances in the new year and regain their unconditional support, even in the face of setbacks. The players need to give the fans the feeling of ‘Hey, there’s 11 players on the pitch and there’s six or eight on the bench that are giving everything for Germany.” That’s what I want to see! From the squad and from the entire team — that we all give it everything in order to be successful at the EUROs.

About Press Release

Check Also

UEFA EURO 2024 trophy tour makes final four stops as Germany gears up for kick-off!

The UEFA EURO 2024 trophy tour has made its final four stops, with fans in …