Berlin, June 3 (Ajit Weekly News) Ahead of Nations League encounters against Italy, England, and Hungary, Hansi Flick is facing a delicate but familiar striker problem.
While the German team seems well equipped with moveable attackers performing over the flanks and outside the box, the 57-year-old national coach is short of convincing spearheads.
The former Bayern coach seems forced to set up alternative options.
For decades, the four-time World Cup winners’ strength was grounded on reliable goalscorers.
While Karim Benzema (France), Robert Lewandowski (Poland), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Erling Haaland (Norway), Harry Kane (England), and Ciro Immobile (Italy) are addressing the requirements of a modern striker, Germany must do without a man covering spaces up front.
Since the 2016 European Championship with former striker Mario Gomez, Germany has counted more on a job-sharing system.
Since then, Germany seems to have lost contact with the world’s top teams.
Kai Havertz, Timo Werner (both Chelsea), Serge Gnabry, Leroy Sane, and Thomas Muller (all Bayern Munich) take their turns up front, along with Dortmund’s new arrival Karim Adeyemi and Wolfsburg’s Lukas Nmecha.
The upcoming Nations League games might give first hints as to whether Flick’s innovative strategy is paying off, and whether Germany has a realistic chance to seriously compete for the 2022 World Cup title in Qatar without a traditional striker.
Flick’s only left choice seems to be counting on a wide range of space-invading players which require intensive running and increasing effort.
For that reason, the Nations League is turning into a World Cup simulation.
Werner and Havertz seem Flick’s first choice. But like Muller, both Chelsea forwards need space in which to perform. Werner scored his six goals in seven internationals with Flick in charge against inferior opponents such as Israel, Liechtenstein and North Macedonia, reports Xinhua.
Werner also lost his place in the starting eleven at Chelsea, being left out by Blues coach Thomas Tuchel. Flick is trying to keep spirits up for the 26-year-old by providing unlimited support.
Havertz seems to come closest to the attacking requirements, but like his teammates, is more comfortable attacking from deep.
Flick is not only expecting his midfielders to help to close the gaps. “We need to develop more vertical danger out of the midfield,” Leon Goretzka demanded in advance of the team’s flight to Bologna to face Italy this Saturday evening.
As if sending a last clear message to his players, Flick set up a special team-building evening in the training camp in Herzogenaurach.
The coaching staff and players went for a night of drums, enjoying various rhythms and acting as a well-oiled orchestra. “Rhythms like this take you away on a wave. We have some skilled drummers in our squad,” Gnabry started with a twinkle in his eye.
–Ajit Weekly News