The old adage of ‘never writing off the Germans’ almost looked to be laid to rest after a hugely underwhelming Euro 2020 display that saw them eliminated in the second round having won just one of their four matches in the competition.
This latest failure under Joachim Low came just three years after a disastrous trip to Russia where, as defending world champions no less, Germany were dumped out in the first round, finishing rock bottom of their group.
Things appeared to have gone stale under Low and the announcement earlier this year that he would be leaving his post at the conclusion of the Euros came as no surprise, with very few lamenting his eventual departure.
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Replacing Low has been former Bayern Munich boss Hansi Flick who has two wins from two from his first two world cup qualifying matches in charge and is aiming to keep up his 100% record as Germany travel to Iceland.
Eurosport Germany’s Dennis Melzer told us exactly why the change was needed and what the future holds for the team going forward with Qatar 2022 just over a year away.
Ahead of Tonight's match against Iceland, it's two wins from two in the current international break, how quickly have the team got over the disappointment of the Euros?
The team quickly got over the disappointment at the European Championship. This is mainly due to the fact that there is an enormous spirit of optimism within the DFB team because of the new coach Hansi Flick. Flick stands for a new beginning that was sorely needed.
All players are happy that the former Bayern coach has taken over.
Flick looks to have made an immediate impact. What has he done to fix where Low was going wrong?
I think it's too early to speak of a huge Flick influence. You have to consider that Germany has played against Liechtenstein and Armenia so far. Against Liechtenstein, an absolute underdog, things didn't go as planned, Germany only had a few chances to score against a weak opponent.
Against Armenia, Flick's style was much more recognizable. Early pressing, early ball wins, fast counterplay and combinations that are worth seeing. It was also evident that he had transferred a great strength of the Bayern game to the German team: chip balls behind the opposing defensive chain.
Karim Adeyemi is set to be a furture star
Image credit: Getty Images
Is the team set up and style of play radically different to under Low?
As already described above, Flick would like to bring more dynamism into the offensive game. The team should be less calculable than under Löw. Germany no longer comes from possession of the ball, but from a quick counterplay.
Flick's ideal looks like this: The defensive chain, especially the full-backs, are very high when the opponent is in possession of the ball in order to build up pressure. Balls should be captured early in the opposing half to create own chances immediately. He also sprinkles elements from the Bayern game: diagonal balls and chip balls behind the defensive row.
Are there any major or noticeable changes to team selections and the playing squad in general? Are there any new faces coming in we should look out for?
Yes, Flick has nominated some young players who shone for Germany at the U21 European Championship. Above all, Florian Wirtz from Bayer Leverkusen and Karim Adeyemi from Red Bull Salzburg should be mentioned here. The two are among the greatest talents in German football - and have proven their quality in the 6-0 win against Armenia. If you watch the game, you will see they were technically impressive!
Flick is considered a coach who is very good at dealing with young players. It was he who, for example, helped Jamal Musiala at Bayern to regularly collect playing time in the Bundesliga. Musiala is of course also a "player to watch" because he has a very mature play system for his age.
How has the attitude (from fans, the media) towards the team changed with the new manager? (if at all)
As is so often the case in football, there is only the extreme with many fans and many media: everything was bad against Liechtenstein, many wrote that the hope for change under Flick was already dampened - and that after just one game!
Defeat to England saw Germany crash out of Euro 2020
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Everything was wonderful against Armenia and the impression was given that Germany will definitely be world champions. In general, the mood among fans and journalists is similar to that of the players. Everyone is hoping for a new era, for Germany to find its way back to a respectable and successful style of play.
Flick is the coach that everyone in Germany (perhaps next to Jürgen Klopp) wanted as national coach. His time at Bayern made a big impression on fans and journalists. I got to know him personally as part of my work as a Bayern correspondent and can only report positive things about him. A very good coach with a very good character.
Of course reaching and winning the World Cup is always the expectation but what is the realistic belief in what Flick can achieve both short and long term?
Flick doesn't have much time, but he didn't have that at Bayern back then either.
Things can change very quickly in football. In terms of personnel, Germany is well equipped to be among the tight favorites for the World Cup in Qatar, and the coming months will show whether this is also justified.
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