Good morning, Fear the Wall.
Germany Draw Spain 1-1
Yesterday, the biggest match of this month’s international week took place when Germany faced Spain in the UEFA Nations League. Ever since dropping out of the group stage of the FIFA World Cup in 2018, Germany have struggled in international competitions, especially against other strong sides. Playing Spain offered an opportunity to show that they can keep pace with another quality opponent. Unfortunately for German fans, yesterday’s performance offered little in terms of optimism. Although Spain didn’t score in the first half, they were very much the superior side, controlling much of the play and more often finding balls in advantageous areas.
BVB’s Emre Can was highly involved in the match. As the right center back in a back three for Germany, he was principally tasked with marking Ferran Torres, Spain’s deadly right winger, often in one-on-one duels. His performance was a mixed bag... although Torres didn’t score, there were several times when he managed to get by Can, either by dribbling past him or by pouncing on long balls over the top of BVB’s back line. Can did have a positive impact on the match, though, when he picked out Robin Gosens with a perfect long ball, and Gosens promptly fed a pass to Timo Werner to set up Germany’s only goal.
With a 1-0 lead in the second half, German head coach Joachim Löw chose to pursue a defensive strategy. Leroy Sané, who was having several injury issues, was subbed off for Matthias Ginter, and Ilkay Gündogan was subbed off for Suat Serdar. The Germans fell under increasing pressure from the Spanish, who finally broke through in the final minute of stoppage time with a goal from José Gaya off a cross from Ferran Torres.
For any fan of Die Mannschaft (of which I am not), yesterday’s match is another disappointing performance. The string of poor performances under Joachim Löw continues. Many German fans consider him to be too defensively-minded for a German side that ostensibly has a plethora of attacking talent. Germany will face Switzerland on Sunday, which will be another opportunity for the Germans to face a strong opponent, even if the Swiss aren’t as strong as Spain.
Do you think Löw is the right man for the job?