Where did it all go wrong for Germany in WC 2022

Jasmine Hahn
7 min readDec 2, 2022

As the dust settles on Germany’s second, consecutive group-stage World Cup knock out, there is expectedly a lot of emotion, a lot of questions and a lot of misplaced blame.

I’m here to do none of the three, I’m here what my job normally gets me to do, and that is problem solve. Now I’ll predate this with; National teams aren’t really my vibe, and they are run differently to domestic clubs, usually with a lot more nepotism, I can only give my account with what has gone wrong based on decisions made by Hansi Flick and his team.

This is fairly informal as Germany didn’t play too badly and so some of the tactical analysis is redundant, and instead relied on very specific situations which caused their early exit.

v Japan

Starting XI

While I don’t absolutely hate this starting XI, and this team created a lot of chances, there were a few issues:

Musiala being pushed to left wing due to Leroy Sane’s injury meant a lot of the world class Musiala that we had been seeing was wasted. What had been better was if he started Gnabry on left and either Jonas Hofmann/Julian Brandt or Karim Adeyemi on the right. The fact that Flick didn’t choose another left wing in his squad is something we’ll talk about later.

Kai Havertz as a number 9 despite not working being the best to hold up the ball in possession nor having any box presence was also not a great decision.

And finally, Niklas Süle at right back and Nico Schlotterbeck at CB. More the latter and the fact the latter pushes Süle as right-back. Schlotterbeck has not been in form for Dortmund, struggles in close ground 1v1 duels and his positioning has been suffering.

While these were the problems with the starting line, as said, there were still many chances to score, and at 1–0 the game was won. However what cost this game was Flick’s horrendous in-game management.

The taking off of Gündogan at 67 minutes before a second Germany goal was a fatal error. From Flick’s Bayern time, the double pivot of both Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich had been quite weak in terms of providing a competent rest defence with both pushing up. As soon as Goretzka came on for Gündogan, the balance…

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Jasmine Hahn

Scouting, recruitment & tactics analysis in men‘s football clubs. Cypriot-Tanzanian. AuDHD.