What is Mats Hummels doing?
Almost exactly, when the German national football team had to accept their first, but bitter defeat in the European Championship qualifier late Friday evening, a 2: 4 (1: 0) against the Netherlands, wrote in 2014 from the DFB selection sorted out world champion of 2014 on Instagram: "Great test today in Cottbus in a special atmosphere, thanks Energie Cottbus and all the fans who were in the stadium."
Hummels played on Friday with his club Borussia Dortmund a friendly match with the Regionallisten in Lausitz. And if it is clear that the defender can write all his tweets and also be a strategist next to the field, he quickly develops a fantasy that in this short message and their timing may be a hidden message to find: While you're at the DFB Now discussing defensive calamity and wondering if you are stable enough for an EM, I play here in the Football Province - and feel good about it.
Actually they had hoped after the World Cup debacle of Russia and the delayed change at the German Football Association (DFB), slowly being back a bit who in international football. Prior to the match against the Netherlands, DFB director Oliver Bierhoff had said that Germany was not in the top spot of the Fifa World Ranking list (ranking 15th behind Denmark and Chile), but "in a way". However, the 2: 4 against the archrival and the nature of the emergence of this defeat now stir new doubts - especially on their own defenses.
14 picturesDFB defeat in the European Championship qualification: defeat to the Netherlands
For the fourth time the DFB-Elf has now played within a year against the resurgent Holland. Altogether Löws team conceded eleven goals (there was a 0: 3, a 2: 2, a 3: 2 and now a 2: 4). Twice they gave the victory after their own leadership still out of hand. Four goals were scored on Friday and they fell to some remarkably curious faux pas.
Jonathan Tah was wrong in the 1-1 equalizer of Frenkie de Jong and so grazed past the flank into space. The 1: 2 was an own goal of the Leverkusen center-back, which can always happen, but this evening joined in an otherwise unfortunate overall impression of Tah. The 2: 3 central defender Matthias Ginter headed with a bad pass without hardship. And the 2: 4 could have prevented Tah with a more courageous intervention on his own penalty area against Memphis yet. "These are mistakes that you can not afford against Holland," said Löw and found that his team had played under their own "technical possibilities".
Germany should now urgently win on Monday in the next European Championship qualifier against the undefeated league leaders Northern Ireland in Belfast (20:45, Liveticker SPIEGEL, TV: RTL), not to count in the race for one of the first two places in Group C: A possibly necessary direct comparison with Holland, the team by the 2: 4 lost (first leg: 3: 2).
"Not mature enough yet"
Already at the 2018 World Cup was a reason for the preliminary round-off the defensive instability. This was not so much the quality of the center-backs, but rather the lack of balance between offensive and defensive protection. Löw had tried to fix that in Russia, and now he is in a similar orientation to what he would have been at the 2010 World Cup: to counter from a compact defensive.
But his team seems to be only stable against opponents of Belarus (2: 0) and Estonia (8: 0) as in June. Against heavier opponents such as the Netherlands, who have current and future world stars like Virgil van Dijk and de Jong, against which one recognizes the still general vulnerability of the German team on bad days. "We showed today that we are not mature enough," said midfielder Joshua Kimmich.
15 picturesDFB team in the individual review: Strangely unstable
But if it does not work well enough even with a five-line in defense as against Oranje, then there are discussions about the strategy. "We had weak points not because of tactical bias, but because of mistakes we made," Loew said. And if Tah and Ginter are responsible for such Bredouillen and the only alternative that plays in a European top club, is still in the build-up training (Antonio Rüdiger from Chelsea FC), then it will be only a matter of time until anyone the return of the evicted Hummels calls in the DFB camp. After disembarking the 30-year-old had shown strong performances at Bayern in the past second half and after his move to BVB mentioned in an interview that he certainly dreams of being allowed to accumulate again in the national team jersey.
For Löw, this is not an option. The upheaval will not break the 59-year-old with such a reactivation. And it would be the wrong signal too. Loew had already said before the Dutch game that he was basically convinced that his team had made progress, "but we have to show it consistently". Now he responded to the concerns about the weak defenses with great serenity: He sees no fundamental quality deficiencies in the defense. "But these are young players like Tah and Niklas Süle who still have to learn," said Löw.
And maybe it is with the German national football team in September 2019 as well as with Forrest Gump, the life and the box of chocolates: You never know what you will get. "We have a young team," said 30-year-old Toni Kroos, "it can go this way and that".
Germany - Netherlands 2: 4 (1: 0)
1: 0 Gnabry (9th)
1: 1 De Jong (59.)
1: 2 Tah (own goal, 65.)
2: 2 Kroos (Handelfmeter, 73.)
2: 3 times (79.)
2: 4 Wijnaldum (90. + 1)
Germany: New - Tah, Sule, Ginter (84th Brandt) - Schulz, Kroos, Kimmich, Klostermann - Werner (61st Havertz), Reus (61st Gundogan), Gnabry
Netherlands: Cillesses - Blind, Van Dijk, De Ligt, Dumfries (58th Pröpper) - Wijnaldum, De Jong, De Roon (58th time) - Babel (81st Aké), Depay, Promes
Referee: Soares Dias (Portugal)
Yellow cards: Kimmich / Depay, De Roon, De Jong