After a disappointing performance from the Germans, GGFN take a look at how the players fared in their opening game of the World Cup 2018 which became their first opening loss in a World Cup since 1982 and their first competitive loss since the semi-final against France at Euro 2016.
Manuel Neuer – 6.5
Manuel Neuer’s return was good. He made no mistakes, did what he could and saved the Germans on a few occasions. Some may claim that he should have saved Hirving Lozano’s goal at his near post but overall, a good performance from the Bayern Munich stopper.
Joshua Kimmich – 4
It’s very simple and populistic to say that Joshua Kimmich was at fault when Lozano scored that fateful goal in the 35thminute, but there’s something to it. He was way too attacking, even more than normal and he tried to overload on the right flank as he tends to do. The difference here was that he didn’t have any cover, so he was left exposed. Both his fault and not his fault at the same time. Going forward he was OK. He had a few dangerous crosses, but his attacking performance was overshadowed by the acres of space he left behind.
Mats Hummels – 5
Not the best of performances, but still decent from the big and outspoken leader. He was often left with Jerome Boateng when Mexico countered and he couldn’t do anything about their goal. Should have fixed things, as a leader he should be communicating with Kimmich and Sami Khedira.
Jerome Boateng – 5
Just a minimal tad better than Hummels, one of the most stable players on the pitch. Did what he could and that sadly wasn’t enough. The goal was not his fault, but his attacking contribution was more than questionable. He took strange shots with his left foot that left many Germans wondering what was wrong with him.
Marvin Plattenhardt – 4.5
Didn’t realise he was playing, which was probably a good thing this time around. Didn’t make too mistakes and had a decent partnership with Julian Draxler.
Toni Kroos – 4
Strange performance from the ever-reliable Toni Kroos, a player that tends to consistently drop “masterclasses”. Kroos, one of the best midfielders Germany has ever seen, had limited support from Mesut Özil and Khedira and was often left to his own devices. However, when given support he didn’t do too well and often made the incorrect decision. Very unlike him.
Sami Khedira – 1.5
Sorry, but Khedira was probably the worst player on the pitch and this was the worst performance a German has produced in a tournament since… well, a long time at least. Khedira’s work rate seemed gone and his passing range was limited. He looked stressed, nervous and out of touch with his own reality. When Kimmich advanced, as he often does, Khedira should have covered for him at right back by standing in the half-space between lines. He didn’t do this and instead took part in Germany’s attacks, which left the right flank open for bombardment.
Thomas Müller – 1.5
Where was Thomas Müller? I have never seen him this invisible and out of touch. You could probably have counted his ball contacts on your hands and feet while his impact on the game was not even limited, it was non-existent. Odd performance by a player who’s used to taking games by the scruff of the neck.
Mesut Özil – 4
Once again, very populistic and simple to blame it all on Özil, something many pundits tend to do. His attitude certainly doesn’t help him, but he does work extremely hard for the team. Once again covered lots of ground and tracked back when Khedira didn’t, which was on numerous occasions. He had to adopt a different role due to Khedira, making him limited. However, Özil was the main outlet and created several chances with his line-splitting passes and generational vision.
Julian Draxler – 6
Draxler was good and was probably the only attacking player to perform on par with what was expected from him. His tricky technique became an outlet and his diagonal passes were what made the Mexican defence split so that Özil could find chances. Intelligent player and created some chances with his signature move- cut in from the left and look for a shot or a pass.
Timo Werner – 4.5
To be fair, the Germans didn’t play to his strengths. Werner flourishes with balls on the ground and through balls but the Germans quickly tried to cross the ball. He didn’t do much, but created one chance for himself, which he missed. Did they mistake him for Sandro Wagner or Mario Gomez in this situation when teams defend deep? Perhaps.
By Axel Falk.