Speaking at a press conference in preparation for Germany’s first international friendly against Japan, Kai Havertz spoke about the lack of support the German national team has received as of late.
During the press conference, Havertz was critical of the fans for their lack of support in Qatar at the end of last year: “We had no support. There were also other reasons for this, we understand that. But there was also no support in terms of football. We were on our own.” The 24-year-old added: “This is important because it also gives strength. What other teams had for support, that was a bit missing from us. It is always said that the fans are the twelfth man. We didn’t always feel that one hundred percent.”
Since Hansi Flick replaced Joachim Low as Germany’s coach, the team has heavily underperformed. Since their group stage exit in Qatar, Germany have only won one friendly against Peru. This is particularly a cause for concern as it is less than a year until Germany hosts the European Championships next summer.
The national team is currently experiencing a variety of issues, such as a lack of quality in the full-back areas as well as a lack of a world-class striker. This has resulted in Niclas Füllkrug being used as the number nine for Germany and although he has performed well, he is not the type of striker that could lead the line of a team that wishes to progress deep into the international competitions.
Germany opens their international break against Japan in Wolfsburg on Saturday before then facing World Cup runners-up France next Tuesday in Dortmund. If Germany fails to improve on previous international break performances this could be the end of Flick’s time as coach.
GGFN | Jack Meenan