HomeFootballThree observations from Germany’s late 2-1 victory against the Netherlands

Three observations from Germany’s late 2-1 victory against the Netherlands


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Germany’s performance was enough to distract fans from the debut of one of their most questionable away kits of all time.

Julian Nagelsmann seems to have found his formula

If you had to draft Germany’s strongest starting eleven on paper, chances are it would not look a lot like Nagelsmann’s in the last two games. Featuring a mix of names that casual football fans may never have heard of and players playing out of position, it was arguably one of the more average sides that Die Mannschaft has fielded in recent memory. That being said, it is a good thing football is not played on paper.

This German side has one trait that feels reminiscent of a meme that surfaced following the 2014 FIFA World Cup. It goes like this: “Argentina has Messi. Portugal has Ronaldo. Brazil has Neymar. Germany has a team.” It’s been a long time since Germany has looked so cohesive with a clear footballing identity.

Be it from the freshly spruced up squad or the 36-year-old Nagelsmann’s tactics, Germany is back to playing as a real team.

Maximilian Mittelstädt could be the answer to Germany’s long-standing left-back woes

It was not a great start for Maximillian Mittelstädt. The Stuttgart left-back gave the ball away in the fourth minute, ultimately leading to Joey Veerman’s opening goal for the Netherlands.

Mittelstädt did well to pick himself back up, scoring a wonderful, curling left-footed goal from the edge of the box to draw the game level at 1-1. He went on to cap a well rounded display, showing his competence in defence and attack.

It’s no secret that Germany has a gaping hole at left-back. Previous attempts to plug the position with the likes of David Raum and Benjamin Henrichs proved unsuccessful. However, with two solid performances under his belt, it looks like Nagelsmann has found his fill-in left-back in Maxi Mittelstädt.

Bayer Leverkusen and Stuttgart are doing Germany a favour

Not too long ago, one would be shocked to see a Germany line-up with fewer than five Bayern Munich players in it. While the lack of chances for in-form players from other teams frustrated some, it always made sense with Bayern consistently being the dominant team in Germany. In hindsight, it almost seems as if Bayern’s dominance, or rather, the lack of other title contenders could have been hurting the quality of Germany’s football.

Now fast forward to the last two games, where only two Bayern players (Joshua Kimmich and Jamal Musiala) cracked the starting line-up, Germany are playing the best football they have played in years. Now, this is in no way saying that Bayern players are to blame for Germany’s poor form in recent years. Rather, it is to suggest that the emergence of Leverkusen and Stuttgart has given Germany greater depth, quality and competence than they could muster in previous years.

Looking for more thoughts and analysis on Germany’s massive 2-1 win over the Netherlands and where things might be headed under Julian Nagelsmann? Then check out what Cyler and Chuck have to say on our Bavarian Podcast Works — Postgame Show, which is available on Spotify or below:

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