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Premature Germany World Cup Exit – A Shock or Not?

27 June 2018, Russia, Kazan: Soccer, FIFA World Cup, group F preliminary, Germany vs South Korea at the Kazan-Arena. Germany's Niklas Suele (l-r), Mario Gomez and Mats Hummels. Photo: Ina Fassbender/dpa (Photo by Ina Fassbender/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Wednesday 27th witnessed Germany crashing out of the World Cup in Russia, totally unexpected for many.

Has Germany’s premature exit really come at such a surprise though? Of course, the Germans are always particularly strong in international tournaments, with a track record which has seen them make it out of the group stages at an almost perfect rate. On top of that, let’s not forget they were the reigning World Cup Champions after winning the competition in Brazil, 2014.

However, this hasn’t looked like a German team which we all know and fear, there have been noticeable factors which have lead to them getting an early flight home. I assess these factors here…

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Poor performances

As simple as that. Joachim Low’s side had been very flat footed in Russia, showing little energy in any of their three group fixtures. Their lack of inspiration and chance creation resulted in them only managing two goals in the entire tournament, a number which is completely unheard of for the four-time World Cup winners.

Perhaps their performances correlate with individual players who have been suffering from poor seasons themselves? The likes of Mezut Ozil, Thomas Muller and Marco Reus all lead below par campaigns, and although this is largely due to injury, you have to question why such players were so heavily relied upon.

The Exclusion of Sane

This brings me to what was a total mystery leaving out arguably Germany’s hottest young talent. Leroy Sane enjoyed an emphatic season under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, scoring 14 goals and making 17 assists in all competitions. His lightning pace and everlasting work rate was evidently missed on the left hand side for Germany – only Joachim Low knows why he didn’t send Sane an invitation.

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The lack of creativity and natural left foot heaped added pressure on the German players, with the like of Reus and Draxler having very little space to maneuver crosses and often cutting in on the strong foot, making their offensive play far too predictable.


World Cup winning hangover?

Perhaps there was more than what met the eye with this German side. Although it’s always difficult to look past them it’s also quite forgivable that they may have been nursing a world cup winning hangover from 2014. Increasingly this has become a squad which we expect to win and deliver comfortably on the biggest stage of all – however maybe this has gone against them on this occasion? Pressure and expectation can become factors which prevent teams from performing and playing free flowing football.

Surely Germany will bounce back from this huge disappointment. Many will have had them down as favourites, but who will go on to win the World Cup now?

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