National team: Just don’t hold the ball flat – Löw should trust Plan M.

Dhe former national coach Jürgen Klinsmann put his successor Joachim Löw under pressure a few days ago with the sentence: “It is always our aim to become world or European champion. It’s our tradition and corresponds to the quality of our players. ”Is he right?

At first glance, yes. The DFB staff, who are currently preparing for the European Championship, even includes an old sniper: a giant with whom you can win tournaments, strong in the ball, with punch and killer instinct, in short: ice cold in front of the opposing goal. He has proven it sustainably, in a European Championship final. The German team was 0: 1 behind, when the giant came off the bench as a crowbar, quickly held his head towards the 1: 1, then another shot from the turn to 2: 1, and we were European champions.

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Golden Goal: Pressed by Czech defender Karel Rada, striker Oliver Bierhoff pulls out of the turn and scores to win

Source: dpa / Oliver Berg

But now the bad news: It’s Oliver Bierhoff. He is now the manager of the team, 25 years older, and that’s why it’s probably just a rumor that Löw is said to have said to him the other day: “Change your clothes, Olli, we need you again.”

All matches, dates and results can be found in our 2021 European Championship schedule.

Instead, the national coach picked up his cell phone and called a 28-year-old who made his last international match five years ago and was considered missing on the Côte d’Azur, at AS Monaco. Kevin Volland picked up the receiver, and in “BamS” he has now revealed that the next moment he thought: “Yes, how cool is that!”

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Volland expected everything, just not his comeback. However, he now suspects what Löw basically misses and apparently sees in him – an alternative “in the sense of the breaker, the central attacker”.

That is missing. Gone are the days of the classic storm peaks, who plunged head first into the fray, set off to brilliant fall retreats, ice-cold dusters and tough headed torpedoes and kept their opponents in suspense under the pseudonyms “penalty area fright”, “storm tank” or “clippers”. No more toilets, no Klinsmann, no Völler, no Bierhoff. At most, we still dream of it, like at the 2018 World Cup. “Back then,” says Bierhoff, “we thought we had enough quality and strength to turn every game.” But the only striker they had was Mario Gomez, and he wasn’t more Mario Gomez.

The fans want Müller – they know why

And now? The “Kicker”, the specialist organ of German football, asked the people about their ideal team, and on the “Central attack” position, the vote was overwhelming: 71.8 percent voted for Thomas Müller. The man who lurks in the second line behind the sniper Lewandowski at Bayern should go to the front.

sport/mobile231629193/8957936497-coriginal-wWIDTH/Deutschland-Daenemark.jpg" data-srcset=" 1.0x" media="(min-width: 910px)">sport/mobile231629193/8957936497-coriginal-wWIDTH/Deutschland-Daenemark.jpg" data-srcset=" 1.0x" media="(min-width: 600px)">sport/mobile231629193/8957936497-coriginal-wWIDTH/Deutschland-Daenemark.jpg" data-srcset=" 1.0x">Back in the national team: Thomas Müller (left) celebrated his comeback in the DFB selection against Denmark

Back in the national team: Thomas Müller (left) celebrated his comeback in the DFB selection against Denmark

Source: dpa

We Germans get nostalgic in times of need, we have to waste again. The other day, when Lewandowski attacked the 40-goal record of his great Bayern predecessor, we thought of those glorious times when our old bomber of the nation performed his autobiographical hit: “Then it boom, yes and then it crashes, and everything screams: The Müller does it! “

He struck in the penalty area and never got lost on the wings. Müller waited for ricochets and ricochets, nothing else, and the fans begged in letters to the editor: “As far as I am concerned, he can pluck his chest hair for 89 minutes in the penalty area, the main thing is that he scores the goal.” That is how we became European champions in 1972 . And 1974 world champion.

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World Cup goalscorer: Gerd Müller after the 2-1 win in the 1974 final in Munich with national coach Helmut Schön

Source: dpa / Karl Schnörrer

And when Müller quit, national coach Helmut Schön knew what to do: In the EM semifinals in 1976 it was 1: 2 against Yugoslavia shortly before the end, so he replaced another Müller, the Cologne debutant Dieter Müller, and it opened up Blow. 2: 2 Müller. 3: 2 Müller. 4: 2 Müller.

That’s how it used to be. Plan M (like Müller) always worked. Plan B (like crowbar and Bierhoff) also often led to the goal – or plan H: high up on Hrubesch. From the right, the accomplice Kaltz shot the headball monster Horst Hrubesch, and he explained it to the microphone like this: “Manni Banana, I head – goal.” The flanks flew around the opponents’ ears like crooked tropical fruits, often from left as in the penultimate minute in the 1980 European Championship final: Rummenigge crossed, and Hrubesch brought his two meters and two hundredweight into position and heaved the round into the square.

When the going gets tough, only wrecking balls can help against defensive walls. At the 1970 World Cup, the English were already 2-0 up, but the back of Uwe Seeler’s head still settled everything. Whenever the air got thin, someone went up in the air. The coaching guru Dettmar Cramer is said to have even calculated for his Bayern stars how high the ball can be flanked into the penalty area before snow remains on him.

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Today there is hardly any fuel. You keep the ball flat. “We can play anything,” said young star Kai Havertz these days, “in today’s football you generally have to be flexible.” They play well, with a neat flat pass, possession football. Pep Guardiola invented it, in any case the Spaniard is considered the grave digger of the pendulum headers and the storm tanks, his magical dwarves around Lionel Messi in Barcelona preferred to let the ball circulate at the height of the turf. “Play flat, win high” was the new philosophy. Jens Lehmann once described the consequences well when he was still a TV expert (“We are no longer producing strikers”) – and Löw now has to face these consequences: While the German opponents France and Portugal are still with the calibers Benzema and Ronaldo in March the EM, Löw only has wrong nines.

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sport/mobile231622243/6462508017-ci102l-wWIDTH/Kevin-Prince-Boateng.jpg" data-srcset=" 1.0x" media="(min-width: 600px)">sport/mobile231622243/6462508017-ci102l-wWIDTH/Kevin-Prince-Boateng.jpg" data-srcset=" 1.0x">Kevin-Prince Boateng

How it can end has been known since 2018: They played nicely across the board until, as Ralf Rangnick said sadly, “at some point they noticed: The game is over and we haven’t scored a goal yet”. If necessary, Plan M must be tried again.

All matches, dates and results can be found in our 2021 European Championship schedule.



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