2018 FIFA World Cup: 3 takeaways from Germany's disastrous World Cup campaign
Germany suffered a humiliating exit from the FIFA World Cup after losing 2-0 to South Korea. Being the defending champions, they started their World Cup campaign with a loss to Mexico. Germany were slow and reactive in their first match and the opposition took full advantage of their slackness by defending deep and countering attacking them.
They escaped defeat in the second match against Sweden due to the heroics of Kroos and Reus. In that match, Germany looked an improved side but were far from their potential best. The German playmakers were quite ineffective in delivering the perfect final ball to their strikers who waited quite patiently for it.
In their decisive match against South Korea, they were unable to score a goal despite having all their strikers on the field in the second-half. The German attackers were sadly unable to convert goal-scoring opportunities and lacked the venom required from world-class strikers in decisive moments.
On the other hand, the German defenders were slow and couldn't effectively stop an opponent's counter attack. After their early exit, the German players will have to go back to the drawing board and deeply introspect about what has gone wrong. Let us look at 3 major takeaways from their campaign:
#3 German defence was exposed to counter-attacks
The German defense was very slow, reactive instead of proactive and was left exposed during opposition's counter-attacks throughout the group stage. They weren't strong in dealing with pacy wingers who got past Boateng, Hummels, and Rudiger very easily. The wing-backs were also sloppy as Kimmich couldn't cover the ground quickly to come back and help out his central defenders.
Against Mexico, the dribbling skills and extreme pace of Lozano was no match for him. The German defensive midfielders especially Sami Khedira was ineffective and isolated himself on the pitch. Every team in the group took advantage of this weakness including South Korea in their match today.
The German defenders will have to deeply introspect and sort out this problem very quickly.