World Cup 2018: 5 German stars who should be dropped from the national team
The seemingly impossible has happened: defending champions Germany are out of the World Cup.
Given the recent history of defending champions being thrashed in the group stages of the World Cup (France in 2002, Italy in 2010, Spain in 2014), the German team led by the abominably bad Joachim Low failed to heed this trend and were deservedly dumped out of the tournament.
Despite winning the tournament in 2014, it has become clear over the last couple of years that there is something missing with Die Mannschaft as too many players have kept their places in the team based on reputation and not on form (ditto for former champions France, Italy and Spain).
The dynamism and inventiveness of the 2010-2014 group seem to have been replaced by a possession-heavy, slow and ponderous style of play that was eerily reminiscent of Spain's disastrous title defence under Vicente Del Bosque four years ago.
Despite the showing of the young group at last year's Confederations Cup, the 58-year-old Low failed to devise a new formation or evolve tactics to fit in these players despite the obvious need for a refresh show the need for the manager to be let go.
Given the talent available, here are 5 players in the current squad that should be left out of the national setup until their form improves:
#5 Mats Hummels
Hummels has been one of the best centre-backs in the world for the better part of the last decade. However, signs of a decline have begun to show in the 29-year-old's play for his club: Bayern Munich in the last couple of years.
The intelligence, aerial ability, and intelligence to read the game and study all around him are still there but the agility. pace and finely honed nose for danger have been looking pretty shaky for the better part of 2 seasons now.
While his case at the World Cup has not been helped by the absence of a defensive midfielder to help screen the opposition, his lack of pace has been shown up terribly in all the games Germany played at Russia 2018.
His loss of pace was severely exploited by all three group opponents: Mexico, Sweden and South Korea and he should be left out of the team until his club form picks up. With the likes of Kevin Vogt, Jonathan Tah, and Antonio Rudiger around, the next Die Mannschaft manager will not be short of options