World Cup 2018: 5 players responsible for Germany's elimination
It is fair to say that Germany had a disastrous 2018 World Cup. They failed to advance to the knockout stages for the first time in World Cup history. They finished bottom of their group and scored their record fewest goals in a World Cup campaign.
The defending champions were off to a horrendous start. In their bid to win back-to-back World Cups, they were first shocked by Mexico who handed them a 1-0 defeat. In their second game against Sweden, it took a Toni Kroos miracle to scrape their way to victory while in their third and final game, a struggling Asian side sent them packing. The four-time champions conceded 2 goals in injury time to South Korea, knowing well that a 1-0 victory would have done the job.
The media will find plenty of reasons to explain how the unbelievable chain of events unfolded. Some will blame Coach Joachim Löw's decision to leave out Sane from the 23- men squad while some will accuse him of leaving out an experienced Thomas Muller for the must-win game against the Taeguk Warriors.
Despite these poor decisions, the squad had a more than able 23 players and an even better starting 11 to defend their title. Some players just didn't find their rhythm. Without much ado, we look at 5 such players who had a terrible 2018 World Cup:
#5 Timo Werner
A harsh addition to the list, agreed. However, it wouldn't be too harsh to say that the RB Leipzig striker's performance was subpar for a top-quality side like Germany.
The 22-year-old was frustrated by Mexico’s unbreakable defensive line in his first World Cup game. His involvement was very limited. In the second game, he was starved of quality service. Often drifting off to the left, Werner didn’t find enough good positions as a front-line striker. He just couldn't find the final pass or finish despite his immaculate movements.
Overall, Timo participated more in the build-up as a result of which his chances on goal were limited. In the must-win game, he had 16 touches inside the box without a single shot on target. He tried a number of shots but repeatedly found a South Korean body flung in the way and consequently he exited the tournament without a goal. He failed to gobble up the half-decent chances he got. His hold up play wasn't up to scratch either.