Embolo show and open to Italy! The national team is convincing in Lithuania over long stretches and remains well-deserved on the course for the World Cup even without Captain Granit Xhaka, who is injured in the knee. Also because the duo Remo Freuler / Djibril Sow does a really good job in the central midfield.
So good that SRF commentary Sascha Ruefer was tempted to say in the second half when the score was 3-0: “But even today I say it very openly: I don’t miss Xhaka.” Then he adds: “Of course, playing with him is even better, but you don’t miss him. The Swiss have found solutions to this problem. We take a deep breath. “
SRF commentator Sascha Ruefer: “I don’t miss Xhaka”(00:28)
“That would be nonsense!”
Is Ruefer right about that? National team coach Murat Yakin reacts “irritated by this statement” and states: “We need everyone in their condition. Everyone has good moments. Granit has shown that he is important to the team at all times. You have to respect that too. This statement is absolutely out of place. “
Blick-Kick expert Markus Babbel agrees. The former German international and Liverpool star says: “I can understand Yakin’s anger: it’s not proper!” And he adds: “You can’t hang the games against Northern Ireland and Lithuania too high without Xhaka now. To say now that Xhaka is actually no longer needed would be too premature. And it doesn’t do justice to a deserving player like Granit, either. That would be nonsense! “
“Xhaka will have a hard time”
Switzerland is not yet ready to do without a player like Xhaka, said Babbel. Nonetheless, he understands the approach of Ruefer, who in turn explains to Blick that it is not about criticizing Xhaka, but about the fact that the Swiss game also works “when granite is not there”.
Babbel is impressed with the choice of alternatives in the central midfield. Freuler, Sow and Denis Zakaria, who came into play in the last two games, “don’t have to hide at all”. Babbel emphasizes: “I am a friend of challenges: Xhaka’s failure was and is an opportunity for others. Xhaka will have a hard time when he comes back. Sure, he’s a captain. But he now knows that there are others who play strong. “
And the European champion from 1996 also says: “From the outside, I think that his absence was not a big loss for the national team from a sporting point of view. On the other hand, as a personality! “
For the upcoming final in Rome against group leader Italy with the same number of points, Babbel does not see black for Rotweiss: “Except they play like at the EM (0: 3, editor). That was too scared! But I trust them that they will now make a top performance. The national team is on the right track. I congratulate Murat Yakin on an excellent start! »