Sunday November 14th 2021
Without twelve players in Armenia
Flick has to try something new out of necessity
The World Cup qualification is certain, Hansi Flick has already made the best start for a national coach – and yet there is still one task at the end of the year. In Armenia, Flick is challenged to show the DFB-Elf a few alternatives. If only because so many players are missing.
Hansi Flick gathered his national players with a loud whistle and then swore them in a lengthy speech in the Wolfsburg drizzle on the last business trip of the year. “We want to end the year with a win,” said the national coach before the sportingly insignificant World Cup qualifier on Sunday (6 p.m. / RTL and in the live ticker at ntv.de) in Armenia.
Flick has to improvise in Yerevan. Twelve players are eliminated from his original squad due to corona, injuries, stress control and bans.
Yesterday, Saturday, three goalkeepers and 16 field players got on the plane in Hanover. “The team that is there deserves our absolute trust,” emphasized Flick, who wants to expand his start record to seven wins in a row.
At the same time, he sees the encounter as an opportunity for the players from the second row. “It can also happen at a tournament that one or the other is banned or missed. That is why alternatives are important,” said Flick, referring to the winter World Cup in Qatar in a year.
In Yerevan, Marc-Andre ter Stegen will replace the spared Manuel Neuer in goal. In the defensive midfield, İlkay Gündoğan and Florian Neuhaus should prove themselves in the absence of the seeded Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka. For Flick, “very, very valuable” Thomas Müller will lead the DFB selection in his 110th international match as captain on the pitch.
Gündogan is hearing secret praise again
There is still a small question mark behind Thilo Kehrer’s commitment. The defensive player from Paris St. Germain is plagued by slight calf problems, during the final training he only completed one running unit. “It’s planned, but we’re not taking any chances,” said Flick.
For the four-time world champion, the short trip to Armenia should be just another stop on the way to the big goal. His team had made “good steps” in the past few weeks and months, stressed Flick: “But we are not yet at the quality that we would like to see.”
But after two bitter tournament disappointments under Flick’s predecessor Joachim Löw, the German football flagship is back on track. “The last few months with Hansi have been very nice,” said DFB director Oliver Bierhoff. In an interview with the editorial network Germany (RND), Gündoğan said that “Hansi Flick really got a kick out of it”: “A few days ago a teammate at City whispered to me that he was expecting us at the World Cup. That shows me that they have us on the slip. “
However, the opponents in the World Cup qualification were on a manageable level. The Armenians around the ex-Dortmund Henrich Mchitarjan were overrun in the furious 6-0 in the first leg. But the streak of success has a positive effect on self-confidence. “A lot is possible under Hansi Flick. The goal has to be in order to play the title. Hansi is the right man there,” said Christian Günter from Freiburg.