Questions over the future direction of the German national team continue to crop up in the aftermath of another disappointing World Cup after Hansi Flick’s Nationalelf was ousted from Qatar during the group stage in consecutive tournaments after a repeat of the catastrophe that was Russia 2018.
And with the inquest already underway amid rampant criticism, the news that national team sporting director and former German international striker Olivier Bierhoff prematurely stepped down from his post has now caused fresh questions regarding whether or not Flick may be next.
In parting remarks, Bierhoff commented “I am clearing the way for a new direction. That’s why I’m not leaving without necessary self-criticism. Over the past four years, we haven’t managed to build on earlier successes and give the fans reason to cheer again. Some decisions we were convinced of have not turned out to be the right ones. No one regrets that more than I do. I take responsibility for that.”
Though Flick has received full support from the Deutscher Fußball-Bund (DFB) in the wake of the disaster in Qatar, his relationship with Bierhoff is now under the microscope as the pair were in a position to cooperatively push Germany forward on the international stage. With Bierhoff now gone, whether or not the former Champions League-winning manager with Bayern Munich is now thought to come with stipulations according to German outlet Der Spiegel, relayed by iMiaSanMia.
In a relationship akin to a club-level relationship between sporting director and manager, Bierhoff’s unexpected departure could have serious consequences if Flick is unable to have a credible say in who his successor is for the current vacancy, which would then potentially throw the national team into chaos in terms of who the DFB could turn to should Flick walk out of his post.
At the time of writing, only Thomas Tuchel would offer a manager with an appropriate CV and managerial pedigree to be approached for the Germany job, with the likes of Jürgen Klopp and Julian Nagelsmann all deeply embedded in their positions at Anfield and Allianz Arena respectively.
If the DFB wants to avoid unexpected upheaval, acquiescence to Flick’s requests would certainly be prudent.