One of the perennial favorites every four years, Die Mannschaft begins its 2022 campaign against potential dark horse Japan in Al Rayyan on the back of a frustrating run of form that has culminated in a narrow 1-0 win against Oman in a warm-up friendly earlier tonight.
A late second-half goal from substitute Niclas Füllkrug was the sole difference-maker on the night for Hansi Flick’s men, and though his late strike will do wonders for his chances of playing a key role for his country in the absence of the injured Timo Werner, questions have already begun to be asked as to whether or not Germany will have what it takes to exercise the demons of four years ago that saw them crash out at the group stage in Russia.
For Flick, though, the former Bayern Munich manager urges calm after what he deemed a result that achieved it’s intended purpose.
“We deliberately chose this game here to get used to the temperatures. We’ve only trained one day and wanted to see one or two more here. Others have seen the game as a break and as regeneration, it’s all okay. The game has served its purpose.”
“The duels were not what we want for the World Cup, but you have to have understanding,” the German coach explained. “The players also didn’t want to take any risk of getting injured.”
Germany comes into Qatar on the back of a frustrating Nations League campaign that saw them finish behind both Italy and improved Hungary outfit - neither of whom are set to feature in the World Cup - while managing just one win in six group matches as many have begun to wonder what is to become of one of the games most dominant countries amid continuing struggles regardless of the wealth of talent on offer.
With Japan a week away, Flick will have to dig deep to find answers if Germany is to start on the right foot before a second group stage match against Spain.