Everyone was determined, willing and ready to take on the dangerous journey to the venue - after the wave of illnesses the day before, that was the success story that national coach Hansi Flick was able to announce when he appeared in front of the audience in Frankfurt on Thursday and made the arrangements for explained the Nations League home game against Hungary. The game takes place in Leipzig and is scheduled for Friday evening at 8:45 p.m. But before the national team can step onto the pitch there in Saxony, they first had to deal with an opponent who has mastered almost as many treacherous tricks as the Hungarians, who have recently been marketed as the top European team. To make matters worse, most German players have little experience with difficulties such as "catenary damage", "malfunction in a signal box" or, particularly feared, "detour due to route closure".
The fact that the national football players took the train for three hours on Thursday instead of being transported by private jet as before was not the initiative of the team council. The travel technique of the DFB elite is the result of insight and adaptation to new social norms. A year ago, when Hansi Flick had just started his service, a plane was used to transfer from Stuttgart to Basel, and the DFB was widely criticized for this. In the meantime, the federation strives every day to meet the requirements of modern virtue, and that is why the expensive footballers now have to travel by train like everyone else.
Those involved came to terms with the arrangement without any audible protests, if necessary they would probably walk the 400 kilometers as long as they were given a personal ticket to the World Cup. A World Cup is "the greatest thing there is for every footballer," Gladbacher Jonas Hofmann has just stated as a representative of his species.
The coach Hansi Flick takes advantage of this longing by demonstratively letting it be known that his personnel planning for the tournament is far from over. He expects "a development from everyone" by the deadline for the final nomination for the World Cup, he emphasized on Thursday: "Everyone still has to work on themselves and screw up one or the other percentage point," explained Flick.
The problem is often the "final pass", which "often comes too late or not at all", says the national coach
A kind of circular will soon be sent out on the instructions of the national coach. The recipients are up to 50 players who Flick includes in the provisional World Cup squad, which is then reported to Fifa. The coach, as he expressly assured, wants to fully fill the framework set by the world association, perhaps in October some professionals who have not given it any thought can suddenly hope for the World Cup. According to Flick, each individual will be informed so that they are ready to depart for Arabia on November 14th. Until then, the list is at least open to followers. The actual tournament squad consists of 26 members, three men more than in previous tournaments.
Surprise guests are not only conceivable, but probable, and it is quite obvious that it should primarily be about a classic goalscorer. The problem of the national team is currently and probably also in the next few years in the middle of the attack, the crisis already begins with the lack of supplies, as Flick reported: "Those are the things that we see in training: we have very good goalkeepers, Central defenders, midfielders, a wide range of wingers. But the centre? We don't have that high quality there."
The trainer followed this observation with a sentence that sounded as if he had just become aware of the dangerous implications of his statement. "But we are very satisfied with Timo Werner," said Flick, adding another ambiguity: "It would be nice for him if he rewarded himself."
In the spring, the name Simon Terodde came into play - now there could be another Qatari surprise guest
The DFB-Elf has nine goals in four games Nations League scored, but five of them came from the home win against Italy. No goalscorers have been lost to Werner and Serge Gnabry at the moment, and Flick does not seem to be convinced of Lukas Nmecha from Wolfsburg. It wasn't Werner's fault, he insists instead: "He showed us that he's very dangerous." The problem is often the final pass to the top, which "often comes too late or not at all". Addressed are Thomas Müller, Leroy Sané or Jamal Musiala.
Timo Werner himself would also have a recommendation to make on the subject. Between all the fast guys buzzing around the penalty area, a permanent representative in the penalty area might be helpful from time to time, he says and makes a plea for the competitor: "If we had such a fixed point in front," said the Leipzig attacker, " who could also take high balls - why not?"
In the spring, Flick dropped the name Simon Terodde, 34, but the top scorer from the other promoted team currently seems to be arousing more DFB interest. As far as Niclas Füllkrug, 29, is concerned, the most successful German striker in the league, he “cannot answer yes or no,” explained Flick and at the same time showed a tendency towards yes: “It could well be that we take a player with us for a certain situation". Füllkrug has just dismissed the fact that he "doesn't want to philosophize about things that aren't there". But there is no need to doubt that any means of transport to Qatar would be fine with him.