The national coach is continuously confronted with questions about a possible return of the attacker from Bayern. Wrongly, says Chillreport columnist Berti Vogts – because he can do without Müller.
National coach Joachim Löw wants to look into the future with his national team, but the past keeps catching up with him. So also on Thursday evenings. After the bitter 1: 1 against Spain He was asked – not for the first time – in a TV interview about a possible DFB return of the brand new three-time winner Thomas Müller, whom he selected in March 2019 together with Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels.
I would like Löw to be left alone with the Müller case – but that is an illusion.
Photo series with 14 photos
A return of Müller would be a danger to Low
Because of course Müller is one of the best German attacking players we have right now. On the other hand, Löw has a clear plan – apparently without Müller – for the future. And also the luxury of being able to do without top players like him without immediately getting stomach cramps. Because Low doesn’t need him. He has a pool of young, very talented attacking players such as Leroy Sané, Kai Havertz, Timo Werner and Serge Gnabry, whom he trusts and who he trusts. And I think that’s the way to go too. Because I can empathize with Löw’s current situation.
Thomas Müller after winning the Champions League final with FC Bayern: The attacker is a constant topic of conversation. (Source: Image Images)
In 1998, I found myself in a similar situation when I nominated Lothar Matthäus, an older player who hadn’t been around for a long time, for the World Cup. We played a bad tournament and were eliminated in the quarter-finals against Croatia. In the end, everyone shot at me, the national team manager, and questioned my decision about Matthew. It wasn’t just because of Lothar that we were kicked out of the tournament. The team effort just wasn’t right.
Loew would threaten the same if he brought Müller back. Imagine: what if the national team with Löw and Müller is eliminated early next year? Was it still a smart move to get the 31-year-old back on the team? I do not think so. And therein lies a great danger, especially for Low. Should he make himself vulnerable without really having to?
Gosens impressed me
But the national coach should not worry too much about the Müller case. Rather, the focus should be on successfully planning a good tournament in the year ahead – and he is currently restructuring his new team accordingly.
There are three newcomers in the squad for the matches against Spain and Switzerland: Robin Gosens, Florian Neuhaus and Oliver Baumann. I would like to say something about all three footballers.
I have to admit it was the first time I saw him play football against Spain, but he really turned me on. His fun, his effort, the tough duels – Gosens impressed me. And above all, he showed his fellow defenders how to tackle an international match: hard, passionate and with enthusiasm. Süle, Rüdiger and Kehrer should take Gosens as an example. Because sometimes I missed the unconditional will against Spain with them. If Gosens continues like this, he has a good chance of remaining an integral part of the team.
Gosens (r.) In Spain’s match against Dani Carvajal. The debutant prepared the 1-0 via Timo Werner. (Source: Eibner / Image Images)
As a Gladbacher I of course have it on the slip and I really enjoy watching it at Borussia. In the national team, however, he currently has no chance to fight for a place in the regular eleven. Gündogan and especially Kroos are so experienced and good that Neuhaus can’t keep up. But it is good for him to be there and get to know the other national players. Neuhaus is a man for the future.
Florian Neuhaus (center) during training with the national team: The newcomer has not yet played against Spain. (Source: Sport photo Rudel / image images)
As a goalkeeper, he naturally benefits from the fact that Neuer and Ter Stegen are currently not there. But I can understand that Löw has just chosen him: Baumann is a team player and has great leadership qualities. That can help the team, especially during the absence of the Bayern block. During training, at breakfast and on the couch.
Goalkeeper Oliver Baumann: In the absence of Manuel Neuer and Marc-André ter Stegen, Hoffenheim was nominated. (Source: Sport photo Rudel / image images)
The next challenge for the German national team in the Nations League is on Sunday with the game against Switzerland. I am especially excited to see if the German offensive can prove once again that experienced players like Müller are not really necessary. It worked well against Spain: Werner scored a goal and Sané also played a good game until he was substituted. It would be best if these young forwards shine again – because only with regular top performances in the circle of the national team can you make the tedious discussion about the handpicked World Cup heroes of 2014 superfluous at some point.
And that is exactly what I wish for this team – and especially our national coach.