Dietmar Hamann claims “unprofessionalism and arrogance” has seeped into Germany’s ranks as he predicted that Hansi Flick’s side would face elimination from the group stage at the World Cup.
The former international midfielder doubts Germany will take over Spain in Sunday’s second round of Group E and suspects another disappointment will prove fatal after a shock defeat to Japan.
Hamann described Antonio Rüdiger’s behavior as typical of Germany’s approach to the game against Japan, stating that the moment the defender took the ball out of play after a strange high knee run was disrespectful.
It happened when Germany were 1-0 up but they lost 2-1 on Wednesday, a stunning result almost on par with Saudi Arabia’s shock victory over Argentina.
“It was a symptom of the unprofessionalism and arrogance in the German game, as well as disrespect that could not be surpassed because he made the opponent look ridiculous,” Hamann said of the Rüdiger moment.
Reviewing the team from all angles in his Sky Sport Germany column, Hamann also described Germany as “too bland, too pleasant and too repetitive”, stating that Japan was the more prepared side, and said of Flick’s players, “I never had the feeling that there was a team on the field.
He spared Jamal Musiala the criticism, but Hamann said Germany management “decided to put harmony above all else” in preparation for the tournament, arguing that veteran defender Mats Hummels should not have been left out of Flick’s squad, pointing to the defender as a player who “takes responsibility”.
“You need friction! This creates incentives. I feel like we are dying in beauty,” said Hamann.
“I expect Japan to beat Costa Rica on Sunday. A draw with Spain will probably not be enough. You should probably win, but I don’t see it.”
The Spaniards beat Costa Rica 7-0 on Wednesday, a measure of La Roja’s prowess that should keep German minds focused.
Hamann also suspects that Germany has been put off by the controversy over the OneLove armbands, a non-discriminatory gesture that FIFA has insisted teams not wear. Instead, the German players were photographed before the game with their hands over their mouths, showing that they had been gagged.
“Players can’t fix what federations couldn’t do before. They came to Qatar to play football, which may not be an excuse, but certainly a distraction,” wrote Hamann. “The last few days have been more about the bandage than Japan. It certainly didn’t help.”