Andreas Möller sees the substitution of Ilkay Gündogan as the main reason for the 2-1 defeat of the German national soccer team at the World Cup in Qatar against Japan. “The heart of every team is a compact midfield. Gündogan and Kimmich stood for more than an hour. We refused this heart the oxygen supply after an hour,” wrote the former world and European champion in kicker.

The substitutions of Gündogan and Thomas Müller (67th each) “became a boomerang for Germany,” said Möller. In addition, the DFB-Elf lacked the gall: “Up front when exploiting good chances, at the back in the decisive duel situations, where we missed the previously praised ‘German virtues’! That’s not possible at a World Cup, and certainly not at the first appearance. (…) In this respect we are too soft.”

For the now decisive game against Spain on Sunday, “you can’t knock everything over. But something has to happen in the defensive area, in the compactness”. The problems are not new, but the fact that the DFB selection is so vulnerable “exceeded my imagination,” wrote Möller.

“Fight, bite, don’t lose an inch is the motto against Spain, without these virtues we will have to say goodbye to the tournament,” the 55-year-old concluded his analysis.

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