- Former RB Leipzig and Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann was named the new head coach of the German national team last month.
- He will lead Die Mannschaft at Euro 2024, with Germany playing as the host nation.
- Nagelsmann replaced Hansi Flick following a dreadful run of form after the 2022 World Cup.
Nagelsmann has become the second youngest head coach of Germany after he was appointed at the end of September. He was relieved of his duties as Bayern Munich coach back in March after less than two seasons in charge.
However, the 36-year-old will now look to revive a weak Germany side who have struggled ever since lifting the 2014 World Cup. Die Mannschaft failed to qualify out of Group E during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and Flick failed to restore parity after the tournament.
Germany had won just two of their seven friendlies this year prior to Nagelsmann’s arrival, suffering defeats against Belgium, Poland, Colombia and Japan. Now, Nagelsmann will attempt to revive a nation that is desperate for a return to success, especially with them hosting Euro 2024.
Let’s take a look at how he will go about attempting to restore Die Mannschaft as an elite side once more.
How will Nagelsmann’s Germany set up?
Nagelsmann looks set to get back to basics and simplify things for Germany. Ultimately, they have failed to live up to expectations since their triumph in Brazil almost ten years ago. Germany have failed to make it out of the group stage in both World Cups since. Despite reaching the semi-finals of Euro 2016, they only got as far as the round of 16 at Euro 2020.
The ex-Bayern Munich boss has always been known as a tinkerer, who likes to deploy a host of different formations and slight tactical tweaks. However, he has overdone it in the past and that ended up with his time in Bavaria coming to a premature end.
Nagelsmann is expected to utilise a 4-2-3-1 formation at Euro 2024 and that is how his side lined-up in his first friendly match against the USA. Germany recorded a 3-1 victory in Connecticut, despite going a goal down.
Goals from captain Ilkay Gundogan, Niclas Füllkrug and Jamal Musiala secured back-to-back victories for Die Mannschaft after they had defeated France in the game prior under caretaker boss Rudi Völler.
Which personnel will Nagelsmann select?
Mats Hummels has returned to the squad for the first time in two years after performing well with Borussia Dortmund this season. BVB are yet to suffer a defeat so far this term. Perhaps a bit of quality and experience at the back will help restore some defensive stability. Germany haven’t kept a single clean sheet in any of their past seven outings.
Hummels partnered Real Madrid defender Antonio Rudiger against the USA, whilst Niklas Sule is also an option. Malick Thiaw could be an interesting choice as well, as the 22-year-old continues to develop with Milan.
With Gundgoan named as captain, he will almost certainly feature in the middle of midfield. That gives Nagelsmann plenty of options from the likes of Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, Pascal Groß, Robert Andrich and Emre Can.
Musiala will occupy one of the attacking positions, either centrally or out wide, whilst Leroy Sane, Serge Gnabry, Thomas Müller, Julian Brandt, Florian Wirtz and Jonas Hofmann are all options as well.
Going forward, Füllkrug is set to lead the attack, whilst Kevin Behrens is set to play the role as back-up. Timo Werner, Karim Adeyemi, Youssoufa Moukoko, Kai Havertz and Kevin Schade are all potential options too. However, Füllkrug and Behrens are set to battle it out to lead the line.
What do Germany need to do to get back to the top?
A feel-good factor within the German camp needs to be rediscovered. Germany returned to winning ways with a 2-1 triumph over France back in September and that could signal the start of a new era. The most recent triumph over the USA means that Die Mannschaft are starting to pick up a bit of momentum.
In light of Nagelsmann’s shortcomings at Bayern, it has, no less, given him experience of managing a top club on the biggest stage. In fact, his dismissal certainly seemed a little harsh.
Bayern had been at the top of the Bundesliga table for 12 consecutive weeks prior to his departure. They had just knocked out Paris Saint-Germain in the round of 16 of the Champions League too, having won all six of their group stage matches as well.
Nagelsmann became the world’s most expensive manager in history when Bayern acquired his services for €25 million in 2021. The general consensus knows that he is an elite manager who has the tactical acumen to adapt to many different situations. However, the question is, can he deliver when the pressure is on at the highest stage?
It didn’t work out for him at Bayern but he has been given another opportunity to prosper with Die Mannschaft. There is plenty of talent within the squad too. Nagelsmann needs to fine tune that talent and get everybody on the same page once more.
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