Netherlands – Germany: Germany’s change of style looks worse and worse (3-0)
Germany were the better team for large spells in this match. The fact they conceded from a set piece and again failed to convert their chances meant the Netherlands got a relatively easy 3-0 win. Why Joachim Löw will have to go back to the drawing board once more.
Germany and the Netherlands are both countries that do not want to be reminded of the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The Netherlands missed the tournament altogether, the biggest problem during qualification being a chronic misinterpretation of the Dutch philosophy. The Dutch national team was mostly keeping possession for the sake of possession, instead of actually putting it to use. Refusing to adhere to modern football trends in defense cost them dearly as well.
Germany did manage to get to the World Cup, but once the tournament kicked off… it sure wasn’t pretty. You can fill a book with Germany’s problems at the World Cup. As this is a website about football tactics, we will keep it football-related.
In Russia, Germany’s counterpressing After losing possession, a team immediately moves towards the ball as a unit to regain possession, or at least slow down the pace of the counterattack. was never up to par. Because the fullbacks were positioned very high up the pitch and central midfielder Kroos was not paired with a good counterpresser, Germany failed to deal adequately with counterattacks. Some inefficient finishing did the rest, and they flew home after three games.
But this is a new age for both teams and particularly for the Netherlands, optimism lies just around the corner. Manager Ronald Koeman has switched to a 4-2-3-1 formation and the hugely talented Ajax duo Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt . . .