European Championship draw: Lahm makes Nagelsmann’s task more difficult

European Championship draw: Lahm makes Nagelsmann’s task more difficult

With Switzerland, Hungary and Scotland, the German team has viable group opponents at the European Championships. But that hardly means any relief for national coach Julian Nagelsmann: tournament director Philipp Lahm continues to increase the pressure.

Julian Nagelsmann gave the all-clear once in a while. After the European Championship group draw, the national coach said to the journalists who crowded around him in the mixed zone of the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie that he only had a “mild cold”, it was not Corona and there was no need to worry to hear assessment.

Nagelsmann then told the story again that he drove from Munich to Hamburg. Due to the onset of winter, numerous trains in Bavaria were canceled and air traffic was partially suspended. So Nagelsmann got into the car without further ado because he didn’t want to miss the draw and raced through the snowy republic to the far north. The trip earned him express praise from Rudi Völler. They actually wanted to travel together, said the director of the DFB team.

Things could have been worse for Julian Nagelsmann

So the two, who are supposed to lead the struggling DFB team through the tournament together, walked over the red carpet into the large hall of the “Elphie”. There they watched as the national team once again got lucky. At the European Championships, the DFB team is spared a difficult group. ““It’s not a group of death, but there are no really bad opponents,” said Nagelsmann, summing up the result of the draw soberly: SwitzerlandHungary and Scotland, against whom Germany will play the opening game in Munich, are the opponents in Group A.

It could have been significantly worse. Compared to Group B (Spain, Croatia, Italy, Albania) and Group D (Netherlands, Austria, France and a playoff qualifier), Group A is easier on paper. Nagelsmann’s facial features had already noticeably relaxed during the drawing on the stage, which was bathed in blue light.

The result means for him and his team that they can start the tournament a little more relaxed, without immediately facing opponents like Italy, the Netherlands or Croatia. And if you consider that the first, second and four best third-place teams advance, the fear of early failure should at least be less (although that is not impossible!).

Philipp Lahm: DFB-Elf has no core

This may be a bit of relief for Nagelsmann in the next few weeks. Given the enormous task that lies ahead of him, the evening in Hamburg was worthwhile. Nevertheless, the luck of the draw does not hide the fact that the closed season for the new national coach is over quicker than usual. The recent defeats against Turkey and Austria made it clear to everyone: Even Nagelsmann will need longer to make a deeply insecure team competitive. Time is short: There are only three test matches and six months until the opening game on June 14th in Munich.

The big draw show in Hamburg only briefly made us forget that the pressure on the DFB is increasing every day. The European Championships should be a big celebration, similar to the summer fairy tale. This can only be achieved if the German team is reasonably successful.

It is tournament director Philipp Lahm himself who has now started to make the national coach more responsible. Just two days ago, Lahm criticized Nagelsmann’s line-up experiments. In Hamburg he complained again that he saw “no core” in the team. He warned that the Germans had “a dangerous group.” The tournament director wants to prevent the German team from having a crisis at the European Championships. That would be quite a dampener for the mood in the country. So Lahm didn’t let the luck of the draw and a glittering draw ceremony dissuade him from putting his finger in the wound. From his point of view, this is understandable. But it doesn’t make Nagelsmann’s job any easier.

Seen in this light, it is fortunate for Nagelsmann that the next test matches will not take place until March. At least he can’t lose until then. He knows that he has to do a lot to get the devastated team into shape for the European Championships and announced changes: There will be no radical cure, but he has “a clear opinion on all players”. Decisions would be made “in the interests of the cause” so that the team plays “better football”. That sounded determined. Nagelsmann knows that in addition to the general pressure to succeed, Lahm is now breathing down his neck.

Source: Stern

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