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National team: Clear EM messages from Nagelsmann: starting eleven is set

National team: Clear EM messages from Nagelsmann: starting eleven is set

Before the big France test, the national coach’s European Championship course becomes apparent. Julian Nagelsmann thinks big, formulates clearly and acts rigorously. And the players take part in assigning roles.

Clear roles, clear plan, clear goals. After his radical squad restructuring, Julian Nagelsmann will reveal in the first big international test of the year against France with star striker Kylian Mbappé how he wants to turn the home European Championship into a new German summer football fairy tale.

The 36-year-old brushes off three tournament flops and his own mediocre start as national coach with only one win in four games and recently even two defeats: Losers should make it to the European Championships at the last minute – led by the title collector Toni, who he reactivated Kroos – become winners again. Nagelsmann doesn’t fuss, he does it. And he reveals his cards without shyness: He revealed his planned starting eleven early on in two training groups A and B.

Filling jug: Can also “give input” from the bench

He follows the new European Championship course stringently – and the players follow along with their clear role assignment. “In a tournament it’s simply about having the players in a role where they function, where they help the team,” said striker Niclas Füllkrug, who is the only professional from Borussia Dortmund to remain in the squad, on Thursday. Despite ten goals in 13 international matches, the 31-year-old initially has to take on the joker role in the attack behind the strong Kai Havertz, who is currently scoring regularly at Arsenal FC. Füllkrug reacted in a relaxed manner: “Even when I come off the bench, I can always give input, bring energy and create dangerous situations.”

“At the European Championships you don’t need eleven players, but 23, all of whom accept their role. The team is above everything,” said Stuttgart’s Deniz Undav, who Nagelsmann shared with Nagelsmann after 14 goals this season in the Bundesliga, at Füllkrug’s side on the DFB podium appointed three other VfB players to the A team for the first time. After Nagelsmann’s “very, very annoying” loss of Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who he had planned to be number one again (torn hamstring), Heidenheim debutant Jan-Niklas Beste was the next player to leave injured on Thursday. There are no subsequent nominations.

EM goal: think big instead of small

Nagelsmann is trying to transfer his attitude and approach to his newly formed team in terms of personnel and hierarchy when it restarts shortly before the European Championships. Before the showdown with European Championship favorites France on Saturday (9 p.m./ZDF) in the Groupama Stadium in Lyon, which has a capacity of almost 60,000 spectators, he also made it public during a question and answer session with fans. Headline: No more doubts! Think big instead of small!

“I always think that when you take part in something, even in a man-don’t-get-annoyed event, you should also want to win. And if you take part in a tournament, it would be advisable to also want to win,” said Nagelsmann. “I would like to win this thing with the team. Otherwise we don’t have to start, we’d better go on holiday – whether we’re favorites or not.” Winner types are in demand.

DFB plan with the national coach

A loser image does not suit the youthful, brash Nagelsmann, with whom, according to a “Kicker” report, the DFB would like to extend his contract, which is currently limited until the summer, before the start of the tournament. Further cooperation, which DFB President Bernd Neuendorf would also expressly support, should of course be linked to a certain EM performance, which both parties still have to agree on. “You don’t have to be able to lose, you have to accept losing sometimes. But if you start to be able to lose – then you can forget it, it will never work again.”

The clarity in the statements should also be reflected in the actions. And so Nagelsmann revealed his possible starting eleven on Thursday with a training group A and B. The 20 field players still available practiced separately in two groups of ten. And from this the formation that should obviously begin in France was derived.

Eleven against France with Mittelstädt and Andrich

In front of Marc-André ter Stegen, who will replace Neuer in goal, Joshua Kimmich, Jonathan Tah, Antonio Rüdiger and Stuttgart newcomer Maximilian Mittelstädt form the defensive line. In addition to Kroos, Leverkusen’s Robert Andrich is scheduled to play the role of “worker” in midfield. The type of worker, so to speak, that Nagelsmann intends to rely more on. Captain Ilkay Gündogan forms the offensive with the young stars Florian Wirtz and Jamal Musiala and the strong Arsenal professional Havertz in front of them.

Other starting eleven candidates such as BVB attacker Füllkrug, Bayern veteran Thomas Müller or Brighton professional Pascal Groß, who is also conceivable alongside Kroos, belonged to the second group of ten and thus to the players who are initially in the challenger role.

But Füllkrug didn’t want to complain after training. “I think my position is unchanged,” he said about his role in the DFB team. “There were always games that I played from the start. But there were also one or two where I was able to come off the bench. I think I was able to help the team in both positions. I have some of my own Goals also scored from the bench.” It is precisely this understanding of roles that Nagelsmann expects and demands for maximum European Championship success.

Source: Stern

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