Germany Relegated From UEFA Nations League, What Has Gone Wrong?

While there would have been tears of joy in the Netherlands dressing room after the side beat reigning World Champions France in the UEFA Nations League. However, a former World Champion nation, Germany was in literal tears. Netherlands’ 2-0 win over France meant that Germany were left at the bottom of Group 1 of League A in the UEFA Nations League, meaning they will be relegated to League B of the competition next season. Germany still have a game left against the Dutch in Group 1, but the result of that game would be inconsequential.

Dominating the World in 2014, who would’ve thought that Germany would hit rock bottom in a span of four years. The World Champions continued their superb form till 2016, losing the semi-final of UEFA Euro 2016 to France but got it all wrong in the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Germany were left humiliated after being dumped in the group stages of World Cup. They lost to Mexico and South Korea at the World Cup, going out in the first round for the first time since 1938.

This year has especially been woeful for the 2014 World Cup winners where they’ve managed a paltry four wins in 12 games. Even in the four wins, three of those came in friendlies against Saudi Arabia, Peru, and Russia while just one was in a major competition against Sweden.

The omission of Leroy Sane from the World Cup squad proved costly for Germany especially after his breakout Premier League winning season with Manchester City. Consequently, retaining Manuel Neuer ahead of Marc Andre ter Stegen despite him missing almost the entire season due to injury was also a confusing decision. Mostly, the failure of the team seems to be the team selection and player roles in the starting XI which is all taken care by coach Joachim Loew. The gush of young blood seems to be missing from the team, with Loew even admitting to the fact that he struggles to communicate with younger DFB stars.

However, Joachim Loew seems not to take any brunt of their miserable run. Being the head coach since 2006, Loew has not faced the heat as extensively as any of his counterparts have. He seems to have constant support from the DFB, even to the length that Mesut Ozil was made a scapegoat for Germany’s failure in the World Cup which ultimately lead to the Arsenal star retiring from national duty.

Spending 12 years as head coach of the national team, Joachim Loew is the longest serving manager of any of the current European national team coaches. But Germany’s premature exit from the World Cup and now the UEFA Nations League as well has put his position in serious jeopardy. Ironically, the Netherlands, who didn’t even qualify for the UEFA Euro 2016 and 2018 FIFA World Cup are the reason why the former World Champions are relegated.
Germany will join Iceland and Poland in League B either England or Croatia joining them following their match on Sunday. For the Dutch, even a single point will see them go top of Group 1 in League A.

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