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|Germany’s World Cup exit: What went wrong for the champions?
| sbobet mobile Germany are out of the World Cup following a dramatic 2-0 defeat by South Korea in their final game in Group F. The defending champions finished bottom and the recriminations will begin. But what exactly went wrong for Joachim Low and his team? The clues were there in the opening game defeat by Mexico and there was further evidence of Germany's flaws in their unconvincing last-gasp victory over Sweden in the second fixture. But being beaten by a hitherto point-less South Korea side in the final game really rammed home the point. This was a pitiful defence of their crown.
European teams are making a habit of this. Spain were also eliminated in the group stage when defending the trophy four years ago. Italy finished bottom when attempting to repeat their 2006 triumph in South Africa and France did so too in 2002. The last four European teams to go into the tournament as champions have now gone out in the group stage.But what is the reason for it? Here, we take a look at the key factors in Germany's failure…
Growing old togetherWhen a team wins the World Cup it is customary to keep the group together - and that includes the coach. sbobet mobile But just as Italy's Marcello Lippi and Spain's Vicente Del Bosque relied on a clique of familiar faces to deliver the goods again, Joachim Low found himself counting on players who could not produce the performances of four years earlier.Thomas Muller scored five goals in each of the previous two World Cups but could not even muster that many attempts this time around and was dropped for the final group game. Mesut Ozil did not even last that long - axed for the win over Sweden but then restored to the starting line-up against South Korea. Both looked shadows of their former selves.
Changes did not workIf Low should have freshened things up more than he did, those changes that he did make were not effective. Much was expected of young forward Timo Werner and while the RB Leipzig man injected pace in forward areas he is a very different type of player to Mario Gomez. It necessitated a change in approach but Germany just could not make it work.Other options were ignored. Leroy Sane did not even make the squad for Russia, a brave call given his brilliance for Manchester City despite failing to impress at international level. sbobet mobile But that was just part of Low's inability to successfully integrate the next generation of talent. Julian Brandt was preferred to Sane but even he got only 19 minutes across the three games.