E.Hope flickered again. When Thomas Müller ran up and away from three English pursuers after a through pass from Kai Havertz in the 81st minute – and at the end of his solo run no longer had the nerve and the strength to shoot the ball where it should have belonged at that moment : into the goal.
The all-rounder of FC Bayern Munich, who was brought home to the German national team by national coach Joachim Löw after a long public urge, looked too heavy and overwhelmed by his own expectations to give his desire again at the last opportunity to turn the round of 16 against England Being able to live out goalscoring with pinpoint accuracy. The ball tumbled half a meter past the left goal post, so that Müller, who then dropped to his knees, failed to hit a tournament this time as in all of his European championships.
At least now the last Englishman from the party crowd in London’s Wembley Stadium knew that the Three Lions, as the more courageous two mediocre-looking teams, would win this duel with the long-standing feared opponent. And so the team, which had stingy goals in this tournament after two 1-0 wins and one 0-0 in the group stage, beat Harry Kanes again after the opening goal by Raheem Sterling’s third trick at this European Championship (75th) Header to (86.).
Just a brilliant victory
While 45,000 spectators celebrated in the legendary arena like in Corona-free times, the Germans, tired from head to toe, crept into the cabin, where they were among themselves on Tuesday evening with their frustration – after a tournament with a brilliant victory (4: 2 against Portugal), which, when looking at two rather dispassionately accepted defeats against France (0: 1) and England and a disastrous draw against Hungary (2: 2), only seemed like a fleeting memory of times long past.
Germany, the dreaded tournament team – once upon a time. Also because since the crash at the 2018 World Cup in Russia with the end after the group games, Löw never had the strength and imagination to build on glorious times, culminating in the 2014 World Cup triumph in Brazil, at least in outline. Long before his last game, the national coach was no longer responsible for the national team who could have made a difference.
With his own tiredness in the preparation for the difficult tests of this pan-European EM, he infected his mostly highly talented professionals, who ultimately looked just as uninspired as Löw, who was ripe for retirement on Tuesday evening in London.
Joshua Kimmich, someone who has what it takes to become a leader in the national team in the future, didn’t have to be ashamed of his tears on Wednesday, as he hadn’t managed to open things up in this team, left alone by Löw and only partially ready to defend himself To regulate the place in the sense of the bigger picture autonomously with a few close companions.
Löw, who announced his departure as national coach after the European Championships a few weeks ago, did not allow his final performance to be followed by any memorable words after an era of almost 15 years that was accompanied by chronic success for years. A few kind words to his successor and former assistant Hansi Flick, who will make his debut as national coach in September, would have sounded good on this painful evening in London.
One last strong message from this football teacher with many merits would have at least one more reminder of the man to whom the successes seemed to fly for years, when he and his players reached at least the semifinals until the 2018 World Cup, tournament after tournament, and were crowned for a German era in 2014. As it was, however, the exhausted Löw lost himself in his everyday conclusion with succinct sentences, such as, “The disappointment weighs heavily”, or “We had two great chances, but unfortunately we didn’t score any”.
He didn’t want to or couldn’t take stock of his own mistakes anyway with the sovereignty of a defeated top coach. Instead, he just said, “It has to be an hour or two before you address a few words to the team.” When the end of his term of service, Löw made himself even smaller than his team on the field before .
After all, the retired national coach left a positive sentence after the sporting tournament: “We have a lot of young players who will learn from them. At the home European championships in 2024, some of them will be at their absolute top level, also in terms of experience. “
They brought the returnees Müller and Mats Hummels with them to this EM, but since Löw also failed the too late return action of the old world champions in terms of timing, nothing grew as organically at this EM of the many German misunderstandings as the talent or experience of the Player had promised at first sight. In addition, there was the switch to a three-way defense, which never seemed solid in itself.
Löw’s successor Flick, who won all trophies with FC Bayern Munich in the 2019/20 season that could be conquered nationally and internationally, still doesn’t have to start at zero. For that he has to do with too many professionals who have already celebrated triumphs in their clubs. It is all the more annoying when an entire national team remains so below its potential as the German at this European championship.