After another poor showing the German national team were left to lament on a crushing 4-1 home defeat to Japan. Instead of laying to rest the ghosts of Qatar, the Nationalmannschaft have merely added to the horror show and heaped more pressure on under-fire trainer Hansi Flick. Here are all the raw post-match reactions from the Volkswagen Arena…
“First of all, we are totally disappointed. You have to acknowledge that Japan have a very good team. At the moment we don’t have the means to overplay such a compact defence and create goalscoring chances. That was just not enough.
“I think we got into the game well. The first chance Japan has is a direct goal. With the 1-1 there is support again in the stadium and then the 2-1 comes immediately. In the second half I don’t think you can blame the team. They tried and tried a lot, but then they kept making individual mistakes. The opponent took advantage of it coldly and therefore deserved to win. It has to be said that we were in no condition to beat this team today.”
“You have to be honest and say that the Japanese were clearly better today. They let the ball run, played in the right spaces and created a lot of scoring chances. They were superior to us in every respect. On top of that, we made far too many individual mistakes. That shouldn’t happen to us at this level.
“We just have to admit that we’re not on the same level as teams like that in terms of play. It’s tough and disappointing because we have certain standards for ourselves, but the trend speaks for itself. Sometimes aspiration and reality are far apart.”
“The bottom line is that it was a well-deserved defeat. We had nothing up front in the second half. I had the feeling that we started the game well and then got the 1-0.
“In the second half that is clearly not enough. It’s not that we don’t want to, but we can’t get our quality onto the pitch. We have little self-confidence. We have a lot of insecurities and mistakes in our game, which is why we have problems against teams like Japan who defend confidently. We have little means of hurting them. We have a lot of quality, but we always talk about it, but we see it far too rarely. We haven’t actually played a good game since the World Cup. This has to give us pause and we have to question our quality.”
Marc-André ter Stegen
“I don’t think we played a good game today. We had phases that were okay and we had our chances thanks to individual qualities. We then concede a stupid second goal. We certainly made mistakes today that we shouldn’t make. We are self-critical and know that we didn’t do a good job today. We can’t get it on the pitch at the moment. We have a great team. It’s also questionable to me why we can’t get it on the pitch. It’s a blow, we didn’t make it again.”
“I’m still a bit in shock, I have to admit. It was devastating. The audience was on our side at the beginning. We immediately tried to get some euphoria into the game. Especially after the 1-1, the spectators supported us. Then we made far too many defensive mistakes against a really good Japanese team.
“But of course: losing 4-1 is a disgrace. That was well deserved. The effort was there, but such a defeat hurts. It’s difficult to find the right words after such a game. That was just bad. You have to congratulate the Japanese for the good performance. But we defended badly, that’s not possible at this level.”