Saturday’s abysmal 4-1 defeat to Japan at the Volkswagen Arena has heaped more pressure and scrutiny on German national team trainer Hansi Flick. Matters with the Nationalmannschaft are going from bad to worse and the week that was been seen as vital for his future in the role ha started in catastrophic fashion.
Surely now the DFB are going to call time on Flick’s tenure as they look to get Germany back on course as they prepare to host next summer’s European Championships. A third tournament failure in a row cannot be tolerates, but just who are the potential candidates to succeed the beleaguered Hansi Flick?
The first name being bandied about already is that of Julian Nagelsmann. Still out of work following his unceremonious sacking by Bayern Munich towards the end of last season, the 36-year-old will want the chance to prove himself and restore his reputation. However, the thinking goes that Nagelsmann would be looking for a club side rather than a national team at this stage of his career.
He is being linked with the Borussia Dortmund position with Edin Terzic coming under pressure and that would seem a more logical option than that of Bundestrainer, but his current availability makes him a candidate. Would a short-term role up to the European Championships be an option from where he could then return to a big European club side?
Another former Bundesliga coach currently out of work is Oliver Glasner and the Austrian has a number of admirers after he led Eintracht Frankfurt to the Europa League in 2022. His experience at Wolfsburg as well as with the Adler would set him in good stead, but like Nagelsmann, he could well be after a club role rather than a job as a national team coach.
If there were no barriers, then the absolute number one candidate would be Jürgen Klopp. However, there are barriers and is would seem exceedingly unlikely that he would be tempted away from his Liverpool post at this moment in time with a contract running to 2026.
He has previously admitted the German post is one he would dearly love to take on, but ‘at the right time’ and sadly for the DFB this is not the right time. Kloppo will surely become the Bundestrainer one day, but just not any day soon enough for the German footballing public.
The DFB installed former national team trainer Rudi Völler in as a sporting director alongside/ above Hansi Flick following the World Cup in Qatar and he could be a man to consider in the short-term. He has taken over the Nationalmannschaft in dire circumstances before (2000 following the Euros) and led Germany to the World Cup final in Korea/ Japan.
He has previously been very public in his backing of Hansi Flick, although didn’t give any concrete assurances after the loss to Japan. Could 63-year-old ‘Tante Käthe’ be a safe pair of hands to steady the ship and get it back on course?
Kuntz is the current coach of the Turkish national team, but is thought to be on thin ice and could be set to leave. His experience with the German U-21 side will be a bug advantage having led them to European Championship glory in both 2017 and 2021.
He is well regarded within the DFB and was a European Championship winner himself back in 1996 when his winning goal at Wembley beat the Czech Republic in the final.