BERLIN: German players are feeling the pressure ahead of their friendly internationals against Japan and France, midfielder Jonas Hofmann said on Wednesday (Sep 6), with the team struggling for form eight months before hosting Euro 2024.
The Germans have won just one of their last five matches since their shock World Cup group stage exit in December, putting coach Hansi Flick in the spotlight ahead of Saturday’s match against Japan and Tuesday’s match against 2022 World Cup finalists France.
The four-time world and three-time European champions, who have now been eliminated in the first round of the last two World Cups, have won just three of their last 11 games.
With the continental tournament next year on home soil, German fans are quickly running out of patience, with the national team still looking far from battle-worthy.
Another set of bad results could also force Flick out, with fans jeering and booing following their loss to Colombia in June and federation bosses saying at the time that the time for experiments was over.
“There is always pressure and we create it ourselves as well. This is part of the daily stuff in football,” Hofmann told a press conference. “This time the pressure is maybe a bit more and it is clear to all why.”
Germany, who as hosts do not need to qualify for the Euros, lost to Colombia and Poland while drawing with Ukraine in their most recent matches in June.
But it is their group stage 2-1 shock loss to Japan at the World Cup last year that eventually led to Germany’s early exit that is more on the players’ minds, Hofmann said.
“Now results have to start coming,” Hofmann said. “Everyone would be lying if they said they didn’t think back to that game at the World Cup.
“But this time it is a different game and we want to show that what happened (against Japan at the World Cup) was a slip up,” he said.