Home » National team: Flick’s great luck in the shadow of Tuchel

National team: Flick’s great luck in the shadow of Tuchel

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National team: Flick’s great luck in the shadow of Tuchel

NJust like Christmas, Easter and Mardi Gras, international football matches are our highest holidays, but in the last few days the national team has suddenly plummeted into insignificance. There was only one topic: Thomas Tuchel and Bayern.

Hansi Flick and Germany?

A footnote. It no longer electrified anyone. While the national coach was still trying to interpret the 2-3 win against Belgium in Cologne as a tolerable game (“60 minutes were good”), the first journalists in the press room turned on their heels and fled onto the autobahn in the direction of Munich for the Bundesliga hit Bayern against Dortmund and on the subject of Tuchel – further reporting on the patching up of the DFB team was largely discontinued due to public disinterest.

“No pig calls me, no pig is interested in me” the national coach could have sung in the wailing tone of the Comedian Harmonists. But over the course of the week, Flick learned to appreciate the chocolate side of this disregard: Although he failed to start again after the World Cup debacle, the nationwide hustle and bustle in Tuchel prevented him from becoming the topic of the week.

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Flick has been spared a lot, for example the devastating criticism of Didi Hamann. Because even the Sky expert only made it into the small print in the shadow of the extensive daily Tuchel reporting, there was no more space, despite his crisp thesis that Flick is a horrible miscast. Hamann fears: “If we believe that we have even the remotest chance of winning the European Championship title in this constellation, then we’re lying to our pockets and all good spirits are deserted. We won’t become European champions with this coach.”

This request to speak has the effect of a left-right combination of low punch, uppercut and liver hook, and boxing experts immediately think of Charles (“Chuck”) Wepner. He was once beaten so nappy by Muhammad Ali that the referee raised two fingers and asked the staggering man: “How many fingers is that?” Chuck replied with glassy eyes: “How many answers do I have?” Flick has not been asked at all . Nobody called him because it was Tuchel week. Football was all about Tuchel, Tuchel and Tuchel, in any case the new Bayern coach saved the national coach from many unpleasant questions.

Perhaps Hamann is already dreaming of Klopp?

But if the next international match goes like the last one, these questions will come up, they’re already in the critics’ belts. Flick talks the world nice, says Hamann. And Lothar Matthäus, the other old master among the TV experts, even claims that he hasn’t seen anything worse in his long, long career than against Belgium, and the well-travelled Franconian has already seen a hell of a lot of bad things as a record Lothar knows. Where is the spirit of optimism that a year and a half ago, after Flick’s early victories, almost made Matthäus sing with joy on the microphone? “You’re greedy for this team again,” he said happily at the time.

A ray of hope in the game against Belgium: Niclas Füllkrug (l.).  The Bremen player scored to make it 1:2

A ray of hope in the game against Belgium: Niclas Füllkrug (l.). The Bremen player scored to make it 1:2

Those: dpa/Federico Gambarini


“We muddle along and say it’ll be fine,” Hamann grumbles and gets his nervous twitch in his eyes every time he addresses Flick’s undemanding nature. He was a world champion footballer, FC Bayern, FC Liverpool, Champions League winner, vice world champion, someone like that always wants the best. Also the best coach. Hamann probably dreams of Jürgen Klopp becoming the national coach at night, or Thomas Tuchel. But Bayern have just caught the latter, and Klopp is still almost as popular in Liverpool as the Beatles and is therefore still indispensable – which leads to the terrible certainty that the last national coach, who was also the best German coach at the same time, will remain Sepp Herberger.

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The old hero and witcher is remembered in old, dusty writings. Before he achieved the miracle of the World Cup in Bern in 1954, he was already Reich coach in the Second World War. In any case, after Herberger, the best has never again become a national coach, neither Ottmar Hitzfeld nor Otto Rehhagel, Hennes Weisweiler, Udo Lattek or Dettmar Cramer.

The latter was considered the guru of the German coaching profession, but when it came to the oath, the DFB adhered to the rule of succession, instead promoting Herberger’s former assistant coach Helmut Schön to national coach, and the assistant Cramer was allowed to the boss when his stomach was rumbling before delicate games who bring warm milk to bed. Before the 1966 World Cup final in Wembley, there was a legendary tactical dispute.

The clever strategist Cramer, nicknamed “Professor”, wanted to leave out the BVB left winger Emmerich, but instead rush the Bremen melee fighter Lorenz to England’s star Bobby Charlton and let the young Franz Beckenbauer offensively off the leash. But Schön let Beckenbauer run after Charlton and sacrificed him as a guard dog. “Lange,” complained defense chief Willi Schulz, “didn’t get it.” Cramer then fled to Bayern Munich, where he was celebrated as a victorious “little Napoleon”, and Beckenbauer said: “Cramer should have been national coach, nothing else.”

Helmut Schön (left, here in conversation with Uwe Seeler) once rose from assistant coach to national coach

Helmut Schön (left, here in conversation with Uwe Seeler) once rose from assistant coach to national coach

Which: pa/SvenSimon/SVEN SIMON

But something always got in the way. It almost worked out with Christoph Daum, the DFB proudly presented the league’s star coach as national coach, but at the last moment there were a few other hairs in the soup: Daum’s cocaine-containing hairstyle did not stand up to the forensic analysis. Hansi Flick therefore became the first officially certified master coach at the DFB, he literally ran to the association because he no longer thought he was completely happy with Bayern. Since then, however, he has not quite lived up to the high expectations, and the critics quickly come forward and explain his success in Munich with the quip of the old Bundesliga zampano and Viennese schandmaul Max Merkel: “FC Bayern can also train with a walking stick.”

Prize question: Is it possible that Flick is still stumbling as national coach – even though he survived the World Cup flop in Qatar?

If you want to find out more about this, you should call Berti Vogts. He was also allowed to continue as national coach after his early World Cup exit in 1998 as part of the act of mercy, but caused confusion right after the restart after a hard-fought 2-1 win against Malta with the sentence: “We have a coordination problem, we have to automate it. After the second game, the DFB pulled the ripcord and solved Vogt’s problem before it became automatic.

Hansi Flick has better cards, he is also sure of the third international match in the rebuilding, in June. However, to be on the safe side, he should not lose it high. Because all the headlines would then belong to him – the Tuchel week ended on Saturday.

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