National team: open questions at the DFB – today the day of the decision?

After renewed World Cup embarrassment, DFB restart is underway – time is running out. There could finally be some answers on Thursday.

Rudi Völler has kept a low profile about his possible commitment to head sport at the DFB. “We’ll talk about it on Thursday,” the 62-year-old said at the DFL New Year’s reception in Offenbach on Tuesday, ahead of the next meeting of the prominent DFB advisory group: “Let’s see.”

Völler will inherit from former DFB general manager Oliver Bierhoff. The 1990 world champion is considered the favorite for the job. “His sporting successes speak for themselves,” said DFB Vice President Hans-Joachim Watzke: “He has the advantage that most people have a positive attitude towards him. If you are a plum, it’s no use. But he still has the right idea. The combination is really good.

Völler himself therefore already has concrete ideas about the national team. “You shouldn’t make yourself too small. Of course the World Cup was a disaster for the national team. The performance was not good, but we are better,” the former boss said. team: “We need to be more confident in view of EM 2024. We are good enough to follow the big guys.”

Will a result be communicated on Thursday?

But there is still not only a sporting director, but also opponents: the recovery after the renewed embarrassment of the World Cup is slow at the DFB. As he announced last week, Thomas Müller is still available for national coach Hansi Flick on his way to the European Championships on home soil, but almost 50 days after the painful preliminary round in Qatar there are still a few unanswered questions in the association of the four. – time world champion.

The creation of a board of experts was obviously intended to fill a gap in skills existing in the association – and to clarify the question of the requirements that a successor to Oliver Bierhoff must have. This group met for the first time before Christmas, and the second meeting mentioned by Völler will take place on January 19. So with a result to communicate?

Oliver Bierhoff at a press conference in Qatar. Who will be his successor? (Source: Federico Gambarini/dpa/dpa-images)

The job profile that Bierhoff’s successor should bring with him has yet to be made clear to the public. A division of tasks is also possible. Another internal DFB working group, led by Secretary General Heike Ullrich, is to define the area of ​​work of the successor(s) – always in coordination with the expert council.

“It would have been far too myopic if we were just discussing a personal matter,” expert board member Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told Sport Bild recently: “That doesn’t do the matter justice.” The position of national team doctor must also be filled after Dr. Tim Meyer is closed. Time is running out, the path to success towards the 2024 European Championships should be taken soon.

Searching for test match opponents

This also applies to the selection of international opponents. Since national coach Hansi Flick’s team have already qualified to host the European Championship, ten friendlies are on the schedule this year – the first two already in March. According to information from t-online, the results will be announced after the joint meeting of the shareholders’ meeting and the supervisory board of DFB GmbH & Co. KG on January 27.

In June, September, October and November there are two more games in which the opponents must also be determined. Moreover, this summer there will be the 1000th international match in DFB history, the timing of which could not have been more inappropriate. Because no one in the association wants to party right now. Finding a well-known European opponent is also difficult. Spain, the Netherlands and Italy face off in the Nations League Final Four in June, England, France and Belgium are in action in the European Championship qualifiers.

But even more than finding a suitable opponent, the task should be to get rid of the phlegm that clings to the DFB team in this country. Given the sporting disappointments and scandals produced in the past at association level, creating an atmosphere among German fans comparable to that of the 2006 World Cup could be a daunting task.

Without real competition, Flick’s team also lacks knockout duels. The next important league match could therefore be the opening match of the European Championship on June 14, 2024 in Munich. Then the team must be able to play for the title.

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