Hansi Flick was sacked as Germany manager after a 4-1 defeat to Japan
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Germany needs to act fast in its search for a new coach for its troubled men’s national football eam.
The new coach is expected to be in charge by 14 October when Germany will face the United States in a friendly in Connecticut. And after that there is only eight months to put his stamp on the team before Germany opens the European Championship as host in front of 70,000 spectators in Munich on 14 June next year.
Germany’s awful recent form — no wins in five games and a group-stage exit at the World Cup — forced out Hansi Flick following Saturday’s 4-1 loss to Japan. Rudi Voller oversaw a 2-1 win over France on Tuesday but is due to return to his post as sporting director. Without an obvious successor to Flick, the post of Germany coach appears wide open.
That could result in Germany’s youngest coach in nearly a century. Or its oldest ever. Or the first foreign coach.
Here is a look at some possible candidates:
At 36 years old, the former Bayern Munich coach would be the youngest man to coach Germany since 34-year-old Otto Nerz was appointed back in 1926. Since Bayern replaced him with Thomas Tuchel in March, Nagelsmann has been linked with some of Europe’s biggest clubs. He knows the Germany team’s big Bayern contingent, and worked with other players at Leipzig too. However, Nagelsmann reportedly remains under contract with Bayern and the club could demand compensation from the German soccer federation, the DFB. Nagelsmann’s attack-first tactical style could win back fans who have soured on the team, but much like Flick, his teams aren’t known for their robust defending.
Louis van Gaal
The 72-year-old Dutch coach is a specialist in international tournaments and his lengthy resume — Ajax, Barcelona, Manchester United — includes two years at Bayern Munich, where he reached the Champions League final in 2010. His last job featured an impressive unbeaten run with the Dutch national team before losing on penalties in the World Cup quarterfinals in Qatar to eventual winner Argentina. Van Gaal has notably not ruled himself out of taking the Germany job, telling broadcaster Sky Germany that he was “honored” to see his name mentioned. The oldest man appointed Germany coach until now was 61-year-old Erich Ribbeck in 1998.
Glasner is another possibility if the team decides to appoint its first non-German coach, and the Austrian already speaks the language. Glasner is best known for winning the Europa League with Eintracht Frankfurt and qualifying the club for the Champions League for the first time. However, Frankfurt removed him as coach last season after a drop in form and Glasner hasn’t coached since.
Well-connected from advisory roles at the DFB and Borussia Dortmund, Sammer has the backing of 1990 World Cup-winning player and prolific TV pundit Lothar Matthaus. He’d be the first Germany coach to have played for the former East Germany during the Cold War. One problem is that Sammer last coached a team in 2005 before taking on successful sporting director and advisory roles, including at Bayern. Health issues in 2016 caused Sammer to cut back on his workload.
Flick was fired after his team conceded four goals to Japan. Could his replacement be a coach whose current team just did the same thing? As a player, Kuntz won the European Championship in 1996 as a teammate of Sammer. His best-known coaching achievement is winning the European Under-21 Championship with Germany in 2017 and 2021. Kuntz is coaching Turkey but is under pressure following a 4-2 friendly loss Tuesday to Japan.
The former Bayern Munich coach Felix Magath put himself forward Monday, pointing to his record turning around “unsettled teams” in comments to local broadcaster NDR. The DFB has a history of promoting from within — Flick and Low each worked as assistants to their respective predecessors — but the three-man interim coaching team for the win over France doesn’t offer an obvious solution. Voller seems happy with his DFB director job, Hannes Wolf is a youth specialist with a mixed club record, and Sandro Wagner has only coached in the fourth division.
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