The sacking of Hansi Flick after Germany’s loss against Japan is just the latest nightmare to hit the national team. In fact, it seems as if the football gods stopped smiling on Germany after July 13, 2014. That night, Die Mannschaft defeated Argentina to win their fourth World Cup crown. The victory saw the world appreciate the German football system that had produced such a beast of a team. However, since then, it has been all downhill for the team. They exited the Euros in the semi-final before being knocked out in the group stage at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Next came the 2020 Euro, where they crashed out in the Round of 16. Another humiliation followed in the 2022 FIFA World Cup, where they failed to qualify past the group stage again.
And now, with Flick gone, Germany are scampering to get a new man in charge with Euros set to begin in less than a year. This has been a significant downfall for the four-time world champion. Flick is the first coach in German football history to be sacked, which shows how chaotic the situation is.
So, who are the top managers who could replace Flick to become the new German team head coach?
The top contender for the job is undoubtedly Julian Nagelsmann. After being unceremoniously sacked in mid-season by Bayern Munich, Nagelsmann is currently without a job. Over the last decade, Germany made their name playing a high-pressing attacking style, something Nagelsmann has pioneered.
The 36-year-old has experience managing Hoffenheim, Red Bull Leipzig, and Bayern Munich. He also has the experience of developing young players such as Timo Werner, Kerem Demirbay, Nordi Mukiele, Emil Forsberg, and Angelino.
Germany right now are going through a transition, with almost all of their 2014 winning squad now out of contention for the national team. This means that a new generation of players will need to take over, and there are few better than Nagelsmann who can use those young players to develop a brand new team with a renewed vigour and identity.
Former Bayern Munich coach Felix Magath also threw his name for the job in a recent statement. “It is very clear that we in football now urgently need someone who can put this completely insecure team back together, which is no longer able to match its performance,” Magath said, as quoted by Goal.com.
Magath has a wealth of experience managing teams such as Stuttgart, Bayern Munich, and Wolfsburg. The 70-year-old has won the Bundesliga thrice, most recently with Wolfsburg in the 2008-09 season.
However, Magath’s greatest asset is his discipline and his no-nonsense attitude. There is no doubt that the current team is stacked with talent but lacks the mental fortitude that was a constant feature of Germany in yesteryears.
So, a personality like Magath could be the best option to work on discipline and mental toughness and allow the players to express themselves on the pitch freely.
One of the teams that rose through the ranks in recent years in the Bundesliga is Eintracht Frankfurt. The 49-year-old, who started his career with SV Ried, has come a long way with successful spells at LASK and Wolfsburg. However, he carved a name for himself during his time as Frankfurt’s manager.
In his first two seasons with the team, Glasner had made them a force to be reckoned with. Under his tutelage, Frankfurt won the 2021-22 Europa League, their first European trophy in four decades. Their Europa League campaign featured brilliant wins over big teams like Barcelona.
In the last season, Glasner managed to take the team to the DFB Pokal final, where they lost to Red Bull Leipzig. Glasner’s contract is set to expire at the end of the current season, and he has made it clear that he will leave the club then. However, a tantalising offer to manage the national team could lead him to exit his current job earlier than expected.
Jurgen Klopp and Germany national football team are words that have often been used together in the past few years. The current Liverpool manager has always said that he is excited by the prospect of managing Die Mannschaft. There were reports that he would take the job in 2015 after he had left Borussia Dortmund, but the team persisted with Joachim Loew, who had just won the World Cup.
Since then, Klopp has been at Liverpool with a contract that runs till 2026. Klopp has said that he would like to honour that contract. However, Germany desperately need a head coach who can reinvigorate their team, and Klopp is the best person equipped with the skills to achieve that.
After sacking Hansi Flick, the DFB appointed former head coach Rudi Voller to the job temporarily. Voller, who won the 1990 FIFA World Cup, has had previous experience with the team leading them to the 2002 FIFA World Cup final. Before the tournament in Japan and South Korea, Germany were not deemed favourites, but Voller instilled confidence in the team, after which they fought their way to the final.
And the current situation in the German team mirrors that of 2002, which is why Voller has been given the charge temporarily. Another thing that could work in his favour is that, barring Julian Nagelsmann, other top targets are currently contracted to their clubs.
Furthermore, Voller also has the experience of getting the best out of his players, which is what Germany desperately needs.