In the aftermath of the 1-0 defeat to France, many experts and tactical observers have been demanding a change of formation: from 3-4-3 to a 4-at-the-back with an extra midfielder. Should this happen?
|Joachim Löw.||Photo: Granada, CC-by-SA 4.0|
Granted, in the World Cup 'Die Mannschaft' never had any real problems creating chances, 72 shots over the three group fixtures, the problem was the lack of finishing when needed most. The problem now, however, is the formation doesn't work with the personnel, but the players are there.
A clear point of concern from the experts was the position of arguably the team's most important player, Joshua Kimmich, into a wide role with not much perceptible benefit.
In some eyes Kimmich should've been in the heart of midfield, shielding the threats of Paul Pogba and Ngolo Kante who were very impressive on the night. The move of Kimmich to midfield would've allowed Germany to be more flexible in the middle with three, effectively outnumbering France's with Kimmich, Kroos and Gündoğan.
For those wishing and hoping for a quick switch for the Portugal game may need to rethink. Germany have trained and morphed the 3-4-3 system since the North Macedonia defeat in late March. Germany have only a couple of training sessions before each game and I'm not sure the Bundestrainer will feel there is adequate time to really embed the system switch to a good level before facing Cristiano Ronaldo's European Champions.
However, if the worst outcome happens and Germany are needing a win against Hungary on the final group match, it wouldn't surprise anyone if Löw has a change of heart and allows a simple 4-3-3, giving Germany the freedom of another creative midfielder to ensure a victory against a presumed already-eliminated Hungary.
As Borussia Mönchengladbach defender Matthias Ginter said on Thursday's press conference "It's always dependent on the opposition", and if there's another disappointing result on Saturday it may be time to move back to the 4-3-3 that served Germany so well in 2014.