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Soccer-Germany coach Flick on thin ice after shock loss to Colombia


BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany coach Hansi Flick had started his tenure in 2021 with an eight-game winning run and a promise to fans to get the four-time world champions back on the right track.

After Tuesday’s 2-0 shock home loss to Colombia, however, Flick looks to have used up almost all of that early credit, with the Germans, hosts of Euro 2024, having lost to Poland and drawn 3-3 against Ukraine in their three internationals this month.

“Is he the right man for the job?,” asked several German media in their online polls on Wednesday.

“A year before the Euro it looks like the coach and his team have lost all orientation,” Kicker football magazine wrote in a comment.

Germany, who have less than a year to build a battle-hardened team for the continental tournament and shore up enthusiasm in the country, had needed two late goals to draw with Ukraine before Friday’s 1-0 loss in Warsaw.

They delivered an even worse performance against Colombia in Gelsenkirchen with Flick’s players lacking urgency in their game and any punch up front.

Germany have won just one of their last five matches since their shock World Cup group stage exit in December. They have also won only three of their last 11.

When Flick took over two years ago Germany had just suffered a last 16 exit at the Euro in 2021 following their first World Cup first stage exit in more than 80 years in 2018.

Flick looked to be the perfect man for the job after his six-trophy run with Bayern Munich in 2020 and his years-long work with his Germany predecessor Joachim Loew as his assistant coach which was capped by the 2014 World Cup triumph in Brazil.

But now his back is against the wall despite his assurances that the team will be completely different in their next set of internationals in September.

“We will see a different team,” Flick said. “We will stabilise the team and we will fine-tune it.

“We are positive for September because we are convinced we have a good team and good players.”

Germany host Japan on Sept. 9 before entertaining France three days later. They then travel to North America to face the United States on Oct. 14.

German fans, however, are quickly running out of patience having failed to see any clear signs of any recovery in recent months.

“Flick’s announcement that things ‘will be different in September’ now only sounds like a morale-boosting slogan,” Kicker said.

The one-year countdown for the Euros has started as has the countdown for Flick to start delivering by September.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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