IMAGE: Following a bad run, Germany parted ways with coach Hansi Flick. Photograph: Thilo Schmuelgen/Reuters
Germany parted ways with coach Hansi Flick on Sunday, a day after their 4-1 home loss to Japan in a friendly match with the four-time world champions struggling for form ahead of the Euro 2024 tournament on home soil, the German Football Association (DFB) said.
The decision comes as no real surprise with Germany having crashed out of last year’s World Cup early and their mediocre performances in recent months did nothing to convince the federation officials that the team could be successful next year on home soil.
Flick, assistant coach to his predecessor Joachim Loew when Germany won the World Cup in 2014, took over in 2021 but his team have managed four wins in their last 17 internationals, and they were also eliminated in the group stage of the 2022 World Cup.
They lost four of their five most recent matches, including the last three.
“The bodies (of the DFB) shared the same view that the national team now needs a new impulse,” DFB President Bernd Neuendorf said in a statement. “With next year’s Euro in sight we need enthusiastic mood and confidence.”
Germany do not need to qualify for the Euros but have shown no sign of improvement following last year’s shock World Cup exit, and with German fans quickly running out of patience with their poor form, the DFB thought it was time to act.
Germany are three-time European champions but have now been eliminated early in three consecutive tournaments, including two World Cups and the Euro held in 2021.
Under Flick the team lacked energy and power, while also struggling throughout with a leaking defence as well as poor conversion rate up front.
The DFB’s sports director Rudi Voller will be in charge of their friendly against 2022 World Cup finalists France on Tuesday with a successor for Flick to be named soon.
“Now, us in charge, have to act in order to be able to play next year at the Euro the demanding and ambitious role of hosts that we are hoping to play. That is what German fans rightly expect from us,” said Voller, who was national team coach from 2000-2004.
“The most urgent thing is then to bring in a national team coach who at short notice can redirect and prepare our team for the big Euro tournament next year.
“We expect from them, as does the whole country, positive impulses. A coach who can lift our level to where we know and expect it to be.”