Fault lines in Germany’s defence have been visible in recent games and Sunday’s 1-0 World Cup defeat to Mexico should not really be seen as a surprise, defender Mats Hummels has said.
“Mexico deserved the win. Our cover was often not good and we were left many times with just Jerome [Boateng] and myself at the back,” centre-back Hummels said.
“We were warned days ago [in the warm-up games]. We played exactly like we did against Saudi Arabia [when Germany won 2-1], only against a better opponent. That’s why the first half was like it was and Mexico obviously deserved to win it.”
Germany were exposed by Mexico’s counter-attacking, and if the Mexicans had been more accurate with their final pass they would not have had to endure a tense finale.
“If seven or eight players are attacking then it is clear that our attacking power is greater,” said Hummels. “But that is something that I have often talked about internally. It does not always bear fruit.
“A wake-up call is too late. We now must win two games, otherwise that is that with the World Cup. I don’t really understand why we played like we played because, really, we already had our wake-up call.”
Germany boss Joachim Low agreed with Hummels, saying Germany “played badly,” gave Mexico too much space, lost too many balls and rushed chances.
“It’s an unfamiliar situation,” he said, but insisted the team “has enough experience to not go under with one defeat.”
Low added of Saturday’s clash with Sweden: “The next game is now more important. We have to win.
“We were nervous and we weren’t playing the game we wanted to play. We need to see what caused this.”
Nonetheless, Low had no doubt that the team would not fall apart and would respond to the pressure, with Toni Kroos admitting the team would have to put things right ahead of their next match, a June 23 clash with Sweden.
“We did not do it well,” he said. “Overall we had our chances but did not score. We just lost the ball up front far too easily, and Mexico had always two or three people up front whom we failed to block efficiently.”