By Oliver Trust
BERLIN, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- It can't be a big surprise that the 2014 World winners Germany has lost contact with the leading nations in football. A fundamental rejuvenation followed a disastrous group exit at the 2018 World Cup. But somehow fans expected a quicker recovery due to the amount of talent at disposal.
The performance of the team's latest Euro 2020 qualifiers proved that much more effort and time are needed to return to the top. Fans might have to prepare for a more extended period of despair than expected.
Considering the current status of Joachim Loew's team, it seems apparent competing for the title in a year at the European Championships would be nothing less than a surprise.
"We are still in the process of learning," the German coach admitted after a painful 4-2 defeat against the Netherlands followed by a knife-edge victory against underdog Northern Ireland (2-0).
The 59-year-old coach demanded patience claiming his newly formed side needs time to develop.
It took three years for the Netherlands to recover, he stressed.
However, Loew will not be given the same period to rejuvenate the nation's side, as expectations in a football nation such as Germany are much higher.
The Dutch might have achieved their latest improvement unnoticed from public awareness in the slipstream of the big football nations. Germany can hardly count on the same amount of patience and understanding.
Having to qualify for the 2020 tournament is a must, as it would be a huge shock to not qualify for the European Championships, especially after the tournament has been expanded for the coming year.
The latest games made evident that Germany is cruising far off the world's elite, the Frankfurter Allgemeine commented.
Germany's problematic zones are fullback as well as in midfield. It could be an appropriate solution to move Joshua Kimmich to the right spot in the back despite the Bavarian favoring midfield.
It came to light that German midfield needs a fair bit of new inspiration and youthful nonchalance in the form of Julian Brandt (Dortmund) and Kai Havertz (Leverkusen).
Loew praised his team for having withstood the pressure delivered by Northern Ireland. But that instead seems a point of criticism as it only tells the story of a long way ahead. Germany needs to leave the past behind and head for new shores.
Former German national coach Juergen Klinsmann refused to classify Loew's team already. "We might have to wait until we meet the big team at the 2020 tournament to see where we stand," the 55-year-old commented.
It seems as if traveling along the road to the 2020 European Championships remains a journey on a bumpy road.