On Monday the German national team is going to have the very last chance to bring this year to a decent end.
In the Veltin's Arena in Gelsenkirchen, Jogi Löw's team will face the Netherlands in the last group match of the Nations League, the first leg in the neigbour country was lost 3-0. As The German team could only reach one draw against the French team and also was defeated on french ground, they are in last place in their group now.
Against the Netherlands they have to win high if they want to stay and not be relegated to the 2nd league. But if Team Oranje wins this Thursday against France, the fate of the German team would already be sealed and relegation would be inevitable. So it's not all in their own hands, the football gods have a huge word to say.
To get in the mood for the weekend, there will be a another game today. In the Red Bull Arena in Leipzig they will meet this year's World Cup host Russia, which has shown itself to be in good form during the tournament in its own country and has surprisingly gone quite far.
So the roles are not as clearly defined as they would have been some time ago. The German team is in a serious crisis. There have been only three victories in the eleven international matches so far this year, but two draws and six defeats. A negative record that world champion coach Jogi Löw has to live with. His role is currently being seriously questioned for the first time and it remains to be seen whether he will be able to properly position and motivate his team at the end of the year.
The games will also show how much the German fans are willing to watch and accept the tragedy of the German team. Of the 42,000 tickets for the match against Russia, about 10,000 tickets are still not sold. Another negative report for the officials at the Deutscher Fußball Bund (DFB) who are so spoiled for success. And also for the big match against Team Oranje are still a lot of tickets available. It looks as if the smooth image of the German team isn't so attractive as those responsible would it to be anymore. A well-deserved and necessary warning for the DFB!
Of course the Nations League is not a benchmark, but one would have wished for a better result at the end of the year after the catastrophic World Cup in Russia.
The team will probably play in a similar formation as against France when they played well but still lost. World champion Thomas Müller will also be on the team, despite all the criticism he has received, as he is one of Löw's favourite players, who has been holding on to his 2014 world champions for a long time, even though they have not been able to reach the grandiose form of Brazil for a long time. Maybe for too long, as many might claim these days.
Müller is evolving in the direction of Lukas Podolski, who in the last years of his time with the national team was needed more for the good mood on the bench than for good performance on the pitch.
The mood is up the spout, so it can only get better!
How will the German team perform against Russia and the Netherlands?
Good questions, which will be answered very soon.
What are your views on Germany's chances of escaping relegation to League B?