Wed, 31 May 2023

By Oliver Trust

BERLIN, March 22 (Xinhua) -- Roughly ahead of the UEFA Euro 2024, Germany coach Hansi Flick is facing a delicate balancing act.

Trying to regain fans' support after a disappointing 2022 FIFA World Cup performance, the 58-year-old initiated a generation change, creating a competitive squad for Euro 2024 hosted by Germany.

German media called the project's future a herculean challenge for the former Bayern coach.

Ahead of the international friendlies against Peru this Saturday and Belgium next Tuesday, the 2020 treble winner has chosen a risky way to meet his goals.

Flick is starting his difficult mission without established forces such as Bayern's Thomas Muller and Leroy Sane, Citizen midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, Dortmund's Marco Reus and Niklas Sule, and Real defender Antonio Rudiger aside from the injury losses of Jamal Musiala (Bayern) and Julian Brandt (BVB).

Doubts remain if the newly assembled squad equipped with several surprises can trigger the enthusiasm the German coach is looking for.

To reinstall the damaged reputation of the national team, German icon Rudi Voller joined the struggling association to create a positive mood.

The 62-year-old former striker demanded efforts to secure German football international competitiveness and spoke of a bumpy road ahead.

"I am convinced we can manage to create a good team for 2024, but we need to take a look to the years after," the 1990 world champion said.

Voller demanded a more effective education system covering the neglected positions such as the full-backs and box strikers.

Flick justifies his unusual nomination approach by the need to find alternatives and increase the team's internal competition to break up old structures.

While fans and media are missing familiar names in the German squad for the games in March, surprising newcomers such as Stuttgart full-back Joshua Vagnoman, the defenders Malick Thiaw (Milan) and Marius Wolf (BVB) are turning up aside from the midfielders and strikers Mergim Berisha (Augsburg), Felix Nmecha (Wolfsburg) and Kevin Schade (Brentford).

Leverkusen's gifted midfielder Florian Wirtz returns after a long injury break.

Flick says that his decision to leave out experienced cornerstones is meant to create space for new arrivals.

Flick's drastic player casting is meant to increase the team's tactical opportunities as he is intending to establish the possibilities of a back-chain of three or five aside from a system with two central strikers.

The newly assembled squad is said to rely on the traditional chain of four to trigger stability, but the heading to new tactical shores is decided. Bremen striker Niklas Fullkrug seems booked for the future; the man at his side has to be found.

Flick claims he is aware of having to deliver but says the status quo can't continue considering the fact the 2024 tournament host doesn't need to go through a tough qualification.

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