A day after Germany qualified for Euro 2016 the players began heading back to their club teams. While all were relieved to have qualified, nobody was happy with Germany's performances in the last two matches.
As the German players left Leipzig to rejoin their teams in the Bundesliga and elsewhere in Europe, they may have felt coach Joachim Löw's words ringing in their ears.
"We won the group and can be happy about that, but I am not satisfied with the last two matches," Löw told reporters afterGermany struggled to dispatch of Georgia 2-1
in front of a home crowd of almost 44,000 in Leipzig on Sunday evening.
Hard work needed
"It will take some hard work to get back to the level of performances at the World Cup," Löw added.
So the Germans, who wastedso many chances both against Georgia and Ireland
in their last two games, will know what to expect when the national team comes together again for a friendly against Euro 2016 hosts France in St. Denis just outside of Paris next month - a lot of hard work. And maybe a slight tactical change from Löw, who noted after the game that: "Our style of play will remain mostly the same, but there are some details that need adjusting."
Not a single German expressed satisfaction at the way they beat Georgia on Sunday evening. Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng came to the conclusion that "this happens when you take a step too few and think it is just going to happen all by itself."
He, like just about everyone else, bemoaned the lack of finishing during Germany's qualifying campaign.
"But we also know that tournaments are a completely different issue," he said, looking ahead to next summer.
Goalkeeper Neuer appeared at a loss when asked about the lack of form up front.
"In training, we score 50 goals, one ball after another flies into the net. We need the killer instinct up from, we are making life difficult for ourselves, he said. "This has to change at the European championship, where we will hopefully get back to playing the way the German national team can play."
Eyes on the prize
For Löw it wasn't a matter of hope but of confidence that by the time next summer rolls around, "Germany will field a very, very good team, which has every chance."
And in an open letter to fans, published on the German FA's (DFB) website on Monday, the captain, Bastian Schweinsteiger, who was confined to the bench in Dublin and Leipzig due to injury, left no doubt about the intentions of the "Mannschaft."
"In 245 days the European Championship will be under way, meaning it’s 275 days until the final," he wrote. "As World Champions, we can set ourselves the highest targets. Our ambition is to be in that final. I can also say: we want the next title."
Achieving that goal would go a long way to helping their fans forget what by Germany's standards were a couple of somewhat disappointing performances in the qualifiers that got them there.