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Opinion: Germany was good enough

Stefan Nestler / alMarch 30, 2015

The DFB team still isn't playing their best, even despite the win against Georgia in Tbilisi on Sunday. DW sports editor Stefan Nestler says that German football fans should stop worrying though.

Thomas Müller
Image: Reuters/David Mdzinarishvili

Let's be clear about one thing: Germany's main aim against Georgia was to get three points, and they managed to do that comfortably. They concentrated on the job and got the crucial 2-0 win.

Admittedly, they didn't really shine but the world champions are still in the race to win their EURO 2016 qualifying group, and that's important. After all, what counts in qualifying is the result. How the result was achieved will interest no-one in two weeks time.

No problems for the back four

Germany coach Joachim Löw kept things simple in Tbilisi and played with a traditional back line, with four defenders. In the friendly against Australia, the team trialed a three-man set up in front of Ron-Robert Zieler.

This time round, things worked better. World Cup winners Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels were much more stable in front of goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. On the wings, Sebastian Rudy and Jonas Hector were good enough. But Georgia's attackers, who were often a bit frantic and didn't have the necessary ball skills, meant they had things pretty easy.

Stefan Nestler
DW sports editor Stefan NestlerImage: DW

Reus was Germany's best

In the first half, Germany's players were much more willing to attack than in the earlier EURO qualifiers. They tried to combine with each other at pace too, but in a few instances, they weren't as exact with their passing as they should have been. There is definitely room to improve.

That's also the case for the two returning playmakers Bastian Schweinsteiger and Toni Kroos, who were both not at their best. In attack, Mesut Özil put in an improved performance while Thomas Müller scored the second goal and once again confirmed himself as a striker who can create goals.

But Germany's best player, by some distance, was Marco Reus. The Borussia Dortmund midfielder was dangerous in attack most of the time, scoring once and hitting the post twice. In the national team at the moment, he really is the key - much more so than World Cup final hero Mario Götze. As the lone striker on Sunday night, Götze was very active but didn't achieve much.

On the right path

In the second half, the whole German team seemed to take their foot off the gas although they were never in danger of losing the game. Still, when they play stronger teams in their qualifying group, like Poland (September 4 in Frankfurt), Scotland (September 7 in Glasgow) or Ireland (October 8 in Dublin) then one good half of football won't be enough to top the group.

But Joachim Löw showed once again at the World Cup that he can prepare his players in a way that they perform when things get important. Löw knows that he can't rest on his laurels and that he has to get new players into the fold quickly. He still has enough time and he is on the right path. That was clear from the game in Georgia.

Germany's national team coach certainly hasn't achieved his goal yet, but he doesn't have to either. Let the guy work in peace: that has often been worth it with Löw, as we have seen enough in the past.