Joshua Kimmich hasn’t been feeling well lately. Image: Imago Images / Laci Perenyi
Things haven’t been easy for Joshua Kimmich lately. As soon as there is a crisis in the German national team or FC Bayern, it isn’t long before his name is mentioned as the cause. Some say he is not a defensive-minded player, others call him too ambitious.
After Joshua Kimmich received a red card in the Bundesliga match against Darmstadt, he had to miss the next important match against Borussia Dortmund. Bayern won the match with an impressive 4-0 and it was immediately discussed whether the defensive midfield of Leon Goretzka and Konrad Laimer was not the best solution for the Munich team. And the 28-year-old is no longer undisputed in the DFB team either.
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With Pascal Groß, the new discovery of the national team, another first-class variant for the sixth position came to the fore. He has delivered impressive performances alongside İlkay Gündoğan in recent international matches.
Pascal Groß as a rival for Joshua Kimmich in the DFB team
Even in this case he immediately wondered if the Gündoğan/Kimmich pairing still made sense. Lothar Matthäus, for example, said earlier this year that he “would never want to see Kimmich and Gündoğan together in double sixes again”. Pascal Groß cannot understand such statements.
Pascal Groß is one of the best starters in the DFB team. Image: dpa/Federico Gambarini
“I think Kimmich and Gündoğan would absolutely work together because they are absolute players of the highest level”Groß said in an interview with “Kicker”. Both “maybe sometimes wouldn’t be viewed fairly.” “Both are incredibly good footballers,” continued Groß. “From a football point of view, in terms of mentality, what they have achieved, how they train, this is the highest level.”
And yet: Joshua Kimmich recently suffered a serious setback in the national team’s internal hierarchy. In one of Hansi Flick’s last official acts as national team coach, he appointed İlkay Gündoğan as the new captain of the national team. This decision was confirmed shortly afterwards by the new national coach Julian Nagelsmann.
Kimmich is said to have been shocked by Nagelsmann’s decision
A clear signal for Joshua Kimmich, who had previously played regularly as captain in the absence of the injured Manuel Neuer. After all, the relationship between Kimmich and Nagelsmann was considered very familiar during their time together at FC Bayern. After Nagelsmann was sacked as Bayern manager, he was one of the players who defended the 36-year-old.
“When there is a change of coach it is always a disappointment” Kimmich said in March. “We players were unable to achieve good results.” Nagelsmann is “easily” one of the “top three” of his coaches. Kimmich would have maintained Flick’s decision to entrust Gündoğan with the role of DFB captain, as “Kicker” reports.
The German national team will face Turkey in the international match on Saturday, while the following Tuesday they will face Austria. There too we will see which pair of six players Julian Nagelsmann will rely on in the future. And what role does Joshua Kimmich play.
In his weekly column, fan researcher Harald Lange writes exclusively to Watson about things currently affecting football in Germany.
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