It’s been a weird year for Chelsea’s Germans. It’s been a weirder few years for the German national team. Germany went into the last World Cup as pretty strong favorites. They completely fell to pieces. They haven’t been able to put those pieces back together and now Joachim Low is finally leaving. But he’s still around for the Euros, he’s brought back some exiles, and he’s looking to turn an overdue exit into a long and fruitful goodbye.
Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, and Antonio Rudiger will all be representing Chelsea at the Euros. This time a year ago, German fans would likely have felt pretty good about all three being nearly guaranteed to start. But as said at the top, it’s been a weird year.
Rudiger went from a complete exile under Frank Lampard, to briefly finding his way into the side, to seeing Lampard sacked before Thomas Tuchel basically built the defense around him. Even during the exile, he was starting for Germany in a back three. Perhaps that is partially where Thomas Tuchel found inspiration but German fans will surely love his form coming into the tournament.
Things are more awkward for the other two. Had the Euros gone on as scheduled, Timo Werner would have gone as a huge goal scorer. He’s done alright overall at Chelsea, but all season it’s been pretty clear that his confidence in front of goal is shot. With Thomas Muller returning, that could make things tricky for Werner if he doesn’t kick off the tournament well.
Then there is Havertz, who had a good start to life in England before COVID. He’s slowly gotten better but his late season form was pretty up and down even with a Champions League winning goal. He certainly doesn’t have the same goal scoring or assisting touch as this time a year ago, but he could be extremely vital to Germany’s attack regardless of who is involved around him.
All that being true, Germany finds itself in a bit of a nightmare group for a team that really needs to get going right away. France, Portugal, and Hungary will give Germany a hard time from the first ball kicked. Wins could bolster the team massively, but the knife also cuts the other way with losses or draws demoralizing a side that has been pretty low on themselves since the last World Cup.
Perhaps one thing going Germany’s way is the pressure on others. Low’s last hurrah creates its own pressure, but Germany isn’t expected to win the tournament in the same way France is. Portugal having won last time pressures them to repeat. This young German side might be able to do well simply because of the last few years and how little is expected of them compared to some rivals.
But if Germany is to do well, it’ll be in large part due to the Chelsea players. All three need to turn up to get Germany where they want to go. Rudiger shouldn’t be a concern but the other two need to turn flashes into consistency. Blues fans will be hoping they do so and carry that form into a new season.