Steffen Freund: Gosens nearly knocked me out of my seat
Monday, June 21, 2021
In his latest EURO 2020 column, Steffen Freund sings Robin Gosens' praises and explains why he expects a close game against Hungary.
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I’ll be honest: I did not expect Germany to play as well as they did against Portugal. I wagered that they would win, but I had no idea that it would be in such an emphatic manner, especially in the first half. This definitely sends a clear message to all the other teams.
However, they still aren't among my favourites to win the tournament. I chose France, England, Belgium and Italy prior to it getting under way, and all four are still in the running. My number one pick remains France, but you also can't rule out Italy. They are playing extremely attractive football at both ends of the pitch under Roberto Mancini.
In Germany's case, you could see that they wanted the win more than Portugal did on Saturday. Even falling behind the way they did, after what was a totally avoidable counter-attack following a Germany corner, did nothing to change that. That's exactly the same approach we need against Hungary, and if we're able to take advantage of our very first chance of the game, then all will be well.
If Hungary manage to avoid conceding for much of the match, however, then we could see something similar to what happened against France, where they capitalise on one opportunity to take the lead and then, suddenly, we’re perhaps sitting last in the group. It would be wise to keep this in mind.
Hungary’s strength is definitely their defence and they play a similar formation to us, with three at the back plus two wing-backs, although they don't play as high as Joshua Kimmich and Robin Gosens do for us. They will sit back and defend deep, while waiting to hit on the counter. They can be dangerous from set pieces up front, but one thing is certain: when it comes to individual quality, Germany are far better.
Speaking of Gosens, his performance against Portugal nearly knocked me out of my seat! He brought pace to the game, in defence and in attack. He posed a threat in every move he was involved in, having also been our best player against France, in my opinion. Ahead of the tournament I’d said that Gosens could be Germany’s breakout player, and he’s well on his way to becoming that. What also impresses me is how he’s been able to handle this success in a very pleasant, down-to-earth yet emotional way.
Our attack will need to be in control against Hungary. I don’t think that we will open the scoring that early again, and we will have to be patient, because Hungary will not allow us many chances. I’m going with a 1-0 win for Germany.