Under-pressure Hansi Flick 'brutally disappointed' after Germany thrashed at home by Japan

Euro 2024 hosts fall to 4-1 loss in Wolfsburg, their fourth defeat in last five games, and face World Cup finalists France on Tuesday

Germany manager Hansi Flick has won just 12 of his 25 games in charge. Getty
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Germany manager Hansi Flick is fighting to save his job after his team were thrashed 4-1 in a friendly match at home to Japan.

It was Germany's fourth defeat in their last five outings and former Bayern Munich coach Flick has won just 12 of his 25 games in charge since replacing Joachim Low in August 2021.

Flick, who had started his stint with an eight-game winning run, will now have to prepare his team for an even tougher task against 2022 World Cup finalists France on Tuesday.

“We will prepare well and recover. We chose such games because we want to play against the best,” Flick said.

“Today we were not in a position to beat this team. We will prepare for France, give the team courage. That's the daily work. I can understand the criticism.

“We have to go through this together. We are one team. We lost heavily today but we have to shake it off and be different against France.”

Saturday's loss in Wolfsburg was their worst since a 6-0 defeat against Spain in the Nations League in 2020.

Junya Ito opened the scoring for Japan after 11 minutes, only for Bayern Munich forward Leroy Sane to quickly hit back for Germany.

But that was as good as it got for the hosts at Volkswagen Arena as Ayase Ueda finished from close range to restore Japan's lead midway through the first half.

Takuma Asano and Ao Tanaka then sealed Japan's victory with late goals to cap a miserable evening for Flick who admitted to being “brutally disappointed” with the result and performance.

“We are preparing well, we are preparing well for each opponent – there's nothing to be said about that,” said Flick.

“We are convinced of what we are doing and that's why I want to continue [as Germany coach].”

Flick saw Germany fall to a disappointing group-stage exit at the Qatar World Cup, where his side fell to a 2-1 defeat against the Japanese and won just once in three matches.

Germany have now been eliminated at the group stage in the past two World Cups, lost to England in the last-16 at the delayed 2020 Euros and face a possible humiliation on home soil at the 2024 event.

Bayern Munich midfielder Joshua Kimmich admitted: “The bottom line is that it was a well-deserved defeat. We had nothing up front in the second half.

“We haven't actually played a good game since the World Cup. This has to give us pause and we have to question our quality.”

Germany sporting director Rudi Voeller said after the match the German FA would avoid making any rash decisions on Flick's future, telling RTL: “I would suggest we collect ourselves and we sleep on it.”

“We are all a little in shock … a defeat like that hurts.

“We should all do some soul searching and think about it. What happens next, we'll see.”

Meanwhile, Japan coach Hajime Moriyasu insisted his side “still need to improve” before the Asian Cup next year.

The four-time winners have now won three games in a row ahead of the tournament, which kicks off in January in Qatar.

Moriyasu told reporters: “We need to not only congratulate ourselves, but we need to continue our development.

“We need to be more compact, everyone must defend, everyone needs to attack, we need to react dynamically.

“There are always good times and bad times … we are in the middle of a good period.”

Updated: September 10, 2023, 11:23 AM