After closing out the year perfectly with a 4-1 win in Armenia, the seventh win in his first seven games as Germany coach, Hansi Flick was satisfied. His team has achieved the target he set it, collecting 27 of a possible 30 points in World Cup qualification group J and qualifying for Qatar 2022. Following the game in Yerevan, Flick spoke about his time in charge of his country so far, and his upcoming goals.
Question: How would you evaluate this winning end to 2021?
Hansi Flick: We’ve reached our target of 27 points. The team play in a very happy way, and they want to do well – that’s class. I’m very satisfied and I can only thank the lads.
Question: What grade would you give your team for the first seven games under you so far?
Flick: We still have a couple of things ahead of us, and we can still improve in some places, but that’s completely normal when you’ve not had a lot of time to train with a team. Nevertheless, we’re on the right path.
Question: You had to do without several players tonight. Who performed best in your eyes?
Flick: There are so many names; the whole team did well, as well as the new players we brought in. That’s one thing that I really liked. Everyone likes being an international player and enjoys being with the team – it brings about a really friendly atmosphere, which I noticed my first time with the national team. I’m very happy that I’m able to experience and feel that once again.
Question: You have given Jonas Hofmann a much larger role than he had before your time here. What do you think of him?
Flick: He’s a very intelligent player, good with the ball at his feet and pretty quick too. The way he set up our first goal tonight and scored his own was very smart. That’s one of Jonas’ best treats – he’s always in the right place for goals. He’s got an enormous amount of quality.
Question: Our opponents have not been of the very highest calibre so far. Has Germany already returned to the position where they can beat the very biggest opponents once again?
Flick: We have a lot of quality in every position – we’ve got two or three players hankering for every position on the pitch, like Karim Adeyemi and Lukas Nmecha for example. We’ve also got real world-class players in many places; the last two Champions League finals have had many German players out on the pitch. I already think we’ve got a good amount of quality. We can’t afford to hide ourselves away, and I think we’ll be able to step up to stronger opposition. Our games have showed that we are back, both in our character and the way we play football.
Question: Could you look ahead slightly to our next few steps and say what you want to pass on to the team?
Flick: We’ve got one or two plans for our friendlies. Our goal is to face a proper top-class side in March. We will watch over the players for the whole year. When they are at their clubs, we’ll give them a bit of peace and quiet – they should concentrate on their club then. We’ll take a look at what they can offer to us. It’s a great thing to have such a big pool of players to choose from.###more###