Germany internationals Jonas Hofmann (30) of Borussia Mönchengladbach and West Ham’s Thilo Kehrer (26) speak about the upcoming Nations League game this Friday (23.09.22, 20.45 CEST) against Hungary, the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and Kehrer’s transfer from Paris Saint-Germain to West Ham United.
... dealing with Corona: Alarm bells are still ringing, but the handling of it is is generally a bit more relaxed, however we are still being cautious not to catch it. Today, our medical department reacted well and quickly.
... the importance of the Nations League: In every international game, we are representing our country and want to win the game. That these games are now competitive matches rather than friendlies is an even greater incentive to try to win a title. Depending on the draw for the groups, you are also playing against absolutely top-class teams. Hansi sets an example of this which transfers to the players. Especially looking forward to big tournaments, as players, we would like to use this opportunity to make a case for selection.
... Hungary: Above all, they are a team that is very strong defensively and doesn’t let much get past them. In the first game against them, we didn’t have many goal-scoring opportunities, which already says quite a lot. We have to be determined and consistent and play quickly in front of goal.
... travelling by train: We wanted to put down a marker and it is a good moment to do that as we are only travelling three hours. I like travelling by train because you can use the time to do things that you otherwise wouldn’t get round to doing.
... the special captain’s armband: It is important to us and to others that we set an example and, as a team, put things in motion that maybe can be a cause for change. It is not in our nature to just turn away from the issue. Here, we have found a good solution. They are a few colours from the rainbow flag on it. This will not be the only action that we take in the upcoming weeks and months.
... the goal of becoming world champions: As the German football team, we always have the aspiration of challenging for the title. There are six to eight teams that have this goal. It will be very even because the footballing world at the highest level has become much tighter. Even small countries can beat bigger countries, which was unthinkable not that long ago. It will be exciting, but we go into it wanting to return back to the top of the world.
... his ambitions to start on the wing: It is not bad to have flexible players in the squad. In Italy, I started at right back and then moved further forward. The main thing is I want to be on the pitch, in what position is of secondary importance.
... if there are any guaranteed starters according to Flick: He [Flick] has conveyed to the whole team that we need 26 players playing at the highest level. For any player the World Cup is as big as it gets. I also have to continue putting in good performance in order to hopefully secure a spot.
... his defensive abilities: When the topic of me playing right-back came up, I watched a lot of videos of different situations. My attacking play has not been left behind though, because I play there a lot for my club. It also helps you also to understand other positions better.
... the focus in training on Wednesday morning: The main focus was on set pieces.
... Hungary: There are a very unpleasant team to play against. We saw this in the first game against them and in their other group games. They show a lot of commitment and desire, which they balance with their individual quality. They have young, good players with a good team spirit. They also have a good shape and triggers, play very bravely and are very confident in themselves.
... the reasons behind his transfer: After four successful years in Paris, it was time this summer to take a new step and move onto a new challenge. West Ham is a very interesting project. It felt the best for move for me and I have settled into the team very quickly. For the World Cup, it is important to be playing a lot.
... Flick’s role in the transfer: We talked about what was important this particular season with the World Cup. He shared with me what he wanted for the team. With this knowledge and my own assessment I made the decision.