Ludwig van Beethoven, Albert Einstein, Steffi Graf. These are the faces that are introduced to the fans in the Pratt & Whitney Stadium in Hartford, Connecticut, as well-known German personalities in the run-up to the USA game against the DFB team. After this game, the Americans will remember a few more names.
One of them is certainly that of national coach Julian Nagelsmann. On his debut as DFB coach, his team put in a convincing performance and turned a 1-0 deficit into a 3-1 win. The trainer’s handwriting is immediately recognizable.
DFB-Elf is praised after Nagelsmann’s debut – he still sees room for improvement
The national team, which was otherwise viewed so critically, was positively rated on social networks. A non-representative overview of the overall mood, but Nagelsmann is still pleased.
He is satisfied with the victory, but he also immediately makes it clear that it is far from over. He saw potential for improvement above all in the high pressing of his team, which also has to act more patiently. After the break it worked better after it was corrected.
Nagelsmann makes it clear: “Not here to whistle La Paloma”
But the 36-year-old doesn’t see any reason to celebrate. When asked how he wanted to reward himself or the team for his successful debut and whether there would even be a day off for his players on the intensive USA tour, he reacted with incomprehension. “I won’t give them half a day off,” he said after a moment’s thought. “Maybe for an hour – we’re not here to whistle La Paloma,” he made it clear.
Never satisfied, hard-working, restless and humorless – typical German virtues that Nagelsmann re-establishes here. The DFB team has a task, a mission. The home European Championship hovers above everything. He wants to use the little time the coach has left. Mats Hummels had already calculated before the game: “We have another course in November and one in March. Then comes the tournament preparation. In the end there are only 30 or 40 training days left until the European Championships.”
With the final whistle of the USA game, the following applies: after the game is before the game. In order to waste little time, the team flew a few hours after the final whistle on a charter plane from Hartford to Philadelphia, where the second host of the 2026 World Cup in Mexico is waiting at Lincoln Financial Field on Tuesday. A second test, 90 more instructive and insightful minutes for Nagelsmann.
Nagelsmann already has Mexico in mind
“We will make some changes against Mexico,” announced the coach, “because I want to see everyone in the game if possible, not just in training. Things might be a little different in November.”
Nagelsmann wanted to use the two days beforehand sensibly and completely (with the exception of the hour). “Tomorrow (Sunday, editor’s note) we will have a two-part squad. Regeneration and competition replacement and then we have a final training session on Monday where we will adjust a few things for Mexico and then of course we will try to take another step against Mexico.”
Nagelsmann maintains the tension and demands the maximum from his players. This kind of mentality is what separates the greats from the greats. Van Beethofen, Einstein, Count. There is still a long way to go before this list is made.