U21 European Championship 2019 - Luca Waldschmidt: Made to Horst
At the end of an European Championship evening that started with a good one-hour bus ride to the stadium in Trieste for the German U21 national team and ended with a splendid 6: 1 (3: 0) against Serbia, the coach Stefan Kuntz spoke just as pragmatic as smart Sentence. "I do not see any eyrie in our offspring, and if you do not have that, then you have to play differently," he said.
Horst, of course, meant Horst Hrubesch, Kuntze's predecessor as U21 coach and, even earlier, a true center forward, tall and dreaded for his massive headballs. Even simple goals Hrubesch was good.
And of course, that was what Kuntz dictated to the journalists. There was even a lot in it in this sentence: The realization that this Horst type is not as common as it used to be - and the question of whether that is really so bad? Also the suggestion that they had found one at the DFB in their U21 one, who is really not a Horst-type, but sometimes does Horst-things: Luca Waldschmidt, 23 years.
Waldschmidt scored three goals against Serbia. One of them was beautiful, he shot it after a fine solo over half the place. Waldschmidt rounded three Serbian defenders so smoothly that it was a pleasure to watch him. Then he pulled off, powerful and placed, it was his second goal. Goal one and goal three, however, scored Waldschmidt almost Horst-style: flank anticipated, foot stopped, cheered.
Adding the match result against Denmark, Waldschmidt has now scored four goals in two games, more than any other player in the finals. Not bad for one for whom the role as a central attacker is unfamiliar.
One like Selke is missing
In his club, the SC Freiburg, Waldschmidt often plays a little withdrawn and usually around the center forward Nils Petersen around. In the U21, however, coach Kuntz has been using him at the attack center for some time. That may be because he has long suspected that Waldschmidt could be a bit further forward in the storm center very important. But it certainly has to do with the fact that the alternatives are rare.
When the German U21 won the European Championship in Poland two years ago, Kuntz's man in the attack was still called Davie Selke: tall, strong in the header and with a lot of class in front of the opponent's goal. After the tournament Selkes ended his time at U21, he was too old. And so Kuntz, one himself center forward, said in the weeks before this EM often, he does not have a guy like Selke at the moment, so he must look for other solutions.
Now it looks quite as if he had with Waldschmidt found a solution to which only a few weeks ago hardly believed one. It could be one with a future.
FRANCO DEBERNARDI / EPA-EFE / REX
With his three goals against Serbia, Waldschmidt moved past Toren to Sturmpartner Marco Richter.
Waldschmidt, the space interpreter
If you look for someone at the DFB who can tell you something about the developments in the junior teams, you quickly land at Meikel Schönweitz, the head coach of all U-teams. When the SPIEGEL asks him the day before the match against Serbia in Trieste, whether he misses an attacker like Selke in the squad of the U21 like Kuntz, he said: "When you put together a squad, you want to be as flexible as it is somehow goes. "
However, football has recently changed a lot, says Schönweitz, and with it the demands on special roles, especially those of the central attacker. For some years now, people have been looking for other types of players, so middle-strikers may not have been promoted as intensively.
That it is now Waldschmidt who plays in the U21 attack center, was in this constellation, a "profit". Also because he is very good in the gate and occupy spaces in the back of the opponent very effectively. "He does that very well," Schönweitz said.
On Sunday, Germany plays in the third and final group match against Austria. A draw would be enough to secure the group victory and thus the semi-final and participation in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
For Luca Waldschmidt, it's the next chance to show that this goes together: do Horst things, even though you're not a Horst type. It could become a recipe for success for Germany's young attackers.
Germany - Serbia 6: 1 (3: 0)
1: 0 judge (16)
2: 0 Waldschmidt (30th)
3: 0 Waldschmidt (37.)
4: 0 Dahoud (69.)
5: 0 Waldschmidt (80.)
5: 1 Zivkovic (85th, penalty kick)
6: 1 Maier (90. + 2)
Germany: Nübel - Henrichs, Tah, Baumgartl, Klostermann - Neuhaus - Maximilian Eggestein (67th Maier), Dahoud - Öztunali (46th Amiri), Waldschmidt, Richter (74th Nmecha)
Serbia: Radunovic - Gajic, Milenkovic, Babic, Bogosavac - Lukic, Racic, Pantic (46th Randjelovic) - Andrija Zivkovic, Jovic (69th Joveljic), Radonjic
referee: Kovacs (Romania)
yellow cards: - / Milenkovic, Racic