Germany national team: Ilkay Gundogan’s beginning will be Manuel Neuer’s ending?
This is when the transfer of power in the German team’s staff is taking place. And Ilkay Gundogan’s new beginning will most likely be Manuel Neuer’s ending.
New beginnings, expectations and opportunities for Gundogan
When coach Hansi Flick was still in position, Gundogan wore the German captain’s armband many times during training sessions where captain Neuer was absent due to a long-term injury.
When coach Julian Nagelsmann took over, the former Bayern Munich captain chose the Barcelona star as the official captain.
“Gundo will still be our captain. This role in the team is very important, there must be continuity, stability and no change that can lead to unnecessary disturbances. I am satisfied with my contributions.” of Gundo for the entire team in recent times,” Nagelsmann shared about the decision related to the staff during his first time leading the German team.
At this time, Gundogan is not the most experienced player or has been with Die Mannschaft the longest. Above the midfielder born in 1990, there are still two seniors, Thomas Muller (born in 1989, 124 caps) and Mats Hummels (1988, 77 matches).
Gundogan only ranks third with 70 appearances. This number is even less than the 80-match achievement of Joshua Kimmich – a player 5 years younger than the former Manchester City star.
But under Nagelsmann, with the above statement, it can be seen that the 36-year-old strategist considers Gundogan to be number one, above Kimmich and somewhat above Neuer, Hummels or Muller. Nagelsmann also explained the leadership qualities of the former Borussia Dortmund midfielder.
“Gundogan is not a “high-powered speaker” when speaking in front of the whole team or shouting at teammates in the locker room. He is someone who can observe silently, has the ability to perceive all developments on the field to find solutions to serve the common interests of the whole team”, the new captain of the Tank praised. for Gundogan.
“Gundo shows his leadership qualities in every training session. He always shows up at the training ground on time and is serious about his work 24/7,” the Spanish military leader praised the student wearing the number 8 shirt.
“Gundo has the ability to withstand and handle psychological pressure very well. He rarely speaks, but once Gundo speaks, the whole team has to listen. That is the power of a leader.”
After captain Fernandinho parted ways with Man City at the end of the 2021/22 season, Guardiola organized a vote for his players to see who would be the new captain. In the end, Gundogan received the trust of the entire team and became the new captain.
The Turkish-born player’s new position on The Citizens’ staff last season was even higher than that of superstars like Kevin De Bruyne, Ruben Dias, Rodri and Kyle Walker.
The results of this poll show that Gundogan is always respected by his teammates, even though he may not be the best professionally. Because the voting participants are Man City players, not the head coach.
“Gundogan’s leadership style is to make himself a shining example for his teammates to follow. This player is serious about his lifestyle, nutrition and even other things that are considered small,” reporter Rob Dawson wrote on ESPN.
“Gundogan eats a lot of steamed meat. This midfielder always stays away from starchy foods and cuts sugar out of his meals. To avoid blue light, Gundogan will not use the phone for about an hour before going to bed.”
Barca’s rookie wearing shirt number 22 also spoke about his leadership qualities at the press conference before the match against Antwerp in the Champions League group stage on September 20.
“Sometimes, if you don’t know how to attract attention or don’t shout loudly on the field, you won’t be recognized as a leader. For me, a leader is someone who can change the team’s pace of play and the course of the match without having to shout,” Gundogan said.
The above descriptions portray the leadership qualities of the 32-year-old star. Meticulous in lifestyle, professional in training and activities, able to make teammates listen to him even though he is a quiet person, does not possess the ability to “scream fire” but always silently contributes to the whole team. team. Gundogan may not be too “bloody fighting”, but he is an example for his teammates to look at and learn from.
Neuer has officially lost his position as captain to Gundogan. The injury that the 1986-born guard suffered at the end of last year will likely recover before expected (January 2024). The proof is that Neuer has returned to training with Bayern since the end of last month.
However, at the age of 37, no one is sure Neuer will return to peak form after nearly a year off. Besides, having a bad relationship with Nagelsmann when the two were still working together at the Bavarian club put the former Schalke 04 goalkeeper in a difficult position.
The reason these two characters are at odds with each other is that Nagelsmann fired Toni Tapalovic – who was Neuer’s goalkeeping coach for 12 years – for revealing internal information.
For Neuer, just being called back to the national team to participate in a major tournament like Euro 2024 is already very difficult, let alone regaining the starting spot from Marc-Andre ter Stegen and the captaincy. from Gundogan.
This is the time when the transfer of power in the German team’s staff is taking place. And Gundogan’s new beginning will most likely be Neuer’s ending.