Germany have dismissed head coach Hansi Flick after they were thrashed 4-1 by Japan in a friendly on Saturday night.
The country is set to host the European Championships next summer and the German Football Association [DFB] have deemed it necessary to act at this stage. The former striker Rudi Völler, alongside Hannes Wolf and Sandro Wagner, will take charge of Germany’s friendly against France on Tuesday.
Flick had survived a disappointing World Cup, which saw Germany eliminated in the group stage, but things have not improved since, failing to win any of their past five matches. The former Bayern Munich head coach took training on Sunday but was later relieved of his duties.
“The bodies (of the DFB) shared the same view that the national team now needs a new impulse,” DFB President Bernd Neuendorf said in a statement. “With next year’s Euro in sight we need enthusiastic mood and confidence.”
The 58-year-old left his role at Bayern Munich in May 2021 to replace Joachim Löw with the national team, signing a three-year contract that was supposed to see him through to the end of the Euro 2024 but after 12 wins in 25 matches, Flick has departed. He had previously spent an eight-year spell as Löw’s assistant, before joining Bayern in the same capacity until being promoted to head coach.
Saturday night was not the first time Flick’s Germany had lost to Japan in the past 12 months. They were defeated 2-1 at the World Cup in Qatar, eventually bowing out at the group stage on goal difference.
Things started well for Flick, winning his first eight games in charge but followed that up with four victories in his final 17 matches at the helm, culminating in the latest humiliation at the hands of Japan.
The German FA say they are aiming to find a replacement as soon as possible. One potential candidate is Julian Nagelsmann, who replaced Flick at Bayern. He spent fewer than two years in charge at the Allianz Arena and is currently without a job but in the meantime Völler, who spent four years as Germany head coach at the start of the century, will lead the coaching staff.
“The most urgent thing is then to bring in a national team coach who at short notice can redirect and prepare our team for the big Euro tournament next year,” said Völler.
“We expect from them, as does the whole country, positive impulses. A coach who can lift our level to where we know and expect it to be.”