Thomas Muller lauded his side’s acceptance of risk, following Germany’s 5-2 win at home to Italy in the Nations League on Tuesday.
Muller was among the scorers for Die Mannschaft, who led 5-0 at one stage in Monchengladbach after Timo Werner’s second of the night. Joshua Kimmich and Ilkay Gundogan were the other scorers for Germany, handing the home side a 2-0 lead at the interval.
Germany sit second in Group A3 after four games, following draws in the opening three matches characterised by high volumes of passive possession.
Especially after early exits at the past three major tournaments, however, the 32-year-old is buoyed by Germany’s play under Hansi Flick despite ever-present room for improvement.
Muller told ZDF:
“One good aspect that we brought into play today is that we actually played a little riskier and had more courage.
“To accept the risk of losing the ball with the knowledge of snatching away the second ball.
“So, objective courage and not emotional courage.
“If we understand that a little better on the offensive, that a cross that doesn’t lead directly to the goal becomes dangerous with the second ball if we are positioned like that, then we’ll make life easier for us.
“We have good players, we have a good attitude and a good project going on.
“But we still have all sorts of deficits, you have to be honest.”
Germany again dominated in possession but were able to translate that into good chances in front of goal on Tuesday, with Joshua Kimmich’s opening goal in the 10th minute setting the tone.
The home side were levels above the reigning European champions, who fielded an inexperienced starting lineup and conceded five goals for the first time in a single match since 1957.
For Muller, who insisted he does not see himself playing much longer at the international level, it was an affirmation of Germany’s quality.
“We have everything to be able to beat anyone on a good day.
“And we still have to improve on the football-savvy things, like wanting to do the right thing.
“We won a lot of second balls and that made the game easier for us.
“I know I won’t play 50 more international matches.
“Let’s see what happens in the next two or three years, but I’m enjoying it a lot at the moment.”
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