No, it is no longer possible to have a friendly match in the calendar. The Bundesliga must now stick to its schedule, said Hanning in the press conference of DHB–Teams the day before the Poland game on Monday (25.01.2021, live in the first) clear.
Squad puzzle and many questions
It is also clear: It will be Alfred Gislason’s last chance to test his players under competitive conditions before the qualifying tournament with Sweden, Slovenia and Algeria on March 12th. Two of the four nations secure the ticket for the games in Tokyo.
Even if the squad puzzle will only come to the fore after the tournament, Gislason should already deal with it now. Who does he want to try again a few minutes longer that he has not seen so often in the tournament? Or does he want to give his regular formation around Philipp Weber, Kai Häfner and Co., who should have their place in the squad relatively safe, as much time as possible to warm up?
And how important is a success in this sporting worthless game for the development of the team? Does he give Andreas Wolff another chance in goal to get back into the form in which the national team needs him?
Defense in focus
All of these questions are likely to be included in the drafting of the Matchplans play a role. What will be different in March is the defense, which in this tournament showed bigger problems than the offensive. Hendrik Pekeler, most valuable player in the Champions-League-Final-Four, and Patrick Wiencek from THW Kiel are probably the two strongest German players in the cover center and also well-established.
Even Johannes Golla, still only 23 years old, showed in this tournament in the middle block of the 6-0 formation that he is able to take on responsibility. Finn Lemke from Melsung certainly also plays a role in the national coach’s considerations.
Wiencek and Pekeler are great at the moment
And from the current squad? Sebastian Firnhaber, a defining pillar of the Bundesliga defensive at HC Erlangen, has toplevel still problems. He was hardly used against Brazil. Fabian Böhm did his job well alongside Golla and brought aggressiveness to the center. Getting past Pekeler and Wiencek should be difficult.
It is certain that Golla will be the future of the German defense simply because of his age and his extensive experience at the top level. The scenario of an inner block rotation from Pekeler, Wiencek and Golla with the alternatives Lemke and Böhm and maybe in a while Firnhaber doesn’t sound too wrong.
Polish team: grown big and fast
Against the Poles, the DHB selection, which conceded too many goals, especially over the circle – a clear sign of a lack of coordination – can again adjust to a different type of offensive game. The Poles are not quite as creative as Hungarians or Spain, but often seek their degree from the (extended) counter-attack. A quick withdrawal behavior and a quick assignment are particularly important.
Once the German cover is up and the tempo game has stopped, the biggest challenge will be not to let the halves around the 212 centimeter long Tomasz Gebala or the twelve centimeter “smaller” Szymon Sicko come to easy backcourt throws. This requires aggressive defensive work, as was seen against Brazil at least over long stretches. Passivity and pure blocking will not lead to success against the Poles.
Chance for Drux?
On the offensive, like against Hungary, the Germans expect a physical and large cover, which is more likely to be overcome through consistent and patient play and a lot of movement than through shots from the back area. Perhaps this is also a possibility for Paul Drux, who is strong in tackles.
The Berliner has so far used his not extremely large game shares in this tournament for self-promotion and earned the recognition of the national coach. Also with a view to March, a strong drux would be an important pound with which the DHB selection could proliferate.
Stand: 24.01.2021, 16:59