Former Germany coach Jurgen Klinsmann has warned the players they had better hide at home for a couple of days following the shock World Cup qualifying defeat against North Macedonia on Wednesday.
Germany, world champions on four occasions, suffered a first World Cup qualifying loss on home soil in 20 years, against opponents ranked 65th in the world.
– UEFA World Cup qualifiers on ESPN+: Stream LIVE games and replays (U.S. only)
– How Euro 2020’s top contenders look after the international break
Klinsmann, who led Germany to third place at the 2006 World Cup and also managed the U.S. men’s national team between 2011 and 2016, said it was a good thing the game was played with no fans present.
“They would have booed you off the field, there’s no doubt about it,” he told ESPN. “Imagine a World Cup qualifier with 60-80,000 fans at home and you lose to North Macedonia.
“For a powerhouse like Germany, similar to England, Italy or Spain, when something happens like that, the people will let you know that.
“But I bet you tomorrow, there’s no player in Germany going to the baker or butcher because they will hear it in all ways, so you better hide at home for a couple of days before you go out again.”
Chelsea striker Timo Werner was criticised by Germany coach Joachim Low for a close-range miss during the game, but Klinsmann, a former striker, was more sympathetic.
“When you have two or three things in your mind then you are not executing the situation, and he was nervous when he got that ball,” Klinsmann said. “He knew he had to put that ball in, blindly, he would do it 99% of the time but in that moment he just over-thought the situation and he missed it.
“We all miss these type of occasions, the problem is the moment when you miss it. Is it in a game that really doesn’t matter that much? Maybe you already had a goal and you miss a situation like that, then no big deal.
“But it’s a World Cup qualifier where every point matters, so when you miss it in that way, obviously he will be angry with himself, he won’t probably sleep tonight.
“He already has a tough kind of situation at Chelsea in the last couple of weeks, so you feel for him, you really feel for him.”