Another Germany qualifier, another show of support for human rights. Joachim Löw’s side appear to have not only discovered their playing mojo but also activated their activism.
Against Iceland, and co. spelled out letters on their T-shirts. Against Romania, they and staff members (30 in total) turned their shirts around to reveal their names, seemingly to show support for the 30 basic human rights.
“The idea came from the team,” said captain Manuel Neuer after the match. “We want fair play on and off the field. We stand for those 30 basic human rights and diversity.”
The move initially left onlookers as confused as Germany’s attack looked for much of the game. Serge Gnaby scored in the first half to continue his fine form, but he, Kai Havertz, Leroy Sané and substitute Timo Werner were all guilty of not finishing the game off.
To suggest this was just a night of poor German composure though would be a disservice to Romanian goalkeeper Florin Nita. The Sparta Prague keeper was in excellent form and probably man-of-the-match.
“Compliments to my fellow keeper tonight, he made some top saves,” added Neuer.
After two wins in two and a clear overall improvement, Germany might not be looking excellent but they are looking better than a year ago. A hard-fought win, even one made unnecessarily difficult, is important for a team that spent much of the back end of last year conceding, and late in games.
The bigger issue than the lack of attacking inspiration from their wingbacks, Löw’s hesitancy to make more substitutes or too many midfield options is the image of this team.