Marc-Andre ter Stegen watched on from the bench again on Saturday night as Germany lost 3-0 to Netherlands in Amsterdam in the UEFA Nations League.
The result continues an awful run of form for the former world champions who are in a bad way. They are bottom of their group, have lost six of their last 10 games and face France next.
Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer will come in for criticism after getting caught out for the first goal. The Bayern Munich stopper made a mess of Memphis Depay’s corner, allowing Virgil van Dijk to slot home into an empty net after Ryan Babel had hit the bar.
Neuer used to be regarded as the world’s best goalkeeper but that’s no longer the case. He missed most of last season through injury, returning to play in the World Cup where he will largely be remembered for being caught too far upfield in their defeat to South Korea which sent them crashing out in the group stages.
Ter Stegen admitted during the World Cup he found it a “disappointing situation” to be left on the bench for the competition after starring for Barcelona as they won the double. It’s easy to understand his frustrations.
He’ll be even more disappointed if he does not start against France on Tuesday, as he deserves the chance to stake a claim for Germany’s No. 1 shirt.
He has been a rock at the back once again for Barcelona this season. Low only needs to watch Barcelona’s 2-1 win at Real Sociedad to see him making crucial saves from Theo Hernandez and Juanmi.
He was at it again against Tottenham in the Champions League at Wembley.
Marc-André ter Stegen #UCL @FCBarcelona @mterstegen1 pic.twitter.com/T0SI9nFX4Q— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) October 8, 2018
Ter Stegen has been consistently excellent for some time now. He is still only 26 and seems to be getting better every season. Meanwhile, Neuer is now 32 and just does not look like the player he once was. His long injury lay-off has had an impact, and he is no longer Germany’s best goalkeeper, indeed he hasn’t been for some time
Low has big decisions to make ahead of Germany’s meeting with the world champions in Paris. He’ll be under pressure after a string of poor performances, but starting Ter Stegen would be a step in the right direction.