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Germany, Italy woes can't be explained by cheap rhetoric

Related Topics: Italy, Germany, Hans-Dieter Flick

Germany and Italy both suffered a turbulent few days in the past week after poor performances at the weekend: the Germans lost at home to Japan 4-1 and eventually fired coach Hansi Flick, while Italy were held to an unimpressive 1-1 draw by North Macedonia.

They both won on Tuesday night -- Germany defeating France and Italy besting Ukraine to put their Euro 2024 qualification back on track -- but we still got to hear the usual array of senseless knee-jerk reactions. They range from pretentious guff about the general decline of society (especially in Germany) to endless fretting about the quality of youth development and domestic players being denied opportunities by "cheap foreign imports" (mostly in Italy).