'Completely out of position': National media criticise £29m Chelsea player after his international display last night
Antonio Rudiger received mixed reviews from German media following his performance for the national team yesterday evening.
Hansi Flick’s winning run as Die Mannschaft coach came to end last night as he was held by Louis van Gaal’s Holland.
Both sides showcased an array of world-class performers, from Chelsea duo Timo Werner and Kai Havertz, to Liverpool’s formidable rock Virgil van Dijk.
Rudiger rocks his country’s colours
Rudiger started in a relatively inexperienced German defence, partnering 22-year-old Nico Schlotterbeck at centre-half.
The Stamford Bridge defender was making his 50th international appearance, one that will be remembered rather indifferently.
He took the brunt of the blame for Holland’s equaliser, scored by Tottenham Hotspur forward Stephen Bergwijn.
“Celebrated his DFB anniversary with the 50th international match and had the shop under control for a long time,” wrote SPORT1 about Rudiger after the game.
“However, he let Malen rush once (35’/shot to the side netting) and was also too far away from Bergwijn when conceding a goal in the 68th minute.
“By far the most experienced German defender out there tonight, Rüdiger led his side well in the first period.
“However, he got pulled completely out of position for the Netherlands goal.
“Rüdiger and Germany’s defenders did struggle to keep the Netherlands at arm’s length after that. There’s clearly a weak spot in Germany’s backline.”
A change from Chelsea
It’s difficult not to look past Flick’s raw rear guard when assessing Rudiger’s apparent issues.
Before Tuesday’s friendly, Schlotterbeck had only played once for Germany, whilst full-backs David Raum and Thilo Kehrer were on a handful of caps between them.
Unlike at Chelsea, where Thomas Tuchel’s back-line is brimming with footballing knowledge of the highest degree.
Thiago Silva makes up the bulk of the expertise, whilst Andreas Christensen has earned his stripes across years of development.
Trevoh Chalobah and Malang Sarr might be youthful, but they’ve both played in the Champions League on numerous occasions.
Therefore, we should not read into Rudiger’s latest performance too much.