Julian Nagelsmann is horrified by the idea of ​​bored or even complaining European Championship stars. So, in the middle of the debate sparked by Holland coach Ronald Koeman about increasing the tournament squad at the European Football Championship from 23 to 26 players, the national coach came up with a revolutionary idea. It is possible that Nagelsmann will call fewer players into the national team for the home tournament than the regulations would allow.

“I think you can keep it open. You can name a maximum number of 26 and everyone can decide whether they want to take less,” said the national coach after the UEFA workshop for the European Championship participants on Monday evening in Düsseldorf. There has not yet been a voluntary waiver of personnel options at major tournaments.

Nagelsmann is continuing his newly defined personnel course a good six weeks before the squad announcement. Better hungry challengers than potential troublemakers. With this argument – albeit packaged in a somewhat friendlier way – he had already justified the deletion of supposedly permanent European Championship drivers such as Mats Hummels and Leon Goretzka from his March squad, whom he did not trust to play the role of backup players. The successes in France (2:0) and against the Netherlands (2:1) quickly proved him right.

UEFA is considering changing the rules

UEFA did not rule out revising the rules a few weeks before the start of the tournament. They have “taken note of the various opinions and viewpoints and will make a final decision in the coming weeks,” said a statement after the team workshop of the 24 European Championship participants on Monday in Düsseldorf.

Nagelsmann himself advocates for a smaller squad, but doesn’t want to appear as a spoilsport for others. “I’m generally closer to 23, but I can also understand all the arguments for 26,” emphasized the 36-year-old before his first tournament as DFB head coach. The Swiss national coach Murat Yakin made similar comments in Düsseldorf – the last German group opponent on June 23rd in Frankfurt. Austria’s German head coach Ralf Rangnick can also imagine such a flexible arrangement.

Nagelsmann primarily puts forward team-building arguments for his stance. “If you have a department, 20 are working and 10 are sitting around because they have nothing to do, it’s okay. But if you have the ratio the other way around, 10 are working and 20 are sitting around, then it becomes tight that the department still has one “If you’re in a good mood. Then you have more to do with consoling the dissatisfied, then the relationship doesn’t quite work out,” he explained.

Nagelsmann remembers club successes

Even in club football – the field that former club coach Nagelsmann repeatedly uses as an example – mammoth squads do not bring success, the national coach stated. “In the end, in all the clubs that are successful, there are 14 or 15 who collect the minutes and five get six, get five percent of the playing time. You have to think about whether that makes sense,” he said about the desire for more EM players.

Rather than Hummels or Goretzka, promising players such as Aleksandar Pavlovic from FC Bayern Munich or Jan-Niklas Beste from 1. FC Heidenheim, who were nominated in March but then had to miss out for health reasons, or Maximilian Beier from TSG Hoffenheim are probably more likely to have hopes If Nagelsmann makes an additional place, he should add more space.

The DFB head coach will announce his European Championship squad shortly before the DFB Cup final, probably on May 23rd, with the first training camp south of Weimar starting three days later. According to reports, more than 23 players could then be nominated, as some players such as those from Cup finalists Bayer Leverkusen or possible Champions League finalists will only travel later. Nagelsmann would then sort out the tournament. The deadline for the final squad notification to UEFA is midnight on June 7th.

The Dutch bond coach Koeman brought up the squad discussion after the 1:2 in the test against the DFB team at the end of March and spoke out in favor of more personnel options due to the rapid development of the game with high levels of stress. However, medical arguments are generally not shared in UEFA circles, as was reported in Düsseldorf.

Qatar squad as a warning

At the 2021 European Championship, the squad was expanded to 26 players due to the corona pandemic; at the 2022 World Cup, the high stress in the middle of the season was the argument for more tournament players. The failure of his predecessor Hansi Flick’s Qatar squad at an early stage appears to be a warning example to Nagelsmann.