Thomas Muller has gone to two World Cups with Germany and on both occasions he was his team’s leading goal scorer. Sandwiched between those two goal laden World Cup campaigns is a rather disappointing, scoreless appearance at the 2012 Euros where Muller’s performances saw him dropped before the tournament’s end. Euro 2016 gives him a chance to correct that blotch on his career.
Muller scores goals, for club or country that’s what he does and he’s built a fine career off that. This season however saw the Bayern man step up another level. For someone renowned for his goal scoring prowess it was always a bit eye-opening to realise he had never scored more than 13 in the Bundesliga before this season. This season saw him find the net on 20 occasions and pass the 30 mark in all competitions for the first time of his career.
‘Of course, goals are a big part of my game, but generally I have never been a striker whose main quality is scoring goals. It’s great for me and for the team when I score goals, but I’m not focused on topping any goal scoring charts.’
Muller is right of course, there is no need for him to be focusing on topping the goal scoring charts, but as he rightly pointed out, goals are a big part of his game and he needs to be amongst them in the coming weeks. Germany will be without the services of Marco Reus once again and his absence will come as a huge blow in regards to chance creation and goal scoring. When you look at the other likely candidates Low will look to for goals, Gotze, Schurrle, Podolski and Gomez, it’s a tad alarming. Outside of Gomez, none of the aforementioned have enjoyed prolific seasons, and in Gomez’s case, his prolific season occurred in a weak Turkish league.
Low will have a difficult decision to make in regards to where he chooses to utilize Muller. We could see the Bayern man line up wide, behind a striker or as the main striker himself. Getting this decision right could prove key to Germany’s chances in the end. Mario Gomez has reclaimed a spot in the German squad but is Low confident enough in the Besiktas man to utilize him as first option to lead the line instead or is he better off with a Muller who is in the form of his life? Regardless of where Muller is included in the starting 11, Germany will be looking for him to find the back of the net consistently in France. His role in the team demands he pops up at the right place at the right time to put the ball in the net.
If Germany are to follow up their World Cup success with victory at the Euros, it’s clear that goals from Muller will be a necessity. This just may be the tournament that Muller is most vital in. Let’s hope the Muller of the last two World Cups shows up and not the Muller of Germany’s disappointing Euro campaign from four years ago.