Philipp Lahm has urged Germany coach Joachim Low to revamp his leadership style if he hopes to lead the team to success once again.
Low will remain the coach even though Germany suffered their worst performance at a major tournament since Euro 2004 by exiting the World Cup after the group stage.
And Lahm, the team's former captain, wrote in a post on LinkedIn that Low's approach may be old-fashioned and no longer suitable amid a generation of players growing up in the academies.
"Today's generation is 100 percent from youth performance centres," Lahm wrote. "The young men train, play and live in the performance centre. Their ambitions are clearly defined: They want to become professionals."
Having won the 2017 Confederations Cup with a new generation of players such as Leon Goretzka, Serge Gnabry, Julian Brandt, Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Timo Werner, Low relied upon nine 2014 World Cup winners in Russia.
That decision has been cited as one of the reasons why there was a poor atmosphere inside the Germany camp last month.
Lahm, who retired in 2017, said that this new generation of player "almost inevitably grows up to be an egoist."
"That does not necessarily have to be a problem, but it needs to be handled competently: These players need a much tighter leadership than the generation before," Lahm wrote. " ... I am convinced that Jogi Low has to change his collegial leadership style of recent years if he wants to succeed again with the new generation of internationals.
"This is not a sign of weakness, but of further development. He must show individuals that they are responsible for the entire team. He must establish a culture of tighter, clearer decisions than he was previously accustomed to. If he succeeds, I am very optimistic about the future of our team."
Another issue for Germany at the World Cup was the controversy surrounding Mesut Ozil and Ilkay Gundogan, who had their photo taken with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan prior to the tournament.
Lahm said that Low failed to address it clearly ahead of the tournament.
"Ozil (and initially also Gundogan) felt no need to speak out and explain themselves in public," Lahm wrote. "This necessity should have been communicated quickly and clearly in order to improve the harmony portrayed to the outside -- and to the inside."