Germany’s Christoph Kramer out of squad with stomach bug
Julian Draxler looks like getting a chance to start against Ireland having shaken off a cold
Borussia Mönchengladbach midfielder Christoph Kramer is out of tomorrow night’s European Championship qualifier against Ireland with the 23 year-old suffering from what manager Joachim Löw described as a stomach bug.
His absence may well make way for the return of local favourite Julian Draxler who said this afternoon that he has shaken the cold that prevented him from starting - he came on as a sub - the defeat by Poland at the weekend. “I am ready to play now but the decision is in the hands of the coach,” he said.
Löw said his players are “really determined to take all three points from this game,” in the wake of their loss in Warsaw, but he said, “we know that the Irish are well organised with a great fighting spirit.
“They are very like Poland, in fact, quick on the counter-attack with players like McGeady and McClean who like to run at opponents with the ball at the feet and send in dangerous crosses, so, of course, it will be difficult.”
Asked about Roy Keane’s suggestion that the world champions will be like “a wounded animal,” just now, Löw said the bigger issue is the way other teams play against his side.
“We’ve gone from being hunters to prey,” he said. “Scotland played against us with huge motivation. That’s a change from 2010 and 2012 but we know what to expect.”
Draxler also paid tribute to the newcomer, remarking that “if he hits the goal as many times as he did against Poland then maybe one of the shots will go in this time.”
The manager admitted, meanwhile, that the team is suffering slightly after losing some of its most experienced players, most notably skipper Philipp Lahm, to retirement in the wake of the World Cup success but said that the younger players, like Erik Durm, Sebastian Rudy and Antonio Rudiger coming in are making progress.
“Lahm was world class for us on both sides of the defence for many years and it would have been a fantasy to think we could replace him without any hiccups but 2016 is the goal and so we have time.”
He added, however, that some members of his squad are playing too much club football and were not allowed enough rest following their World Cup triumph in July.
“The load on players is too high,” Löw said. “The high demands on teams in national leagues and of course the Champions League – it’s too much. If you look at the players, they need more of a break. Some players only get as little as three weeks after a major tournament and it’s straight back to the grind. Many of the players who are with us now, if you analyse their situation they have too short a break before they are reintegrated into their clubs in pre-season. It’s simply not enough.
“Maybe it doesn’t make a difference over one particular season but it certainly does over several. I agree with Toni Kroos: some of my players play too much.”