Germany’s overhaul far from complete after Spain demolition
Manager Joachim Löw will remain in the job for rescheduled Euros, says Oliver Bierhoff
Head coach Joachim Löw and assistant coach Marcus Sorg of Germany during the Uefa Nations League group stage match loss to Spain. Photo: Fran Santiago/Getty Images
Germany, planning to have an overhauled and tournament-ready team at next year’s European soccer championships, are running out of time, with coach Joachim Löw’s changes so far failing to deliver.
A 6-0 demolition by Spain on Tuesday was their heaviest defeat in almost 90 years and only added to their fluctuating form in recent months.
Löw brushed the defeat off as a “disastrous day” but the coach, in his 14th year in charge, has now seen his team exit in the first round of a tournament for the third straight time.
Winners of the 2014 World Cup, Germany crashed out in the tournament group stage four years later. They were then relegated from the Nations League competition a few months later after failing to win a single game and eventually stayed up only thanks to a rule change.
That exit prompted the start of Löw’s overhaul as he dropped several world champions – including Thomas Mueller, Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels - in favour of younger players.
But their loss to Spain meant they are again out of the Nations League competition from the group stage.
“We saw today that we are not as far down the road as we had hoped to be,” Löw said of his team’s dismal performance against the Spaniards.
“After the first goal we just gave up being organised. That was deadly. We charged out and just opened up all the spaces. We forgot about our game plan and just ran around out there.”
With falling TV figures, mounting criticism and Löw’s refusal to recall Boateng and Thomas Mueller, who won five titles this year with Bayern Munich, and Hummels, the coach has worked himself in a corner.
Germany will next play again in March before a few more warm-up matches prior to the tournament start in June.
With a large pool of players to chose from but without a finetuned core of starting players, the overhaul that started in 2018, is still largely a construction site seven months before the tournament.
“I have faith in my players,” Löw said. “Now our responsibility is to question everything and question ourselves as well. We have to draw the right conclusions.”
However, Löw is not in danger of losing his job, national team director Oliver Bierhoff has said.
Germany have hit a rough patch this year, winning only three of their last eight matches, but Bierhoff said Löw would remain in charge at least until the Euros next year.
When asked if Loew would remain the coach until next year’s Euros, Bierhoff told ARD TV: “Absolutely, yes. This game changes nothing. We still trust Joachim Löw, no doubt about that.
“With the national team, you have to think and analyse from tournament to tournament. We want to achieve the maximum at next year’s Euros.”